I got up at 6am today and ran 10k. “Does she want a medal or something?”, I hear you cry. Err, did you not hear me? I. Got. Up. At. 6am. And. Ran. 10k. In the rain. Plus, it was dark. Of course I want a bloody medal. Luckily, I have two very special rewards at home: my beautiful daughters, Rose (3) and Willow (1).
They are the reason I run. Well, the prospect of a longer, happier, healthier life with them and their Dad, but you catch my drift. Rose actually likes to set me a running target. She knows that the ‘star’ at the border to the next town along from us is – in my words – “a good run”, so she will often say to me “Make sure you run to the star, Mummy, and take a photo for me”. Coincidentally, the Whaplode star is a smidgen under 5k from our house, so I run there, take said photo, and run home again, plus a teensy bit extra and that’s 10k done and dusted.
This morning, around 4k in, as I approached the star, it started to rain. It was the horrible kind of side-lashing downpour which really sticks your clothes to your skin, but it never even crossed my mind to turn back. I had to get to the star for Rose, and for me. It was dark and miserable and traffic was starting to pick up, meaning I had a to sprint by the larger puddles forming at the roadside to avoid a proper drenching. But then I got to the star, paused for a selfie, turned around and started to run back – the rain became lighter and eventually stopped, the sun came up, and my spirits lifted as I headed back towards my gorgeous little rewards with their messy blonde bed hair and sleepy blue eyes, all snuggled up and toasty warm.
2. Run a sub 60 minute 10k
3. Run half marathon distance (13.1 miles)
4. Get a thigh gap
So far I’ve managed two sub 30 5s and I’m inching slowly closer to a sub 60 10k, but I’m nowhere near the other targets I’ve set (although I do have high hopes for considerably less thigh applause when it comes to shorts season next Summer, but it’s never a bad thing to be cheered on, in my opinion).
Incidentally, running can also reduce the risk of heart disease, depression, anxiety and stroke, if feeling the breeze around your nether regions isn’t quite enough motivation for you. It reduces the risk of me punching people in the face for idiotic driving/unwanted parenting advice/foolish Britain First Facebook posts/etc, on an almost-daily basis, that’s for sure. Whatever your goal, running is good for you.
Having a goal is one thing, but I think the reason BEHIND the goal is what really keeps you going. With running, some people want to lose weight, some want to be able to run a marathon, some want to smash a sub 60 10k, others just want to clear their mind, have a bit of alone time and chafe less.
But, why? Pride, health, happiness, a sense of achievement, looking better in skinny jeans; whatever it is, I believe if you have a strong enough reason to work towards a goal it doesn’t matter how hard it rains on your parade, you will keep on marching regardless. So find your reason, aim for your very own Whaplode star and give yourself a round of applause for your efforts (bonus points for a hearty thigh clap). You owe it to yourself to be the best version of you there is.