So why do so many of us get into running? Well the main reason is probably to get fit. Now I’m not going to spout any rubbish about being the fat kid at school but hey, just look at me now! Truth is I was always a skinny kid and have grown up to be a skinnier adult! No I wasn’t a terrible runner at school and I enjoyed athletics in PE but never took this any further than that.
Looking back, it wasn’t until my twenties having finished University that I thought to myself, hmm yes I am slim but am I fit? How could I be, I never exercised! With not much money having still to get a graduate job the gym was out of the question so running was the obvious choice. I remember my first ever run from the house, pounding the harsh pavements of the Derby streets, sweating and breathless ready to head home after a gruelling session. I had been out of the house for all of 10 minutes. Oh dear. This was going to be harder than I thought and it just goes to show that your size, big or small, has no bearing on your fitness.
Everyone needs a goal right, a target to work towards and strive to achieve? I signed up for my first race which was the Derby 10k back in 2008 I think it was. I was so nervous and excited but keen to do everything right. Off I went to the Derby Runner in Spondon to get kitted out with my first ever proper pair of trainers, Asics was the brand of choice back then. Training was taken so seriously with an official plan downloaded from the web with structured runs throughout the week. As far as I can recall, my finished time was 56:06 which for a first attempt for a newbie runner wasn’t too shoddy. However, this was just the beginning. This race had unleashed something in me, some strange new fire and passion. Running now wasn’t just about fitness. Never having been one for team sports, it was an obvious choice really. Going it alone with just yourself to rely upon and yourself to blame if it all went wrong.
Hindsight makes me wonder if I had joined an athletics club as a kid like my dad had suggested, where would I be now? Maybe I would be a better runner. Maybe I would have got tired of it and given up. Who knows, but all I can say now is that I am so glad I signed up for that first race as it has lead me on an amazing path with some fantastic people to some great places. This blog is mostly about off-road running, but it all started on the roads as I think it does for a lot of people and the transition wasn’t smooth, but it was so worth it.
So what happened next, for me? My first 10k off road race at Kedleston, but I’ll save that for next time!
Happy running x