My Not So Secret Diary

Bitten by the Running Bug! (again!)

Bitten By the Running Bug (Again)
After run yoga!

It’s funny, recently I have really struggled to be motivated to run, even though I know how much I enjoy it once I am out. First I think the weather got hotter and that made it harder. Then we were on holiday, and that was an excuse (I did run 2 miles while we were away but it was ridiculously hot!) Then I just found other reasons to make it hard work and less fun. It became a chore to go out, something I had to do, and I almost ruined it for myself.

When I first started running I noticed improvements straight away, I could run further, faster, I toned up, even if the scales didn’t change. After a while it was less noticeable and that made it harder to get the same buzz from it. When I get out of the habit of doing something I find it really difficult to motivate myself to get going again. Those little doubts starting to creep in again, making me think I couldn’t do it and that I was silly for even thinking I could.

Next Sunday I am running a half marathon, so between doubts I have been trying to train for it. In preparation, I signed up for Plymouth 10k as I enjoyed last years event and ended up booking the 5k just after as support for my daughter. Right up until the moment before I was full of doubt, luckily I ended up chatting to another Lonely Goat from my running club on the start line, which helped keep me calm. Once the starting gun went off I just started running and before I knew it I was on my way.

When I finished I was so happy with myself, the year before I had run/walked the 5k in the same place. This year I ran every step of the 10k and that was a massive improvement for me. It really reinforced that I actually could do it, no matter what my mind told me.

Ten minutes later we went off on the 5k. I ran with my daughter, totally at her pace, and it was so much fun! We chatted all the way round. I knew what to expect so could forewarn her of hills and encourage her. It was brilliant. Especially when another runner ran into the bus lane (closed roads) and shouted very loudly, “I’m a bus!”

The thing is, it inspired me again. It showed me what I can do when I stop worrying, or overthinking. I actually feel excited to go out and run again! It gave me back that running bug, although I am sure when it is time for me to go out later, that little nagging doubt will also crawl back in. Hopefully I’ll be able to quieten it down this time!

As always, thanks for reading. It means a lot to me!


The Ballot

The Ballot
Me and Katie half way through her first road race.

Like many others when I first started running I thought getting to 5k would be a huge achievement and it was. Like many people, I thought it would be enough to go from a non-runner to one that could do 5k without walking. It was for a time, and then I decided to tackle a 10k. Then a half. I never wanted to run a half marathon, or so I thought. They were for serious runners, but the idea took hold and I just wanted to see if I could. It gave me something to focus my training on, an end goal to work towards. Once I’d done it I was amazed that I could do something like that. Me, a runner for only a year could run 13.1 miles. That was pretty cool and it was enough. But then a few weeks later I watched the London Marathon on TV. It was inspiring, the runners at the front moving like machines, covering double the distance in less time than I had run my half. I was watching as Hayley Carruthers fell at the end, and willed her to make it over the line. A professional runner, but one who still worked and had a life outside of training, she made me wonder if I could do it.

That feeling didn’t go away and as soon as it opened I entered the ballot. I didn’t even wait to get home, I was out in a carpark waiting to pick my son up from the end of a Duke of Edinburgh expedition on a cold and rainy Sunday afternoon. I just knew I had to get my name down. I didn’t realise I’d have to wait over five months to know if I was successful.

I’ve been waiting patiently to find out the ballot results as I know so many other people have, but it has made me question why exactly the ballot is done in this way. I know it is a successful event and so many people want to run it, but why not make it a little more available to the average runners out there too? If I don’t get a place, I can run for a charity, but because they have to pay so much for their places they want thousands of pounds raised in return. I understand that they need to maximise their return, but when these charities are chosen from a list and not one close to my heart, it doesn’t seem genuine, it seems like a means to an end. Putting so much effort into fundraising would take time too, and like many, I find it hard to fit training around life, work and family, so to put more demands on my time would be difficult, as would the stress of having to reach a target or lose my place. I don’t think that would help my anxiety at all.

It seems that a fairer option would be to have so many places open on a first come first served basis, and after that maybe open the ballot? At least then the early birds would get a chance. Even if the tickets cost more, I’ve heard of other marathons that actually give people a place when they have been unsuccessful on so many previous occasions. This seems like a fairer option. I know many people would like to run on several occasions, but for many, once would be enough.

So it brings me to the question, do I actually want to support this ballot, which I think is actually quite unfair, or do I want to find a marathon that I can just buy a place for and run, and enjoy the experience. What do you think?

Today the results begin to go out. Some already know if they are in or not. I don’t. As soon as I find out, I’ll let you know. Happy running!

Thanks for reading! Xxx