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Friday, 6 September 2013

Running- my experiences so far!

I started running in June this year because I entered the Race for Life to raise money for Cancer Research.  I didn't want to make a complete fool of myself so decided I had better start jogging!  I did the Race for Life on the 16th June. It was a really rainy drizzly day but everyone was in good spirits.  I would really recommend this for a first race, Race for Life is all women and I felt like everyone was supportive of each other. We did a fun Zumba warm-up before the race began.  The spectators were really encouraging, clapping for everyone around the course and towards the finish line!  I completed the race in 34 or 35 minutes I think! I was extremely grateful for my medal, snack and bottle of water at the finish.
A few weeks later I entered a village 5KFun Run which took place on Sunday the 7th of July. I decided to enter to see if I could beat my previous time and to enjoy the village event.  As it was a fun run, I thought it would be enjoyable and have a nice atmosphere, I was right.  It was a hot day (the hottest so far of the year at that point!) and some of the course was on a track with no shelter from the sun, it seemed pretty hard-going at times.  The support from spectators was fantastic, one villager had a garden hose to cool everyone down! Everyone clapped and shouted encouragement.  I drank water and carried on and kept going all the way to the finish. I felt really proud and again received a goody bag with banana, water and some goodies.  I completed the race in 34:34!
I then decided to enter another race as part of a running event which included an annual half-marathon and 10K, but this year they added a 5K to the event, so I decided to enter! You were not allowed to run with mp3 players so I was quite nervous because I always train with music to get a good pace going and to keep me going. I had been running 5K everyday for the couple of weeks leading up to the race. I gave it my best shot but I thought my time would be slow because of the heat.  I did the race in 28:56, I couldn't believe it!  It was an extremely hot day and I have no idea how the 10Krs and Half-marathoners got through it, they were awesome! I cheered them on when I had finished, the last part of the race is pretty gruelling; it's all uphill and very little shade so I really admired their determination and strength.  Again, I found the crowds were really encouraging, one family had the 'Chariots of  Fire' theme playing loudly out of their house, which brought a smile to all the runners' faces!  Lots of people cheered me on and clapped as we all ran by, it was great.

I never would have thought that I would get into running, I'm not the most confident person in the world and thought I would feel really self-conscious.  But I bought some trainers, whacked my ipod on and just got into it. The more you run, the better habits you get into.  You learn a lot along the way.  I would now recommend always stretching fully after you run or you will feel it in your muscles. I had problems in my shins after running and have found that a protein snack/shake and lots of stretching really help.  I always shower straight after running because you sweat so much (gross I know!) and it can give you bad skin. I also think my running posture is getting much better, you should run with relaxed shoulders.

 I'm by no means an expert and still have a lot to learn and I know that there are people who can run much further and faster, but I feel proud of my achievements.  I am so glad I started because I think it has built my confidence and taught me to go for more opportunities.  You will always be sweaty and messy running, (as you can tell from my photos) so any vanity is out the window! I'm hoping to enter a 10K next to stretch myself even further, I think running is a bit addictive!  I now run 5K 2 or 3 times a week.  I don't time myself, I just run to keep fit and healthy and to switch off for half an hour!

What sports do you enjoy?  Have you discovered something that has given you more confidence?

Peebreeks xx

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