Running, the path to good health
I first ran a road race in 1987. It was the Resolution Run in Denver, Colorado, and we started at 11pm on New Year’s eve, running 5K through Washington Park in the snow. I had quit smoking Malboro Reds one week before, and although I finished the run, I just about crawled to the end and it took over an hour.
Yesterday, I went for my normal run, which I do three times a week with the dog. I completed 13.5km in 1 hour 30 minutes. As I was sprinting to the end, I was recalling that first run in Denver, and how my relationship with running has endured many different phases, and yet in my early 40s I am now fitter than I have ever been.
I met my husband (on an internet dating site) married, and started a family in my late thirties. Before this I was mostly a single chick, working hard, travelling, studying, partying but running always played a part, somehow. I am currently a full time mother, and have very little time to myself, but choose to use that time to do the thing that makes me feel great, to achieve my next running target. It is ironic that all the effort put in to a university education, professional qualifications, career and financial status can all become irrelevant so easily, but your health and fitness continue to be more important than anything.
Joining a Running Club
Tomorrow night I am joining a running club. After 23 years, I finally feel confident enough to run with proper runners who meet regularly and run in public! I will probably meet a lot of people JUST LIKE ME! And how great is that? We are actually orienteering around a forest, which I’m really looking forward to, as I like working out maps, and I know the forest we are going to. I would never have chosen to go orienteering unless I had met someone who is a member of the club, who encouraged me to join. It has over 200 members, all local, and all from different walks of life – all with at least one thing in common.
Go on, give it a go!
There is a lot in the news these days about obesity, fad diets, weight watching, slimming clubs, and the need to exercise, join a gym. Can I just tell you that if you can make the time to include exercise or any sport in your life, it will pay huge dividends as you get older. The fitness, self-esteem, sense of competition and success are all great benefits, not to mention the social aspects that participating in a sport provides. Running for charity with thousands of others is an exhilarating experience as well being a great way to put something back.
I feel really proud these days when I tell people I am a runner – it has taken many years of walk/run/walk but has more than repaid itself for the fun I am now having.
For more information about running clubs near you:
http://www.runnersweb.co.uk/ for information about UK running clubs, running for charity, marathons,
http://www.runtrackdir.com/ukclubs/ for an alphabetical list of running clubs by town.