Friday, 17 October 2014

Run Report - motivation


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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 fact that I continue to go running even when I'm tired or not in the mood is why I feel happy calling myself a runner.  Running has become a part of what I do now - like cooking, sewing or reading - and it became a part of what I do because I just went outside and ran. I enjoyed it, and so I kept on running.

Just ran my fastest 5k ever (27:36). Channeling my inner Jo Pavey. Yeehah! #running #pb #qeop
The euphoria (and astonishment) after finishing a 5k run with a new pb this week
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My race number at a club event in September
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Back home after a run - where's my milkshake?

6 comments:

  1. I have been following your running posts with interest, as I have started too. My pace, for an individual run & the rate at which I'm getting fit are a lot slower than yours. What you write is encouraging. I just love getting outdoors, even in SE London, seen a kingfisher by the river.

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  2. You are very inspiring! I'm new to running, and surprised at how much I enjoy it, hoping I can keep at it and become a runner!

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  3. When I read your running posts it always makes me want to put on my running shoes and go out for a run even though my running days are over. Even a good long walk makes my knees hurt these days although I confess that just occasionally I try to break out into a trot when I'm walking. You can't beat. I loved it for all the reasons you list.

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  4. You may get this message twice! I found you post really inspiring. Today was my first run in over 5 weeks. In fact the last 6 months have been bad, but I'm going to think of your post and my own reasons for loving running and hopefully I'll get my mojo back again!

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Even though I often do not have the time to reply to everybody, I really appreciate all your comments so much - thank you for taking the time to read my blog and share your thoughts on what I've written.