For anyone who has been following this blog or knows me, will know that the very first time I ran was back in January. January 12th to be exact. I remember it so well, it was 8am on a cold dark Saturday morning when I turned up outside Amphibian King in Oranmore to take part in their #Zero25K program.
Deep down, I was scared... Scared I wouldn't be able to keep up. Scared I would be the biggest person there (I was around 16st at the time). Scared I would hate it. Scared I'd be trailing/holding up the group.
That very first morning, 56 people ran 3.1km in 27 minutes. At the time I never saw it as running as in my head all we had done was jog for 60s followed by 90s of walking repeated 8 times. Surely "running" was that thing that happens at the Olympics, it's not this (I thought to myself). Now I look back and smile as I know... that IS running! And for me, the first time I ever ran was a huge turning point in my life, like unknowingly a key had unlocked something inside of me - here I am now ten months later preparing for my first Marathon!
I don't know what I had been scared of. I was able to keep up. I was one of the larger people there but no one had looked twice at me or asked if I had gotten lost. I didn't hate it. I did trail the group but do you know what... everyone has to start somewhere and that day was my starting day. When the run was over, my Nike App awarded me 'Fastest 1K' and 'Most Runs in a Week' awards. LOL, 1 run was all it took to win 'Most Runs in a Week'. Here's my Nike run data from that morning:
My first run - 12/01/13
Sean, who runs Amphibian King in Oranmore, wrote this on his blog (link here) at the time:
"Fantastic to see so many new people become runners this morning. A little bit of hard work over the coming weeks and they will all be ready to tackle their first 5k race."
Little did Sean or Amphibian King know how much his words would sit with me. Ten weeks later I ran my first 10K race in Kinvara in 61 minutes (link here). It's not walk in the park but its by no means hard either. Someone once said to me 'Running never gets easier, you just get better at it'. If I ever get a tattoo (I won't by the way), I'm sure that's what it would say.
Since I started running, people have asked me over and over how I got started - and there you go. That's exactly how I started running - One Saturday morning run and two mid-week runs following the same plan as done on the Saturday.
I still get the Amphibian King newsletter in my Inbox from when I signed up back in January and look at what I see in this weeks newsletter:
For the past 2 years, each January, we've organised a #Zero25k group from our shop in Oranmore. This has served as an introduction to running for so many people over the past two years and there is such demand for it we are going again!!
Have a read about the group here and you will hopefully be motivated to join us or invite your friends to join us as we go about setting up a new group. Some of our runners have gone on to join local clubs, others have gone onto running Marathons, its up to you where your running brings you.
Starting the 26th of October we will be hosting our #Zero25k program in two locations, completing just before Christmas:
* #AKGalway - based from our store in Oranmore, Galway
* #AKLimerick - based from our store in Roxborough, Limerick
All we ask for is that you are
* committed to following your fitness development for 9 weeks
* trust our trainers to guide you correctly (no jumping ahead in the program!!)
* reasonably healthy and injury free (if in any doubt get your Doctor's advice)
There is no online registration for this season, you must call into the relevant store in person to register and it is of course, FREE of CHARGE!!
I simply cannot recommend this enough!
The first morning I ever ran (thats me with the floating green arrow over my head)
Wait - I know what you are thinking... I bet its a combination of the following:
* It'll be dark/cold/raining coming in to Winter
* 8am is very early... especially on a Saturday morning
* I'll skip this and start properly in January
Before you dismiss what Amphibian King are offering (bearing in mind it's free so you can't use the cost as an excuse) just imagine being able to START the new year already running 5Ks! Better yet, imagine running your first 5K before the year ends! This could be your life-line to accomplish a fitness goal you set earlier this year but it slipped away. Maybe its a chance for a new beginning? Don't wait until January - I promise you won't regret it! And, if one person does sign up for this and regrets it - come back to me :)