My running journey started in 2013. I think my sister got a secondhand treadmill, and it ended up living in the shed in the garden. That’s where I started my C25K journey and what ultimately led me to where I am now.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately as I’ve kind of lost the running bug this year. I think with all races being cancelled this year and not having anything to work towards means I’ve just really struggled keeping it consistent. I’m the sort of person who likes having something to aim for – that being a race. Anyway, until looking into my running journey, I never realised that it was so long ago that I started. I’ve had a lot of running experience since 2013.
I’m not sure when exactly I’ll pick it back up, but I do know that I will start running again at some point. I can’t ever seem to leave it for too long.
Looking to start running yourself? Here’s a running guide to get you started.
On 31st May 2013, I ran my first 10k. I know that because I wrote a blog post about it. It’s an awful post, but it reminds me of how excited I was that I’d finally done what felt like such a big distance for me at the time. It wasn’t an official race or anything, just a run around the streets where I lived in Carlisle whilst I was at university.
That year I completed two races. The Color Run, and the Leigh 10k. That 10k was one of the hardest runs of my life, I was very ill-prepared for the distance and heat.
Then unsurprisingly, I dropped off. 2014 was an empty year. It was my second year of university, so I have a feeling this is actually when I joined a gym and got really into weight training instead.
In 2015 I was back. Sort of. I did the Great Manchester Run for the first time. And then nothing else apparently. I don’t know what happened.
But the second half of 2016. This is where the real love started.
I did the Wigan 10k for the first time and I also started doing my local Parkrun. That Parkrun really helped me to keep my running consistent as I really enjoyed going every Saturday and it kept me running over winter.
January 2017 was the year I started Half Marathon training for the first time. I’d done a few races by now, and I really wanted to go that extra step.
I did another 10k, and then I did another 10k. In fact, throughout 2017 I pretty much did a race every month. Here’s the full recap of that year. It was a big year for running and I loved having something to constantly aim for. The races different between 5k to half marathon and even had a couple of trail routes in there so it was always something a little different each time.
2018 was fairly quiet on the race front for the first part of the year. Then I took part in Tough Mudder North West and, one of the best experiences I’ve had – the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon. I’m not sure much will really compare to having access to Disneyland Paris and running past the castle in the early hours of the morning. It was incredible. It was also the first half marathon in which I felt really strong all the way round.
The second half of 2019 had one very big focus. It was time to start marathon training. I’d entered the ballot for the Virgin London Marathon for a few years, and whilst I know it is an incredibly tough race to get into, the disappointment of not getting in each year was just the worst. I decided enough was enough, and there was no reason for me to be waiting for London. I could do any marathon.
This training was the hardest, yet most enjoyable I’ve ever done. I was clocking up the highest amount of miles I’d ever done, and I had training sessions ranging from intervals, to hills, to long runs to the easy short ones. I’d never been so active, and I actually felt great throughout.
During this, I also managed to squeeze in another half marathon, this time the Rock N Roll Dublin Half. It was sort of the pre-marathon tester race and it was the time I started to struggle with pain in my right shin. I ran with my leg/foot strapped up, and surprisingly felt pretty good on the course. But I knew I had to take it a little easier from then on if I were to finish this marathon.
In October 2019 the time had come. My first marathon, and it was Chester Marathon that took the spot.
It was honestly one of the best races that I’ve done out of all the ones I’ve done throughout the years. I stuck with a pacing group and they kept me going both through keeping me entertained, and having a really good running strategy towards the end. Like, they’d even put thought into the pacing to include being able to walk up the last few steep hills right at the end. They were killer.
The first half felt great. The second half not as great, and that last 10k extremely tough. But it was so worth it, and I’d totally do another. You can see my marathon stats here!
It sort of felt like everything I’d done over the years was building up to this one race and whilst I certainly don’t feel done, I definitely feel like I’d be happy not going any further. Though, I would still like to do the London Marathon.
Are you a runner? Would love to hear more experiences.