Get Running: How are you getting on?
When it comes to motivation, there’s nothing like knowing there are others going through the same experience. Which is why this week we asked Get Running participants to share their progress. Here’s a flavour of what we got back:
Four months ago I gave birth to a baby boy. Six weeks ago I read in The Irish Times Health + Family supplement about the Get Running programme. A few days later, I signed up, what harm can signing up do?
Day one of week one I really struggle to make it to the end of each of those one-minute intervals. And now on day one of week five – woohoo! I’ve graduated from shuffling to a slow run. The running bug is nibbling at my heels, in fact I think it may have given me a full-on bite.
On a freezing cold day at the beginning of February in hat, gloves and waterproof jacket, I was eager for the five minutes warm-up walk to be over so I could begin to run. On a quiet back road along the side of Croagh Patrick I ran uphill for the first 11 minutes, with the wind to my back. The return 11 minutes was mostly descent but with the wind blowing hail in my face. On another day I might have said the wind was against me, but not in this invigorated state of mind, it was simply blowing mouthfuls of frozen refreshments my way. I can hardly believe the turnaround. I am still no athlete, but I am outside, exercising free in the fresh air, feeling energised, and physically and mentally positive. I am enjoying myself.
During one homework session in week four, I realised I was running. I wasn’t shuffling, counting minutes, cursing the weather or checking which part of my body was complaining, but running. My head was up, my body was relaxed, I was facing forward and I was, yes, running.My no longer young body was merging with heart and mind and striding forward in a primitive surge of joy and purpose.
This euphoric state was not easily reached. Some less than charitable thoughts were sent to the comedian who decided it would be a good idea to start a running programme in the middle of the newly acquired Irish hurricane season. For a few painful days, I ran simply because the dog insisted, barking at my newly acquired runners. He had an uncanny knack of knowing the scheduled days or maybe he could smell my fear. I tried to remember the names of the Bay City Rollers or say the alphabet backwards. Anything to get to the end of those minutes.
But here I am. Week five completed, first 15-minute run achieved, new runners growing into themselves, dog looking decidedly shapely and pure joy in my, hopefully, stronger heart.
I never thought of myself as a runner or even as sporty. Any attempts to get fit in the past 10 years have failed miserably. I would take to the roads and run like crazy for 20 minutes and come back, collapse onto the floor in a heaving, sweaty mess cursing and telling myself how much I hate running.
Since starting The Irish Times Get Running course (which I joined on a New Year’s whim) I have run through rain, wind and even snow. I have run for longer than I ever thought I could. I’ve even stopped counting the minutes. I put on my music and I just keep going. I have this dream of doing the Women’s Mini Marathon in June and although I find it hard to believe this is possible, I somehow know I’m going to do it. I think I’ve got the bug.