I can still remember lacing up a pair of old unbranded trainers to go out on my first run. I hadn't run for many years, since school, I was a busy mum of four children and my body wasn’t overly impressed with the new demands I was putting on it. I managed small distances and after a few weeks I noticed that I was able to run further, it became easier and I was really empowered by this.
You get out of running what you put into it, and you are accountable only to yourself. It's not all about the running. When I sign up to races, I get to visit new places and I meet new people on my running adventures. I have some fantastic running buddies, and some of these likeminded people have become good friends.
I encourage other people to run all the time because I appreciate what it has done for me. Have faith in yourself and you will be surprised what you can achieve. You can run socially with friends or you can choose to run alone, it can as expensive or as cheap as you want it to be. Ultimately it will improve your physical and mental health. We are all different, but no matter what the distance, from 5km to an Ultramarathon, if you go running, you are a runner and I am a firm believer that it will better your life.
There have been many hard moments, like finding myself on a trail marathon on a very cold January day, trying to stay upright, let alone run in ankle deep mud for 26.2 miles. That was a tough one. I think the hardest part of running regular marathons is dealing with the tiredness that can build. I am lucky that I have never been injured, but the body aches and pains can really knock your confidence, especially if you have an event coming up.
Training, running the marathon and then recovering, on repeat can be tough. I learned this especially when the marathons fall on consecutive weekends. If you price in the routines and demands of regular life on top of multiple marathons then at times it can be exhausting. I have learned to try to not to give this too much energy, knowing that tiredness will pass and over the last couple of years my recovery time has much improved. When I have felt exhausted, the sponsorship and the belief from others has kept me motivated.