My Midlife 10KAfter years as a mediocre jogger rather than a ‘proper’ runner, 40+ blogger Claire Marie is taking the plunge and attempting her first 10k. And she’s documenting her journey for our readers.
My relationship with running is best described as patchy. When I started I could barely run at all, but when my marriage ended and I began to approach 40, I got more interested in health and fitness. From feeling like I couldn’t run for more than two minutes, I gradually improved and began running moderate distances three times a week. Before I knew it, I’d caught the bug, and I remember turning down an offer of a meal and a glass of wine in favour of running in drizzle. I also remember wondering why more people didn’t run and feeling like I was part of a select club which had bestowed on me a special secret. I also looked and felt better than I ever had before.
Then – and I can’t remember why – I stopped.
In my lockdown sluggishness, I decided to give running another go, naively confident that my infrequent and half-hearted 3ks would gift me with magical results. But while the pandemic was unprecedented, so was my drop in stamina. Every time I set off, my hip would hurt and my legs felt like they belonged to someone else (someone immobile). After wondering if because I was in my mid-forties, I’d now become one of those women who had to exercise for two hours every time they ate a miniature Mars bar, I decided to take the plunge and join a running club. I’m now a proud member of Rothwell Harriers and although I still feel like I’ve gone back to basics, I’m a more confident runner than I’ve been in a long time. So confident in fact that I've just signed up for the York 10k and am raising money for one of the official charities, Changing Lives.
Completing a 10k without throwing up/dying/crying is something I've always LOVED the idea of but never saw as particularly realistic. But one of the coaches at my club kindly put together a training plan for me and slowly but surely, my stamina and confidence continue to climb.
Running up to five times a week is tough, but despite the discomfort, I'm so excited about what pushing myself is doing for me physically and mentally. The act of continuing to put one foot in front of the other when I desperately want to stop must be doing wonders for my stamina and strength of character, and I’m proof that you're never too old to develop a new passion.
So remember, if you're on the verge of rejoining your gym, downloading Couch to 5k or signing up for a marathon, if I can do it, YOU can too.
Next weekend: Two weeks to go! A run-down (if you’ll pardon the pun) of my 10k training.
Claire Marie is a freelance writer