As part of my 40 for 40 list (and because it seemed like a good idea at the time) I added a challenge to run at least an half marathon before I turn 40. My epic brother did a marathon a few years back and in typical sibling fashion, anything he can do, I can do too (I would say better but let’s face it, that’s probably not going to happen!).
I’ve decided to build up to it. There’s a lot of areas round here where I live that do races, and with things like couch25k, parkrun and the like, I thought that’d be a good place to start.
Unfortunately, not so much. I found that the groups around here are held at inconvenient times for me and unfortunately, being the technophobe I am my phone will not run running coach Apps. With this in mind, I’ve started challenging myself to little challenges and walking more than I used to.
Thankfully Virtual racing is now quite popular and for me is ideal.
Virtual Racing is where you log your runs (via an app or in my case pedometer) and then once you have completed a certain distance, you can apply for a medal – or in my case, apply for a medal and then have to do a run to reward myself!!
I have started building up a good collection and the joy of it is that the race can be done at your own pace, in your own time so I feel that is much more “me”.
I started doing random little runs here and there but in January of this year signed up for the Northern Lights 50k in a month challenge which, despite the snow which dampened my spirits a bit, I smashed!
This has continued over the last few months and for once, I actually signed up for a 5k in the local festival of running. I had planned to do a fair bit of training but life got in the way so when it came time for the run, I was very nervous – and very unfit. We were not allowed to wear headphones so it was my first race without my beloved music alongside me. I was really lucky and met a lovely lady who let me run alongside her and we chatted. Turns out, I am incredibly unfit but I still managed to shave some time off my PB and to not die……which is most definitely a good thing ;). 43.22 which isn’t too awful, well for no practise.
A few years ago I got involved in a colour run (3k of running whilst people pelt you with powdered paint) and this year the same charity ran the event again so of course, I had to get involved. This run I met a lovely girl called Steph on the way to the run so was lovely to have someone as it were with me the whole way. If i’m not allowed music, then a person to talk with is essential.
I finished the race is just under 25 mins, which means that i’ve shaved nearly 15 minutes off the last run I did and if nothing else, I looked so amazing afterwards that i’ve given a fair few people a good laugh!
I’m really lucky as my dad took some pics of me at the prev race and having been dieting and trying to get fitter, this was an excellent opportunity to do a side by side comparison and I’m so pleased to say that this has really helped me, seeing the size of me then vs the size of me now. I know it’s not all about size but I feel much more confident now.
I’m really pleased that I’ve started this journey. I’m hoping that later this year I will do my first 10k run (I will most definitely need to train for that one) and then once I feel comfortable at that level, will be nice to challenge myself some more each week.
I’d looked into the local Marathons in the area and also (of course) London Marathon but to be honest, that one is so expensive that I am hoping to find something either really local to me for cheaper, or to do a marathon somewhere really random. The entry fee for the London race (incl min sponsorship needed etc) would cost me far more than entry, flights, accommodation & some food would in say, Paris and you know me, if i’ve got a choice of going anywhere, Paris would be the choice!
I’ve added some pics of my medals thus far. It’s a tiny collection really but each time I look at it, I feel happy. It’s an achievement and despite the fact that i’m not the best, I for once, feel good enough.
If you are interested in virtual racing (which can also be done on a treadmill or if you really fancy, you can bike or swim for them too) some of the sites I use are below. Feel free to have a browse. There’s so many medals I want, it’s just a case of planning time for the races 😀
The above are just 3 of the companies I use. Each charity offers challenges throughout the year and also are generally good with medals or the like haha, if you;re like me, you need something as a prize!
How’s about you? Are you a runner? If you wanted to pass on hints and tips, please do……I need all the help I can get!