I started running in my late teens, nearly 30 years ago. For most of those years, I just ran with no plans and no big goals. I ran the same amount at the same pace. I did a few 5Ks, 10Ks half marathons and one full one back in the days when there were no GPS watches and no one seemed to really know what a good time was. Not many people ran, so just running brought you kudos enough. But I didn’t even do it for kudos; I did it because I had fallen in love with it.
I started running because my Dad had a heart attack aged 40. He secretly started to run as part of his rehabilitation. One day he came back from what we thought was a walk with the dog and told us he’d ran 5 miles without stopping.
Running gave me back my Dad in so many ways.
So I ran with him. And I found that running gave me myself.
I didn’t share my runs on social media back then, there basically wasn’t any. All I knew was that a day with a run in it was a better day. That was addictive.
Cut forward to 2016, I joined a running club and for the first time in many years started to run with others (other than Dad of course). I had always considered myself a lone runner.
Around about this time 2 very pivotal things started to happen.
- I made loads of incredibly awesome friends.
- I got faster.
In April 2017 I moved to Ohio as part of my husband’s job. One of the first things I did on arrival was to “find the runners.” I found them. The above 2 things happened again.
I am now 47. In the past 18 months I have achieved PR(Bs) in all the main distances and my stats currently sit as follows:
5K: 22:02 (Basinstoke Parkrun, UK, 2017)
10K: 46:16 (Crossroads Church, Mason, Ohio, USA, 2017)
Half Marathon: 1:43:13 (Columbus, Ohio, USA, 2018)
Full Marathon: 3:58:16 (Columbus, Ohio, USA, 2017)
After Columbus, 2017 a few of my new American friends started to bandy around the phrase BQ, which I learned was Boston Qualify – to be granted permission to run America’s A race. This was kind of a big deal.
I looked this up and discovered BQ for me was (then) 3:55. (It’s now 3:50). And by golly that seemed like a really good thing to shoot for.
In 2018, I started training for the 20th Flying Pig but around about week 10 of my training plan I was struck with pretty bad tendon issues and had to pull out. I spent the rest of the year trying to combine the need to make this go away with the unrelenting desire to run as much as possible.
Now I’m ready for that redemption.
In 2019, I’m shooting for BQ. I’m aiming to fly beyond the clouds and hit the stars. If I shoot for those and don’t quite reach, well then, I’m still flying right?
In this blog, I’m inviting you to come fly with me.