|Motivational messages for runners in the Olympic Park|
A friend sent me an email last week, asking if I would write about how I became a runner. I thought about her request a great deal - mainly while I was out running - and decided that the starting to run story was quite ordinary, but the more interesting issue has become how and why I continued to run. I feel very strongly that to call yourself 'A Runner' you don't have to be fast, or even improving, you just have to go running regularly.
I started running because Olivia announced that she wanted to do a Race for Life and raise some money for Cancer Research. We did the very popular NHS Couch to 5K programme and at the end of the 9 weeks, we did our Race for Life in Cambridge in July 2013.
At this point Olivia stopped running regularly, but I carried on. The reason that I am still running fifteen months later is quite simply that I enjoy it. However, enjoying running is in itself a complex business - I enjoy running for so many, varied reasons.
- I have made some wonderful friends through running - at my local parkrun, and now at my running club.
- I relish being fit enough to run up the escalators on the tube.
- I love how all I need to do to stay fit is go out for a run for about 30 minutes three times a week. It doesn't require a great deal of time commitment.
- I like having bare legs and wearing shorts.
- I love my post-run oat and banana milkshake.
- I love being outside.
- I adore the euphoria that comes from running faster or further than I thought was possible. It doesn't happen very often, but it's all the sweeter for that.
- I appreciate the time to myself.
- I like how I can just run straight from my front door if I want to. Sometimes I drive out to the more remote parts of Epping Forest, or cycle over to the Olympic Park to run, but if I can't be bothered I can still run from my front door and enjoy being outside in the local parks.
- I relish the rituals that come with running: setting the playlist on my iPod if I am running by myself, making sure my shoes are laced tightly, tying up my hair, walking to warm up, stretching afterwards (sometimes I forget to do this, I am so eager for a sit down and then a nice long bath).
- I love the energy it gives me.
- I love how easy it is. It is not easy to run fast, or run efficiently, but just changing into running kit, pulling on my shoes, and going for a run is easy.
|The euphoria (and astonishment) after finishing a 5k run with a new pb this week|
|My race number at a club event in September|
|Back home after a run - where's my milkshake?|