Running has been in my life for a little over a year now so I thought now was the perfect time tot to talk about my journey so far; what I have learned and what my goals for the next year are.
(Scott and I at my first 5K race: the Connswater 5K in August 2017)
I started running in the Summer of 2017 because it was something I had always wanted to get better at. I was already so focused on the gym but I wanted to progress my fitness further. It helped that my boyfriend loved running and he wanted a running partner that he could coach, so it was a win for both of us. I’m very lucky that my blog has grown into a haven of lifestyle, mental health and running so I have blogged about my various races, my longer distances and the lows that I first experienced, all which will be listed below.
Training for a 5K Race: An Introduction and My First Run.
Training for a 5K Race: Running and Negative Mental Health.
Training for a 5K Race: The Lone Run.
Training for a 5K Race: My First (Unofficial) Park Run.
Training for a 5K Race: Last Minute Training!
Training for a 5K Race: Race Day!
Training for a 5K Race: What happened after?
Training for a 10K Race: Yes, 10K!
Training for a 10K Race: Starting Out With Longer Distances.
Training for a 10K Race: Wait, again?
Becoming Comfortable With Calling Myself A Runner.
Training for a 10K Race: Three Loops and One Long Run.
Training for a 10K Race: One Last Check In.
Titanic Quarter 10K (2018) Race Day!
Lisburn 10K and Half Marathon (2018)
Not Eating Enough Before A Race.
I have a much healthier relationship with running than when I first started out which is fantastic but there were a few weeks where I wanted to quit because I wasn’t sure if I could handle being anxious on something that was becoming a hobby. Thankfully that calmed down a lot over the year and I’ve continued running for the majority of time. During the colder winter months, it was definitely hard to go out for a run and especially after work when all you want to do is have your dinner and go to bed. I managed to pick up a good running routine during the Spring and Summer months of this year however.
(Who doesn’t love a good running shot?)
While only taking part in seven races over the year, four being 5K’s and three being 10K’s, the majority have been enjoyable experiences and I’m glad to say that I am less anxious in crowds now and I don’t tend to compare myself to other runners as much as I used to.
In terms of timings, I have progressed majorly which I’m so proud of. I have brought my 5K personal best time down from 44:48 to 30:02, an incredible 14 minutes difference and my 10K personal best time down from 01:12:00 to 01:04:18, another amazing achievement for me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not hitting those times every time but right now, I’m not concentrating on time surprisingly. I’m still tracking every run and I do look at the time and while it might be slower than I’m used to, I’m trying to use every opportunity as training and getting back into a routine rather than trying to hit a personal best every time. I would exhaust myself sometimes on a run and I would finish it to see that my time had been slower than before, it was really taking the fun out of it. That’s why I’ve taken a step back from looking at the time so much but it’s still important, just not as important.
(The Lisburn Half Marathon and 10K where I got my new 10K personal best.)
I don’t like planning too far ahead for my running goals mainly because I like to see where my running will take me but I know it’s important to keep striving for something. I would like to start training for a half marathon; I’m not sure when exactly I’ll take part in my first one but I know I would love to take part in next year’s Belfast City Half Marathon which is next September. Yes, I’ve given myself an entire year to prepare for that one, but it’s more achievable that way. I believe I am physically able to take on the challenge but mentally is another story when it comes to running, so that’s what I need to work on. I have one more 10K race coming up soon which I’m preparing for but once that is done and dusted, I’m planning on going further in my distance training. The furthest I have ran is 14K and I completed that in just over an hour and a half so I know I can run further, I need to put it into action now.
I would like to get my 5K time down to 28 minutes or as close as I can. Considering I knocked 14 minutes off my time over this first year, you would think that would be easy as pie but it’ll be a lot harder than you think. I do push myself a considerable amount on those personal bests but Scott has suggested I start doing sprint sessions to help me with my speed and stamina. I have to say I’m clueless when it comes to this so once we get the upcoming 10K over us, I’ll be getting him on board to help me with this.
I’m really excited for what the next year of running will bring and I can’t wait to share it both on the blog and through my Instagram too. Thank you so much for reading today’s post and if you have any running blog posts, please send them through to me because they are some of my favourite posts to read.