I have never enjoyed running. I once saw a woman running in the rain and I nearly pulled over to ask her if she was okay. I only know I can run from GCSE PE lessons and that time I ran for the bus (I made it, don’t worry).
Just after Christmas, I did something crazy. I signed up for the 10K Great Run in Manchester. I knew my brother was considering taking part and so I asked him if he would run with me, knowing that if I did horrendously at least he would be able to witness it and make fun of me for the rest of my life. Then at least I’d get a story out of it.
But then something happened.
I started to enjoy…running. (insert dramatic gasp)
Not only did it help with my depression, but it also allowed to get outside, have some fresh air, listen to Whitney Houston, all whilst running around in public in pink lycra. And I did not give a shit about anyone who saw me. It was magical.
A fantastic picture of me celebrating with my medal and looking extremely pink.
It wasn’t until the day of the 10K event that I realised I perhaps hadn’t trained as well as I could have. I woke up on a sunny Sunday morning and the daunting feeling that I’d have to wear a sports bra all day hit me like a rock. (Sundays are usually classic no-bra days and back-to-back episodes of trash TV). But with the support of my family and friends coming along to see my brother and I run, I managed to get to the starting line with my heart in my mouth.
“Well. Least you can have a f**k load of food after this.” I thought as I heard the starting gun. (Which was shot by Mo Farah by the way… #claimtofame) I was definitely surprised with how I well managed the first 5K. I was dying on the inside because of the heat and the fact I needed another wee because of the 1,000 gallons of water I had consumed before the race. Finally, at 28 minutes in, we arrived at the water bottle stop and I began to consume my weight in water.
BIG MISTAKE. I’m not a pro at running so I didn’t know it was best to take sips rather than gulp down two bottles as quick as possible. This slowed me down a lot, and made me feel sick and bloated so the next 3K was a mix of running and heavy-breathing walking. My brother was awesome though, and didn’t say a thing when I kept saying “I’ll just keep walking until the next corner” which then turned into another 1K.
It wasn’t until I saw a lady standing on the sidelines. I remember she had blonde short hair and a nice smile. She looked right at me, as if she knew me, and shouted “You can do this! Keep going!” I then found my last bit of energy and ran towards the finishing line.
1 hour and 12 minutes. (I beat my brother by a second because I thought it would be funny to use that tiny last bit of energy to just shoot off over the finishing line).
My big brother and I holding hands as we crossed the finish line. I started crying after this picture and my brother was so lovely and explained he got emotional at his first race too.
I was absolutely exhausted, but I had done it. I can’t describe the feeling I had when I held up my medal and realised I had ran a 10K. But I knew I wanted that feeling again.
Together with friends and family I raised £260.00 for Manchester Mind.
I’ve signed up to complete the 10K Race for Life to raise money for Cancer Research in Manchester tomorrow morning. If you’d like to donate you can do so via my fundraising page or come along and support! I’ll be the girl wearing pink….. oh wait.
Allow yourself to try new things that you wouldn’t have considered 10 years ago. Sometimes you may find you’ll enjoy it and other times you’ll remember why you hated it. What’s the harm?