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A challenge that became a triumph!

I’m not sure about you but I was always the one that was last to be picked for sports teams at school, not because I didn’t have any friends, just because I thought I was useless at sport !! apart from horse riding, but that wasn’t on the curriculum, obviously!! So, I’ve always maintained I couldn’t run, not even for a bus !! every time I tried it I got a stitch or was out of breath in 2 mins and in pain, so I really couldn’t see the attraction. I love walking, but running was defiantly a step to far!

Over the years, I’ve tried to do other sorts of sports like throwing myself out of an aeroplane for charity or canoeing down the Ardeche river, but running always seemed to be for those elite few and I’m defiantly not the gym type, I like being out in the fresh air when I exercise.

Then 2 years ago I had a that panic that a lot of us experience when you’re hurtling towards the big 50 and those extra pounds seemed to be a bit harder to shift these days, so while listening to my favourite Radio 2 breakfast show, a lovely lady rang in to speak to the presenter Sarah Cox and said she had just been out for her “couch to 5 run “.

This intrigued me, so I immediately googled “couch to 5 “to see what it was all about. It claimed that it would have me running 5k in just 9 weeks with my own personal coach, it lets you could choose a coach from a selection of 5, I chose the lovely Jo Wiley. So, there I was, coach chosen, app downloaded to my phone and only the voice in my head saying “who are you kidding, you can’t run”!!!

I pulled on my cycling trousers (next best thing to running pants !!) & trainers and with phone in hand set out on my first session. Don’t get me wrong I had many ‘I can’t do this’ moments, but after the first few gruelling weeks of running/walking, I really enjoyed the challenge. It was brilliant, the next few weeks were a combination of running for 3 mins then walking for 2 etc., you only had to complete 3 sessions a week and they were all recorded on my phone, easy peasy!!

Fast forward to now and I can now say “I’m a runner”, no stitches and complete control of my breathing. Getting your breathing right is a challenge at first and to help with mine I also downloaded another app, it seems we have apps for everything these days !!, It was a 5-min yoga app, which focused on yoga stretches and breathing, a great way to learn how to control your breathing and warm up before running and can be practiced anywhere.!!

I’ve found running is a great way to get fit and clear the mind of all those daily life hassles & struggles, and if you can find a friend to run with you, you can have a good gossip on the way round too!! And don’t forget its completely free, no monthly gym subscriptions!!

I’m now doing 5k Park runs completed 2 10k’s and wait for it……. Now attempting the

Great North Run on the 8th September for the NSPCC………. what a transformation!

Like all challenges, I broke it down into small steps and engaged some help with the apps I used. Weekly goals were set for me and this boosted my confidence and gave me focus.

Whenever I set myself a personal challenge I always like to hold myself to account, so committing to raise money for charity makes me accountable for my commitment to the challenge and knowing that all my hard work will support others in some way is defiantly motivation enough!!

So, if you’re still deliberating whether to take up your own challenge, whatever that may be why not think about doing it for others. It will defiantly give you the feel-good factor and when times get tough will give you the motivation you need to continue.

So, go on give it a go, you will surprise yourself!!

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