My Running Story

My Running Story

by anon runner, Harpenden

I joined RUN Harpenden in January 2017. I did a short running course before and enjoyed it, but I had done nothing since then! We started off progressing from walking for 30 seconds, and then running for 30 seconds and repeating this. It was surprising how quickly you progress, and by the end of the first course we ran our first parkrun – a full 5K!

I do a stressful job in a caring profession. In the last year my mother was diagnosed with dementia, and I am her carer. So, I find it really hard to find time to run outside of the course and do my homework runs. As we moved on from RESOLUTION to MOMENTUM and now to the HEADWAY group, I found that the more dedicated in my group progressed from a 5 mile run to a 10k, and then a half marathon. I still feel like the slowest and least fit in the group, but the coaches are really good at making sure the sessions are accessible, and that we work according to our ability.

Our running group’s unofficial motto is “Will run for cake”, and the coffee and cake after running and support via WhatsApp is fantastic. Whatever your reason for running, whether you are running towards a lifetime goal, or away from stress or just claiming one hour a week for yourself – I totally recommend RUN Harpenden. The support from the coaches is first class and with their help – vague aspirations become realistic, achievable goals.

When dealing with stress, my running group has been there for me.

The past year has been tough, and I was signed off from work with stress. The process of watching someone you love struggle with dementia is hugely difficult and requires new levels of patience. Throughout the past year, when dealing with work stress and home stress, my running group has been there for me. I want to say thank you to them, and to our coaches for all their support.

Despite the stress, in the past year I have run several park runs, won my first ever running medal by running the 5k Jingle Bell Jog in a Santa outfit, ran the Oval 5 mile, worn out a pair of trainers (!) and kept running almost every week – the first new year’s resolution I have ever kept. I run because it is a great way of dealing with stress – as my favourite running T-shirt says – “Remember, you are only one run away from a good mood”!

RUN Harpenden