I got fed up with the gym in the summer this year. I almost passed out too many times doing Les Mills BodyPump to enjoy it any longer. I did try Body Combat a couple of times but ugh, it’s rotten. I needed to be outside with the wind in my hair! Some nerdy friends recommended Zombies Run! – a running game with achievements and an easy 8-week progression from couch to 5k. Other apps are available but being a gaming geek I couldn’t resist. My goal was to do some charity run next year, though I’m not sure which one.

In July, I started running. My first 35-minute run/walk was 2.5km or so and I hurt for days afterwards but the sense of achievement was amazing. Ooooh those endorphins! So 2 or 3 times a week, I’d do my Zombies Run! 5k training¬†and I kept it up for 7 weeks. Then the last weeks activities, culminating in running 5km, daunted me, suddenly. As an excuse, I told myself that I shouldn’t run on a pair of knees I’d smashed into a log rather hard when I tripped over in a forest while geocaching. And that lasted until October, by which time the guilt was killing me. I’d spent ¬£100 on some really good Asics running shoes for overpronaters (that’s me apparently) and just wasn’t using them. Hmm.

So in October, I applied to Parkrun. I got myself registered and turned up for my first go around Northampton Race Course. I was chuffed to see another large lady there and we kind of ran and walked together that first time. What really got me hooked was the encouragement from everyone who zipped past us doing their 25 minutes jogs while I heaved my arse around, wheezing, sweating and groaning almost all the way. Parkrun has many volunteers each week, not only marshals who clap and urge you on as you pass, no matter how slowly, but they have a tail runner. This person is a life-saver for people like me who are always last. Peter was the tail runner for my first time and it was his pushing and smiling and encouragement that kept me going to the end, and made me come back each weekend after that. My first time was 53:45, dead last in a field of 250 or so. My time last weekend was 49:25, dead last again but so very happy! I used my 4th Parkrun to do the Zombies Run! 5km activity and so that app is now complete and I can get into the game proper.

Onwards and upwards. I’m never going to be a 30 minute runner of 5km but it sets me up for feeling really good about myself all weekend and really, that’s what it’s all about.

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