I don't do things by halves...September 05, 2016
Unless I’m running a half marathon.
In which case, I do.
And I am.
I am running a half marathon.
“But Louise, haven’t you only just run your first 10k?”
Why yes, yes I have. I did my first 5k in April, my first 10k in July, and I will be doing my first 21k (aka HALF MARATHON LOL) in October. That’s… oh… next month.
Look, that's me after aforementioned 10k
I never understood the concept of being ‘addicted’ to running. I mean, before I started running I never understood the concept of running at all. But being addicted to it? How? No. Surely you have to drag yourself out for a run kicking and screaming, sob as you lug your body around the park, then mumble angrily to yourself all the way home and eat a packet of crisps before going back to bed. Running is a chore and not a hobby, right?
*flicks a flipbook of all my running selfies over the past year in your face*
Apparently you can get addicted to running. Don’t get me wrong, I repeatedly think, “Fuck this” when I’m in the middle of a run, but the excited feeling of preparing for a run and then the euphoria afterwards is now overwhelming - so much so that as soon as I crossed the finish line of the Vitality British 10k in London, I signed up to run the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon for Alzheimer’s Society.
On recommendation I’m following the 21k Runner app for my training. It’s hardcore (I ran for 93 minutes this morning. That's three episodes of EastEnders) but it’s encouraging, trustworthy, easy to follow and fit in with your day, and well laid out. There are awful, cheesy inspirational quotes over beautiful landscapes for each week too, which I bloody love, I cannot lie. YES, YES I DID JUST DO THAT RUN ALL BY MYSELF. LOOK AT ME GO. I’M GOOD.
GOD IT'S SO CHEESY I CAN SMELL BRIE
I can’t get enough of it, and running races for charities is awesome. I know I’m biased - I work in charity - but still. Fundraising is an extra challenge, and it’s really tough and stressful, but it’s an extra boost too, both before and after running.
September 2016 marks a year since I started running for my mental health. I started Couch to 5k, HATED IT, loved it, finished it, started parkrun, ran a 10k, and now here I am, sitting in bed after a 11.42k training run with sore feet and a bad back. I LOVE RUNNING. HOORAY. RUNNING.
My mental health now is a million times better than last September, and a large part of that I owe to reluctantly/curiously (delete as appropriate) downloading the Couch to 5k app and beginning to run at least three times a week. I don’t run now to improve my mental health, I run to sustain it. We’ve all got a mental health, and we should all acknowledge and work on it whether we struggle with a mental illness or not. We all have our routines to keep our physical bodies in check - showering, brushing our teeth, skin routines, drinking water, eating well, check ups with the optician, dentist, and doctor, so we should be doing that with our mental health too. Check in with your head every now and then. Take time for yourself…
GO FOR A RUN.
I’m slightly worried I’m turning into a ‘my way or no way’ vegan with running. I don’t mean to. Sorry. You do you with your self care and hobbies… but seriously running is awesome, so…
This is how fit you can look...