Picture the scene

It was a typical British October night. Wet, windy, dark and utterly rubbish. Not that I was particularly bothered as I was quite happy snuggled up in pyjamas with a large glass of red wine, a superb cheese board and several episodes of ‘True Blood to watch. My phone buzzed and I had a text from a dear friend asking if I wanted to go for a run the next morning at 5:30am. My gut reaction was to laugh out loud and immediately replied ‘Good God no! What a truly awful idea!’. You see, I didn’t run – not even a slow jog to catch a train and the thought of going out voluntarily in the pitch black when it was most likely to still be raining was downright hilarious and never going to happen!

The first run

However, my friend proved incredibly persistent and persuasive and not above the use of some appalling emotional blackmail (“Please! Since the kids my self confidence is rock bottom and I need something for me! I know you know how I feel but I won’t stick to this on my own and I just know you won’t let me down” What could I say to that?!). So, to my horror I was up and out at 5:30am in the pitch black and the pouring rain (I knew it!) ready to attempt a run. It was AWFUL! Truly horrendous! I can’t over exaggerate enough how much I hated it! I was cold, wet through, my chest was on fire, I could hardly breathe and I wasn’t sure that my face which clearly resembled a squashed tomato would ever recover. It had taken us over 45 minutes to run less than 3km.

Seeing improvements

Two days later we were out again and you know what? I still hated it! Don’t get me wrong I’ve always been into fitness and up to this point had considered myself relatively fit but running? No, no, no! and this was not changing my mind. It is testament to our friendship that I kept going. Three months later and with not a small amount of fear we both rocked up to our first Parkrun. 5km was the furthest we had ever run. It wasn’t pretty and it certainly wasn’t fast but we did it. The next week I turned up again and did it on my own – no emotional blackmail required. That was four years ago this October. I now LOVE running and in 1 week I will be doing my third Ultra Marathon where I’m hoping to run for 24hrs without stopping.

Keep on going, reep the rewards

Now don’t get me wrong I also think that this is a ridiculous verging on stupid idea but now I’m chomping at the bit to get to that start line, rain or shine. I’ve never been fitter, physically or mentally and I have a wide network of truly good friends, all through running.

It doesn’t matter what gets you started, what motivation pushes you into taking that first step, the important thing is to do it, to get out there – I guarantee you’ll surprise yourself, you’ll feel better and you may even find yourself having fun along the way.