Keep on running!
Tomorrow will be my 86th race since I started running nearly five years ago.
I may only have averaged 7 miles a week since completing the Manchester marathon in April, which isn’t the best training plan, I am definitely looking forward to taking part in my 20th half marathon (13.1 miles), no matter how hard I will find it.
20 half marathons is the equivalent distance from Pontefract to part way across the English Channel! Some races I have felt like I was drowning or at least treading water while running, it’s not been easy!
December will be my fifth anniversary of running, and in that time, apart from having ran just under 4000 miles, I’ve completed 3 full marathons, 19 (soon to be 20) half marathons including events in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, a triathlon, a duathlon, and many more 10k and other distance races.
Sometimes I run for a time, others I have ran to help others get a time. Sometimes I just run because I enjoy it, others to see places and to experience somewhere new.
Most of all, I’ve ran to try and enjoy the experience. I came up with the phrase ‘smiles through the miles’ which has helped others look at having a positive mindset as well as their achieving the physical challenge. I took my first ‘mid-race selfie’ at the Bath Half in March 2013 which some others now emulate in their own events. I have helped support others at many more races and have clapped and cheered countless friends and acquaintances over those years. All great memories!
Why do I enjoy running?
What is it about running that I like? Sometimes, I don’t know! But there are other times where I realise that it is the only activity that you can do where it hits so many buttons – socially, physically, emotionally, and it brings on a feeling how it connects you with everyone else in a race or a run. Others may be going faster, invariably there will be! 😉 Others may be going slower, occasionally there are some! But what unites everyone at that moment in time is they are all trying, they are all putting effort in together. For the duration of that course, so many people are going through so many emotions and feelings. Some hate it, some love it, some just want it to end! Some lap up the attention, some can’t think while they run, some think too much! But they are all together as one when they run.
I know that when I take my place on the start line at Pontefract on Sunday, I will be thankful of everyone who has been with me on this journey, thankful for the opportunity and good fortune to have my health and fitness to be able to do this, and for the love and support of those who have helped me each and every step of the way.
Here’s to more ‘smiles through the miles’ during half marathon number 20 and race number 86. Pontefract Half – Bring it on!