Some people many have noticed that I have recently taken up road running and have been competing in 10k runs since March 2009 when I took part in the Between the Bridges 10k run along the Westlink in Belfast.
Before Between the Bridges I didn't really like running. I found it to be a painful and uncomfortable experience. When I achieved a respectable time of 47mins 49secs at Between the Bridges I guessed that I had found a sport I was actually good at. Since Between the Bridges I bought decent running shoes (Asics GT-2140) and have competed in six runs, mainly 10k apart from one 5k in Ballysillan. The new running shoes immediately eliminated the pain I had previously experienced. I joined North Down Athletics Club in late April 09 and have benefited from many useful training tips which have made running a really pleasant experience, other than when I am pushing myself to the limit over the finishing line! Membership of North Down AC is also providing me with the opportunity to share my running passion with other likeminded people.
As the weeks progressed it was apparent that I was completing 10k runs in about 42 minutes. I therefore set myself a target to run 10k in under 40 minutes by the end of the year, ideally at Bangor 10k on 26 September 09. Never in my wildest thoughts did I feel that I would achieve this target so quickly when I completed a 10k run in 39mins 46secs at the Lisburn 10k on Wednesday 17 June 09.
I readily admit that running is fast becoming a big part of my life. I still feel a sense of elation days later after breaking the 40 minute barrier on Wednesday at the Lisburn 10k.
No sooner have I completed a 10k run am I eagerly looking forward to my next competition, running five times a week in preparation. Some people may feel that this is an unhealthy bizarre obsession but I disagree.
I deal with injuries when they arise and have managed to maintain a decent social life plus my range of voluntary commitments with community groups and The Alliance Party.
I find that running is good for my mind and body whilst also relatively cheap and less time consuming as many other sports. It is also providing me with a great sense of confidence. Every good running time is an amazing achievement for me. Running through the finishing line makes gives me a real sense of pride in myself and also North Down AC.
When attending school I was often told by many people that I was useless at sport, defined often as football and rugby. I now feel that I have found a sport that I truly enjoy and am pretty decent at. I am really enjoying meeting the many great people within the world of running and love coming home with a real sense of personal achievement.
Hopefully as each race passes I will stop boring you with my running stories. In the meantime please bear with me. Hopefully this blog explains why I am now in love with running.
21 June 2009