A new goal

One of the positives of my change in career is that I will now have more time to exercise. Previously, exercise has been a really big part of my life and six or seven years ago I did my first Race for Life which is a 5km run to raise money for breast cancer. I always played netball and hockey etc at school and love aerobics classes, but running for running’s sake? That was never me! Having never been able to run any kind of distance before, I literally started from scratch. I downloaded the training plan and started alternating running two minutes/walking two minutes on the treadmill at the gym and built up my distances from there. To be honest, I even found that hard.

Over time though, I achieved the 5km and did a few more, and even built up to taking part in a 10km run in 2009 which was a real stretch for me, but I did it and raised £300 for Cancer Research UK. I discovered I much preferred running outside to pounding away on the treadmill. I loved seeing the change in seasons and took my dog along too (multi-tasking!) even stumbling across the odd bit of wildlife along the way – squirrels and bunnies were common sightings, with the occasional fox, badger and deer getting into my path too. I also found running different routes and keeping the time of day varied kept me interested and motivated too. There were times at 6am when frankly I just did not want to put my trainers on and venture out doors, but every time I completed even a short distance I felt a great sense of satisfaction. I was still not a natural runner, but I found a way to make it really work for me.

And then I started commuting…

When I moved from Wiltshire to Berkshire, I was initially driving 60 miles each way to get to work at e2train and was then travelling an hour and a half each way on the train to get to REDTRAY. Initially I managed to still fit in the odd run and found it was a good way to explore the area too. But over time, I made less and less time to run until I’ve reached the point where I now haven’t ventured out for about three months. Yikes.

But that’s all about to change. I’ve now signed up to run the Reading half marathon on April 1st 2012…I am, it’s fair to say, pretty terrified. It’s 13 miles! But my hope is that having a goal will get me out there again and help me re-discover an activity that I never really enjoyed, but one that did me a lot of good and I found incredibly satisfying. I feel a bit like I’m going to be starting from scratch again as my first couple of runs have been a lot harder than I remember it.

I’ve chosen to run for Help the Heroes as Mr G is in the RAF so it’s a cause close to my heart. I’ll be blogging about my progress, because now I’ve told you all I can’t back out of doing it 🙂

Has anyone else given themselves a new goal recently? Would love to hear about it and any words of wisdom or motivation you might have for me would be much appreciated!

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About kategraham23

Start-up founder, writer, connector, librarian's daughter. Interested in learning, HR, technology, online, media, marketing, fashion and cricket. Not always in that order. The views expressed here are solely my own and do not reflect the thoughts and opinions of the company I work for currently, or those I've worked for in the past.
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7 Responses to A new goal

  1. Craig Taylor says:

    Advice eh?

    A proper biometric foot-scan to ensure that you have the correct training shoes (any decent specialist running shop should provide this)

    Sorb thane insoles (your comments box won’t allow me to spell it correctly on an iPad)

    That is all

    Like

  2. Matt Brewer says:

    Hi Kate,

    Great to catch up on Friday and good to hear that you’re going for the half. Craig’s advice is spot-on and I’d also recommend getting a proper ‘technical’ running top too. Also, find out what energy drinks/food (if any) the organisers provide on the day and try it out yourself before then.

    Cheers

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  3. kategraham23 says:

    Thanks both, looks like a little shopping trip is in order!

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  4. Rob Clarke says:

    Great goal Kate. I did a half couple of years back and surprisingly loved the training once I’d got over the first month – good luck.

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  5. TuppyMagic says:

    Wow, I’m impressed! As the advise above suggests… Good running shoes are a MUST! I also find my diet affects my stamina and endurance. If I eat a good healthy meal of protein & veg/salad the night before training I always have more energy. Good luck with the training & keep us updated with progress 🙂

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  6. Hi Kate. Unlike everyone else, I can’t offer any advice as I have never been a runner. The Saffron team ran the Reading half last year though so maybe they’ll have some tips! But I think it’s great you have set yourself a goal to get back into good habits. I am taking the opposite journey – my commute has gone from 30 minutes to 90 each way, so my gym routine is scuppered. I much prefer classes to just going to the gym on my own, but as that’s not an option I’m hoping to settle into my new routine and then force myself to use the (small) gym in my apartment block a few times a week. (In the meantime, I am making sure I walk up and down escalators or take the stairs wherever possible – every little helps!) Anyway, good luck getting back into the swing of things – look forward to hearing about your progress.

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  7. John Curran says:

    Kate – I’m a runner too – love to get out and into the countryside or along the beach after a hard day in front of the PC. In gyms they talk about ‘motivational electronics’ (the displays where you set your target etc.). I’ve found that one of the ‘App plus Online’ systems pretty good for motivation and also monitoring your progress. I use Runkeeper (http://runkeeper.com). It meausures pace, distance and also maps your route. Also measures calories used though I don’t know how accurate that is and I always ruin it by having a beer when I get back!

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