My greatest achievement in 2017? Starting to run again and properly this time!
Last Christmas Day (2016) my husband and I went for a walk. Embarrassingly I made it to less than a mile before I needed to turn around and head home. My intention that Christmas Morning had been to walk my local parkrun course. I’d never completed the course and wanted to give it a go. I think the aspiration was too big and it was a case of wanting to run before I could walk (excuse the pun)
Gradually through the remainder of December and January I built it up little by little. By the end of January I could walk 5K (the length of a parkrun) but it took me well over an hour. By walking regularly I managed to speed my pace up a little and by April had got my 5K time to just a tiny bit over an hour.
In May I was ready to attempt my first parkrun. There’s one friend I’ve made through parkrun who is my greatest believer. She’s called Rachel and she gives so much encouragement. She told me before that parkrun “So what if it takes you over an hour, they’ll wait. You’ve given enough of your time through volunteering, now it’s your turn to do it” Those words meant a lot to me and I managed to complete that first parkrun in 58:24. Under an hour. I was over the moon.
I slowly built up to run/walking. I completed the course walking a couple of times and complimented this with run/walking on my treadmill at home. I then began walking the majority of the course and then run/walking the last section. This then built up to run/walking from around halfway and then run/walking the whole thing.
Louise and I at my 2nd parkrun
In August I joined the Gosport Road Runners Beginners Group but broke after week 2. I suffered with Achilles pain that put me right out of action until September. I was so gutted. I’d waited so long for the group to begin and then went and broke myself. I think it was a case of too much too soon. However it made me more determined and I was still able to complete the final 5K race of the Bayside series, which the Beginners Group were using as their Graduation. I got a PB in that race, 45:53 and broke my PB from 2012!
Since September I’ve looked after my Achilles doing stretches and buying a half foam roller to help aid it. My run/walking has continued to improve and I’m now able to complete 5K doing one minute of running and one minute of walking. However I can’t do this and finish strong yet. If I do 30 seconds of running and 45 seconds of walking then I finish feeling stronger. I’ve worked on chipping away at my time since September and really wanted to get under 45 minutes. on 2nd December I did it! I crossed the finish line in 44:40. I was elated.
So far I’ve improved my parkrun time by 13 minutes and 44 seconds. I’d love to make that 14 minutes by the end of the year but with only one parkrun left I’m not sure I’ll manage it, especially after the indulgences of Christmas! But we’ll see….Watch this Space!