Am I a runner yet?

I’m not sure if I can officially be termed as a “runner” yet.  I’ve certainly been running, but in my head I think that to actually call myself a runner then I should actually be enjoying it. I finally got round to quitting the gym earlier this year when my membership came up for renewal.  I hadn’t been going for ages and it wasn’t working out to be cost effective.  Going before work meant being there at 6am and I couldn’t go after work because I got back too late, then I wasn’t feeling it on the weekends either, so I did the grown-up thing and stopped paying them £50 a month.

In June I decided that I needed to start working on my fitness a bit more, with the mix of working from home and staying away without any exercise my weight had started to creep up and I just felt like I should make the effort to do something cardio related, not only to improve my health but to start building up my fitness for when I could fit some more snowboarding in.

I’d started the couch to 5km programme back in 2009 but for whatever reason (too much work combined with too much laziness is the most likely reason) I’d quit it at week 2.  Since I didn’t have the gym to rely on I decided to get back on the running and so dropped into the couch to 5k programme at week 2 (alternating 90 seconds of running with 2 minutes of walking).  That was at the start of June and I have now finished the programme, having run 5km in 34 minutes 20 seconds last week.  I’m really glad I stuck with the programme, it’s not easy but it really works.  I’ve gone from struggling to run 90 seconds to being able to run for 30 minutes without stopping.

I still don’t enjoy it though, whether it’s because I’m running round a residential area or the fact that I have to juggle my route to try and avoid having to run up a hill at the end of my run so I get the distance I need without killing myself, I’m not sure. I’m going to keep at it though. Now I’ve proven I can manage to run for 30 minutes I’m going to start mixing my runs up a bit doing some long (for me!) runs at a slower steady pace and some shorter but faster paced runs so that I can finish a 5km run in 30 minutes.  At least I feel like my fitness is improving and I feel a bit healthier too.  I’ve also started using some of the apps on my iPhone to do some similar programmes to build up my body strength.  Having downloaded the 100pushups and 200situp apps last year but never used them I decided to give them a go.  I’ve also downloaded the 200squats & 20chinups apps as well.  Each session the number of reps you do increases, slowly pushing your limits and making you work harder.  Hopefully I’ll stick to it as it does feel as though my strength is starting to build (even if I am having to do the chinups with one foot on a chair to allow me to do them).

I’m logging all of my runs and the number of reps completed using the apps on Dailymile, so you can always follow my progress on there (or via the widget on this blog).  It’s been great posting my progress on there and on Facebook, my friends have been able to encourage me to do more (or nagged me when I’ve quit early), and I think this support/bulliny has really helped keep me going.  It’s made me more accountable and I think that can only be a good thing.

So here’s to more exercise, and maybe even to me starting to enjoy running!

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