Last Thursday I started sharing my running story with you readers. If you have missed Part 1, here it is.
After that very first 5k race I continued training without really setting any other goal than getting better at running and increasing my distance. I ran about 3 times per week for 20-40 min (3-5-ish Kilomerters -about 2-3 miles) and got stronger. I didn't do any other specific running training than just get out of the door and do it. At the early stages improvement is rather easy and you build up quickly. That is great as it keeps you motivated. I also decided to stop smoking, once again. I had tried many times before but this time it stuck and I finally got over it. This is one of the biggest improvements I have made to my lifestyle. I am so happy to have kicked that awful habit for good.
from around that time
I July 2009 my boyfriend and I finally moved in with each other. We both moved to Colchester, where he was posted to for the next 3 years. I loved living there. It is close to the seaside, surrounded by lots of green countryside and about the same size as the place I moved from in Germany. The best part was of course finally living together with my awesome boyfriend.
After moving I had to find a new job as my freelance work wasn't paying well enough and it was hard to do, away from Birmingham. I ended up working in a local wedding dress shop which also led to the rebirth of my sewing and dressmaking hobby. But that's another story.
Cheap days out. Still my favourite way to spend time with my husband
Dave and I were rather "poor" at the time. We didn't really have much to bring into our new home. He had been living in army accommodation and I had been living in a furnished place for the past year. All my stuff was and actually still is now (5 1/2 years later..ooops) stored in Germany. So at the time we were saving for a house, getting the essentials for our current place AND (how could I forget) we were also planning our wedding for the following year. Dave proposed to me just before we moved to Colchester. This left no £££ for fun and we had to be clever with how to make the most out of an empty purse.
We started walking and hiking all over Essex and Suffolk, brought picnics along and had the best time for free and we were getting fitter. (well I was Dave is and has always been an amazing athlete)
I was also still running my little 3-5k loops and decided that maybe I could aim to run a 10k race. I started reading running magazines, found a training plan and learnt a lot about how to train efficiently and also how to fuel myself properly. Until then I used to be a serial dieter buying every fat free diet food product under the sun. I thought I needed to lose weight for some reason or other. I have never been much bigger or much smaller than I am now.
Since I first started running, my whole body composition has obviously changed dramatically from my unhealthy, unactive student days until today as have my energy levels. I stopped eating all that processed crap and started eating real whole foods including all their full fat varieties and surprise!!! my running improved, my mood improved and I didn't gain any weight. I also stopped yo yo-ing and generally haven't been ill for the past years. I must be doing something right. If you are interested in further information on the way I eat, research "clean eating"by Tosca Reno and various other resources on that subject. I'm not an expert so I would not want to give any advice on it. It's basically a very common sense approach to nutrition.
Back to the running bit. I ran the my first 10k, finished in just under one hour. I then spend the next three years running on and off for a few months at a time. I usually trained for a few months to prepare for a race followed by a "rest period" that lasted until I booked the next race.
Then in September 2010 my husband went on tour to Afganistan for just over 6 months. In that time I used running as a tool to keep positive. I was made redundant from my job at the time and started working for myself again. Since I was working from home, spending most of my freetime there as well, running helped me to get outside. It was a tough time for me and I think I needed to prove to myself that I'm a tough cookie that can handle times like that. I did so by wanting to conquer the next distance and run a half marathon. This has never been something I thought I could do but since I wanted to proof something to myself, I had to aim high. But more about that next time.
I hope you enjoy reading these non-sewing related posts. I am currently in need of motivation as I am training for my first Triathlon. Looking back down memory lane makes me realise how far I have come in the past 5+ years and that I have accomplished many things I would have never thought I could. It helps pushing myself to the next level.