You’ve started your running ‘journey’ – and that’s what it is, a journey. Right now you can’t get round the park. In fact right now you can barely make it from bench to bench. But you’re trying. You’ve got no one to beat (and not just because you are that slow it’s walking pace for most) but because you are only doing this for you.
It’s hard right now. It’s cold, it’s wet, it’s so dark you can’t see anything, you’re convinced everyone is watching you wondering what the hell you’re playing at because you quite clearly are not a runner. You think your ass should be back on the couch looking after your kids because taking 30 minutes to yourself is a bit selfish isn’t it? And let’s be honest, right now, running 5k in under 30 mins just isn’t going to happen.
You keep going.
It’s a long time before you get that elusive ‘sub 30mins’ – a very long time. I’m not going to tell you it gets easier, I’m not sure it does! You just feel better when it’s done. The first 2km are the hardest. You can’t breathe, you sweat within seconds but you still feel cold, you’re wearing Lycra and you most certainly are not a skinny bitch! It’s pinching at your waist, riding up your bum in what is now really quite a painful way.
You still keep going.
For some reason it’s now the first 3km that are difficult and you hit that ‘wall’. But you break through it each and every time you go out for a run. You don’t give up. You start very slowly going further distances. Still with walk breaks but you are out there longer. Your goals start getting bigger whilst your waist gets smaller. (So do your boobs but hey, you can’t have everything, deal with it). You start entering races. There are many, many tears. There’s even some up chuck action. Eventually there’s also blisters and loss of toe nails but you’ll need to file that in the same bucket as the disappearing boobs. Be honest, you never liked sandals anyway.
5k turns into 10k, which then makes you set your sights on a half marathon. You find a running group and email them practically begging them to let you join promising that you won’t waste their time. (An email you’ll look back on and laugh at the embarrassment, hoping it was deleted). You enter the half marathon and although you achieve your target time you’re not happy?!? You wanted better, faster! So you enter more. You run more.
And before you know it – you’ve signed up to a marathon! That’s 26.2 miles! (You don’t even know how far a marathon is in 2015).
And guess what?
You complete it!
In fact, you don’t only run one marathon, YOU RUN BLOODY TWO!!!
You also complete 3 Triathlons!! And right now, in 2015, you haven’t even heard of a triathlon!
And as for your ‘sub 30mins’ on your 5k…
Last night you smashed it out the park in under 22 minutes. 22 bloody minutes!
I wish I could tell you when you are struggling that THIS is what you are going to achieve but I can’t. When you’re tired and yes, a little miserable, that it’s all going to be worth it and you’ll love it. But I can’t.
I don’t have to. You just get out there and you do it.
I can’t even guess what you’re going to do next year!
Love from 2016 Ella
PS You even wear shorts in the end!