If you have been following me a very long time you may remember that in 2014 (after having Lottie and before getting pregnant with Wren in 2016), I became obsessed with running. I am someone who isn’t a natural born exerciser, I would be the one forging my mum’s signature so I didn’t have to do PE a school, or signing up to swanky gym memberships at uni where I then went once for the induction and then never again.
But I was feeling sluggish and had put on a bit of weight since having Lottie so I decided to go to the gym with my sister. Being the cliches that we are joined the gym late December, and went to go for our first session on New Years Day (oh hey January fitness starters!), only to find the gym was shut because most normal fitness people are giving themselves a break. Because we had done the hardest part of actually getting motivated to get into our gym gear, we decided to go for a run. Anna hated every second of it, but I found I actually really liked running. Which believe me was a shock for us all!
And that was how it started. I became obsessed with running. I am naturally quite a competitive person so Jon bought me a running watch for my birthday in March 2014 and I loved trying to beat my times. I signed up to some races to keep me motivated, a 10k in the June, a half marathon in the July and a half marathon in the October (I also did my last one the following March too). While of course there were periods and weeks where I didn’t run and I lost motivation, for the most part it became a regular part of my life and I loved it all (except the actual running part!).
Somewhere along the way though I just lost it. I lost the love for it. I ended up losing too much weight, partly from this weird obsession I had with liking the control of counting calories, plus running and burning too many, and partly because I went through a period of having really bad tummy problems. It was the strangest thing and I still get it every now and again now, but I am talking very rarely. I would get cramps, an upset tummy and feel sick- it was like extreme IBS. I’ve included some photos so you can get an idea, looking back on these actually makes me feel so sad. That I thought that having legs that thin was a good thing. I never want to get like that again. I want to stress though that it was not running that made me lose weight like this. Of course running, or indeed any exercise, can make you lose weight. But I got like this from having tummy problems, exercising and having a very unhealthy obsession with watching what I ate and counting calories.
I never want to get like this again and it makes me so sad to look back on these photos. This is for another post, but I quickly wanted to say how much I love the body image positivity movement that seems to be happening on instagram at the moment. That is what I want for my children. Feeling, happy and healthy and content with their bodies, with a balanced diet and exercising to be healthy and feel good.
I then got pregnant with Wren and was far too busy with life with three children to think about exercise. But I deep down have always missed it, I have always missed that buzz of running. Of having something for me, of getting out there and clearing my mind, of having some me time, and of just enjoying the head space that running gave me. As exercise isn’t purely a physical thing, it’s definitely a mental thing too. I have tried a few times over the last couple of years to get into running again but something just hasn’t clicked for me, and I just haven’t enjoyed it like I once did.
Since January this year (hello cliche again!) I have been exercising more. Not to lose weight (although inevitably I have a little in the beginning). But to be healthy, to help my mind, and to feel good about myself. I am still eating what I want, but also trying to be healthy as well (I am an all or nothing person sometimes when it comes to exercise and healthy eating so I am trying to get the balance right). I have been doing a mixture of at home workouts, running or walking with friends, or the odd gym session (as we have a couple membership that Jon pretty much is the only one who uses it!)
A couple of weeks ago I decided to take the running up a notch and I am loving it. I am loving getting back into it and something feels different this time. I am loving every minute. I have never done couch to 5k but I have been doing my sort of version of it, and I am up to running a slow 5k without stopping (although occasionally I stop and walk if I am feeling tired). I am feeling good and more importantly it is doing wonders for my mind and well being.
I asked on instagram the other day whether people would like to hear more about my running journey this time, and I think something like 84% said they would. While I am not going to mention every run as that will soon get boring, I am going to document it on here, you tube and instagram (just like I did last time) as I know watching other people’s running really inspired my own.
So today’s post is just a little background into my running history, I’ve actually really enjoyed writing this blog post (I miss my blog!) like the good old days.
My goals for this month running wise are-
To try and run 5 miles (like I said I am up to a 5k which is about 3.13 miles I think?)
To try and run three times a week
And to try for a sub 30 minute 5k (fastest to date is 31.07) (I know some people aren’t interested in recording their times and it’s not about competing with anyone else, it’s mainly for me cause I enjoy this side of things)
PS Just in the interests of transparency, I took these photos (or rather Jon did!) last week for a campaign on instagram I was doing with Next and Adidas. I haven’t been paid to put them on my blog, but I just really liked the photos and thought they went perfectly!
Do you like running or are planning to get into it? Would love to know in the comments- we can all motivate each other!13