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Why on earth did I start running?! - Michael Briggs

Who am I? Are you sure you want to know? This story isn't for the faint of heart…

I’m kidding, I just wanted to add a dramatic tone to the blog and you may recognise it from a superhero film, but now that I have your attention, how about we go back in time, to late 2013 - I’ll explain why after…

This was when I was making the next step in my sporting life. For over 10 years, I’d been involved with athletics, mainly in jumps and sprints but when you get to 24, you soon realise that dream of being on the big stage isn't going to happen and you have to move on. That’s what I did and, boy, was it a difficult transition.

 

I set myself a goal of running the Great North Run; “it’s only 13 miles, piece of cake” I told myself, then I tried to run two miles and called it quits. It took me months and a firm kick up the backside, to realise that running is a thing of patience.

Learning how to run was a skill I had to teach, mostly, myself. Mechanics, pace, strength and focus, all had their part to play and by no means was it simple, not in the slightest. See, when I sprinted, it was how quickly I could get from A to B, the faster the better. Now, I had to go from A to M (see what I did there?) and get there in one piece.

I’ll admit, I fell into the trap of reading running myths like, it damages your knees, it can break your toes, while focusing everything on speed. If I didn't run 5 miles with an average 7:30 minutes per mile, I’d consider that as a failed session. A load of waffle, I know but I had to go from a speedster or an ‘anti-jogger’ to a distance runner, learning all this from scratch - I had to do all this in four months.

I didn't know anything about kit, shoes, vaseline, the more folk told me or the more I read online, the more I got scared and felt out of my depth. But rather than shirk it, I drank it in, I asked questions, watched videos, read reviews, basically, familiarising myself with the sport, I had to start somewhere.

By this point I entered the Great North 10k and the 2014 GNR, I was terrified but it was a challenge I’ve been wanting to do for some time now. Over the months, I trained, lifting big weights, running long miles, trying and failing with different methods but I loved it, I compared it to the training montage from Rocky 4, except, I didn't have snow…or shout from the top of a mountain…but it was brutal training!

When the time came, I nailed it, proudly clocking under two hours…just, and my journey from then has, like every runner out there, been up and down. Mental battles, physical scars and the ability to push myself beyond belief, have all come in to the mix but I often ask myself, “where would I be without running?”

And that’s why I took us back to 2013. I fully believe that this was the turning point that signified a positive outcome in my life, I wouldn't have a blog, I wouldn't have meet some of the great people I know and without question, my health would have been questionable.

Running is my escapism. I’ll never stop doing it, I will have arguments with it, hate it, love it, laugh at it but i will always come back to it.

I love being a runr.


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Huge thanks to Michael Briggs for sharing his running story and love his passion for running that really comes through in his blog.
Follow his running journey at www.arunnersramble.com and on twitter @ARunnersRamble_

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