Just over a month ago I set myself a challenge. After years of always saying “maybe next year”, in just over three months I’ll be running 13.1 miles in the Potters ‘Arf Marathon.
Whilst I’ll be running to do a good deed, and raising money forCancer Research UK, it is also a personal goal I’ve set for myself. There’s something really rewarding about running a little bit further or faster than you could before.
Stoke-on-Trent has been named European City of Sport 2016, so when better to make the most of what it has to offer?
My ‘training’ kicked in after I registered to do the half marathon, and when I managed to rope in Staffordshire University’s Students’ Union’s Vice President, Ashley Holland, to run too. (We’ve also heard a rumour that Mick the Vic, our University Chaplain, will be joining us too.)
I noticed I wasn’t too hot on my heels when people would say to me ‘What’s your pace?’ or ‘How far are you running?’ and all I could reply with was ‘I’m just running…’
So I decided to up my game by downloading the Nike Running app, buying some new sports gear (all the gear and no idea) and getting some This Girl Can Run inspiration – my determination carried me off to Hanley parkrun at 9am on a cold, rainy Saturday morning in February.
In the pouring rain, I struggled through a painful and muddy 5K. (Am I selling it yet?) Hanley parkrun happens every Saturday at 9am, and it’s free to register and run, with participants varying from walkers with pushchairs to people who finish within 20 minutes. The great thing is that when you pass through the finish line you get placed with your time and for your age/gender (it’s safe to say I didn’t break any records). It’s a great atmosphere with over 100 people taking part every week.
Donned in my new running kit and Spotify running playlist on the go, I’ve slowly started to build my distance and pace, and can now somewhat comfortably run 3 miles, at 10 minutes per mile. Each week I’m running a little bit faster and a little bit further, so hopefully the 13 mile mark isn’t too far off in the distance.
My real training programme kicks in in just two weeks’ time, from 21st March I’ll be packing in 14 miles spread out over the week with just two day’s rest. Reckon I can do it? Join me again for my next blog to find out.
If you’d like to, you can sponsor Ash and I and find out more about why we’re taking part at: https://www.justgiving.com/lall1990/