Running (from my responsibilities)

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I hope you enjoyed the pic of a very red egg. I mentioned in my last post that this year I will be running the Edinburgh half marathon in memory of my grandpa and to raise money for Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis but, I always find myself wondering what made me do this in the first place? I have never been a runner by any means and I’m certainly not a generally ‘active’ person at least not as active as I used to be. I wanted to change that and start losing some weight because I think I allowed depression and anxiety to become an excuse for overeating. Everyone constantly tells you that “exercise is the best thing for your mental health” and though in scientific terms, this is to some extent true, I’m here to say that honestly, exercise isn’t always the answer for everyone. We all have different ways of coping with situations and we can’t keep telling people that the reason for their mental health issues is because they don’t exercise enough. However, I do believe that once you get to a point where you feel that you can get yourself up and go for a run or go to the park for an afternoon stroll, you will feel the benefits – I just don’t want people to feel pressure to do this if they don’t feel it is the best thing for them.

This year, I finally feel ready to get back into exercising properly and I decided that since my boyfriend and his friends are all going to be running the half marathon, I may as well sign up too and give me an incentive to get to the gym or out for a run. I have never run for pleasure. I used to torture myself if I ever went for a run. I had no motivation, no goal and I quite simply hated it. I found it boring, and couldn’t understand why anyone would put themselves through it. But, as always, I wanted to prove myself wrong. To get ready for the half marathon, I did some reading to find the best beginners running guides and to understand whether or not it was actually possible to go from 0 miles to 13.1 miles in the space of a few months. As it turns out, most people train for about 12-14 weeks for a half marathon (starting at about 2 miles in the first week). I originally panicked and thought there was no way that I could do that because I couldn’t even run half a mile without crying or having to stop. But I checked my calendar and worked out that I had 19 full weeks to get to 13.1 miles.

And in the first week, I exceeded my expectations. I managed to reach 2.5 miles without stopping! I have to run the half marathon in under 3 hours 15 minutes and my goal is to do it in 2 hours 15. However, at the minute I am averaging a 14 minute mile which isn’t quite where I’d like to be. This week, I will be focussing on reducing my pace to hopefully a 12 minute mile before I start working up to the big 13 again.

I am so surprised at what my body can endure and I never thought I would be able to do something like this, but each day that I get even just 0.1 of a mile further, I feel such immense pride and confidence in my mind and body. Believe it or not, I have found myself enjoying running and using it as a way to escape from the current stresses of university life.

I’d like to keep you all updated on my half marathon journey so, from now on, I will be posting regular(ish) updates on my instagram since I don’t have any travels planned at the minute.

Laura.

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