I write brilliant blog posts in my head while I am running. They are witty, clever, moving and original. Then I come home, shower and get on with life and forget all the great things I wanted to say. I’m sure I’m not the only one.
However this week I have found myself coming back to the same theme each time I run. Look how far I have come.
Maybe it’s the new year or possibly all the encouraging social media posts aimed at new runners but I have been a bit reflective recently. We runners are all about the new goals, the targets, the PRs and the challenges. Do we ever stop and take stock of how far we have come?
While out running a 10k training run last week, I was assaulted by the memory of trying to up my distance from 7 to 8 k. It was slow and very, very painful and I questioned why on earth I was doing it. Now I glide to 10k on a weekly basis and am preparing to up it in the next few weeks.
So here are some of my key personal achievements in my fitness and running. If you are a new runner please remember, if I can do it, so can you.
4 years ago, I was so overweight and unfit that I spent 6 months working out in my living room with dvds just to be fit enough to get out and walk. Now I run 10k every week.
When I did get outside, I was so embarrassed that I swathed myself in heavy tracksuit bottoms and waterproof jackets, even if I was too hot. Now I wear head to toe lycra with hi-viz stripes and hat to bring attention to myself.
I ran in a secluded spot so I would not risk meeting anyone. Now I run past my neighbours houses and in the middle of town with my head held high.
I was only able to run for 30 seconds at a time and had to walk for 2 minutes to recover. It took me 48 minutes to cover 5k. Now I can run 5k in 36 minutes.
Following the couch to 5k app, I remember that getting up to 10 minutes continuous running was a challenge and it took a number of sessions before I cracked it and could move on to the next session. Now I can run for 1hr 25 mins non stop.
I once looked at adverts for the Dublin Women’s Mini Marathon 10k and believed I could never run that far. In 2015 I took part and Nailed it, despite the pouring rain.
3 years ago I didn’t know there was such a thing as a half marathon. Today I am training for one.
How did I achieve all this? I just kept trying.