Our Social Media and Marketing Co-ordinator, Helen, took up running in October 2018. She’s written a starting blog for us here, let’s catch up with how she’s doing!
The last time I left you with a running update, I was just about to start running home from work at the FINDRA Stockbridge shop. It started off really well – I was convincing myself it would just happen and somehow, on most days, it did. It wasn’t a pretty sight to behold, and often it felt so uncomfortable to be jogging but I would walk/jog my way home covering 6km and only once did I jump on a bus because I was too hungry to get all the way home. Instead of being disappointed in myself, I learnt a lesson in nutrition.
I’m quite goal orientated so seeing my time improve and running for a bit longer each time (please don’t think that I was able to run the whole 6km at any point) made me keen to run again the next time. It took five or six runs for the actual act of running to not feel like a completely alien way of moving my body and it wasn’t long before I ran for 3km without stopping for the very first time. I got home full of adrenaline, punching the air with joy absolutely gob-smacked at such an achievement. Unfortunately, my husband wasn’t home yet so I couldn’t celebrate with anyone and my cat was giving me the weird side eye so I was content with jumping around the house before remembering to stretch properly.
A great motivator, which I’d recommend if you’re trying to celebrate those little achievements each time, is to buy a little whiteboard and make a list of achievements you want to measure, e.g. best 1 mile, 1km, 5km, 10km etc. Terrible running cartoon optional!
As the festive period kicked in, the streets of Edinburgh became jam packed with tourists and shoppers it became much more difficult to run home over Edinburgh’s North Bridge and across the Royal Mile. I was too nervous to run through Holyrood Park in the dark, so I put my running commute on hold. To make up for these lost hours of pain and euphoria I started running on the weekend. Somehow… SOMEHOW … one week later I hobbled my way around a 10km circumnavigation of Arthur’s Seat. It took me by surprise just as much as it might now be surprising you. My husband and I just went for a jog and just kept going! By the time we were nearing home my watch was saying 8.5km and being the pedantic pain enthusiast I am, I just had to get that to a nice round 10km whilst saying “I don’t know how I’m still going”. I’m such a pedant about getting round numbers that when I finished my solo Lands End to John O’Groats cycle in 2015, I was at 999.69 miles when I reached the John O’Groats sign and did a few laps of the car park just to get it to 1000 miles.
At Christmas, I signed up for the Loch Katrine marathon happening on 24thMarch 2019. Perhaps this is overly ambitious, but I am a goal setter and I push myself best when I’m working towards something. Having come back from cycling around the world in August of 2018, I’ve been struggling to come up with my next challenge which doesn’t involve a lot of financial investment. I did invest in a good pair of running shoes, I already had a water bladder for the longer runs, and I have running kit. Now I’ve just got to push myself through these pain barriers of each run, but I can’t find better reasoning than the old adage of ‘no pain no gain’.
Now with marathon training I need to be running certain distances at certain paces so running home from work is still on hold, but I’ve got to be grateful for pushing myself at the beginning to get myself running or this would never have happened. For it to have become part of my routine took the effort out of it; it was just how I got home. Starting really was the hardest part and once you’re past the stage of getting used to this new activity, there’s a moment where it all just clicks and you’re flying and you never know what new and exciting goals you may be setting yourself.