So I’ve done my last bit of training before this weekend’s Great Manchester Run. Just a sedate few kilometres to keep the engine ticking over. I did my last faster paced run at the weekend – I’m not going to improve any more now. I’m ready.
Two years ago I got on a treadmill for the first time and nearly passed out jogging for ten minutes. Since then I’ve lost three stones of baby weight, completed 10k at last year’s Manchester Run, and have improved my best average kilometre time by nearly a minute. This year I am participating in the Manchester 10k, the Great North 10k in Gateshead on June 23rd and my biggest challenge so far, the Great North Run. I certainly didn’t foresee this ever happening when I stopped the treadmill after that first run and leaned on the side, wheezing and sweating from the effort, wondering how anyone could ever say they enjoy running.
Of course, there’s still a good bit of sweating now, but a lot less wheezing and I now feel able to call myself a ‘runner’. Not the fastest, or the strongest, but I try my absolute best and I am proud of what I have achieved. I prove the cliché that if I can do it, anybody can. I’m not yet sure if I can in fact do a half marathon but we’re all going to find out.
I will be sharing my training progress with The Running Stories, from my first race of the year in Manchester on Sunday, to D-Day on September 15th when I join the throngs on Newcastle’s Central Motorway to cross the Great North Run start line. I have a wonderful husband who will be running it with me to help raise funds for Tommy’s, the baby charity – but he has done it before so knows what to expect! If anyone is undertaking a similar challenge or is thinking of just having a go, I hope I can provide a bit of inspiration and/or entertainment if nothing else. Wish me luck!