I saw these words on a picture on Instagram last week and they really resonated with me and got me thinking – what I wish I knew before I started running…
It’s strange thinking about running in this way as most the time, it’s always looking forward – to the next goal, next challenge, next PB but to look back and see where you’ve come from and what you’ve learnt along the way is extremely cathartic!
So here’s my mumblings about what I wish I knew before I started running:
1 – How ridiculously annoyingly addictive it would become!
No matter how quick you get, you always think – what about it I could do it a few seconds quicker and no matter how far you go, you always have a voice in your head egging you to go further (except to a marathon…that’s too much for me!!)
2 – Where running would take me
I never in a million years thought I’d become a run leader and inspire others to start running and its genuinely one of my favourite things – to create runners
3 – What running does for me
The mental “space” that running gives me is unparalleled in my life. I don’t think I could find anything which is a good for me as running is. Not only does it keep me fit – it keeps me sane. I know I say it a lot but running for me is more than exercise. I use it as a way to process things, deal with stuff that happens in my life and cope with stress. It’s a form of “me-time” which as a mum of 2 who runs her own business is pretty limited.
4 – What running can do for others
I’m still overwhelmed with the feedback I get from the runners I create. I never realised until I started this business how much running can help others – in the same way it helps me, and also in so many other ways. From the confidence it gives people to achieve something they didn’t believe they could do to the way exercise gives them the ability to deal with life events such as cancer, bereavement, child loss – too many to list. I’ve had people tell me they’ve come of anti-depressants, lost huge amounts of weight and even changed their lives from getting active and getting off the couch and start running – it’s totally inspiring.
5 – How frustrating it is getting injured
Getting injured sucks – not only does it hurt (obviously!!) it also means you cant run. I’m not very good when I’m not allowed to do what I want or am told what to do (shocking, I know!!) so when you’re injured and you’re told to rest up, it’s literally the most frustrating thing ever! You feel like you go backwards with your training and that you’ll never get back to where you were…but you do and you can. There’s also a lot to be said for finding a great physio to help your recovery and give you great advice of what you can and cant do – thanks Claire and Felicity!!
6 – That I would be able to do a half marathon
If you’d asked me a few years ago that I would be running my 3rd Half Marathon this year I’d have laughed at you. I ran, but I wasn’t running consistently. I’d maybe train for a 10k run and then stop for months and then train again and do the odd parkrun in between. It’s a long way from where I am now and I am so proud of myself for that. Half marathon is a huge distance – 13.1 long long miles and running for 2 hours is a massive test of endurance both physically and mentally. Anyone who even makes it to the start line deserves a huge pat on the back and then to finish is unreal! I’ve cried both times I’ve crossed the finish line – the crowd, the adrenaline, the achievement. Makes me so proud of myself, which probably for most of us, doesn’t happen often enough!
7 – (last but not least) How important Foam Rolling is
Like many of you, I’d never heard of Foam Rolling until Claire (physio) who was part of my 5-10k run club at the time mentioned it…and almost fell over shocked when I said I didn’t know about it! That’s where the Foam Rolling evenings started…anyway, I’ll stop rambling!
Foam Rolling is amazing – it has enabled me to run as many miles as I do every week with only the odd niggle in terms of injury. Stretching out and rolling on the roller not only aids in recovery so I can have fresh legs the day after, but it helps keep my injuries at bay. If you’re reading this thinking you’d like to find out more, please let me know as like I said earlier, we host regular Foam Rolling events to teach you about what it is, why do it, and most importantly – how to do it properly!
Right well that’s it – that’s my take on the subject of “what I wish I knew before I started running” and now I want to hear yours….
What do you wish you knew before or what have you learnt since you started?