In the early part of 2013 I was overweight, depressed and fed up with life in general. My job was boring and crappy and I let silly things wind me up.
After trying numerous weight loss programs, all the big ones, and getting nowhere I went to the bakers and bought myself a cream slice. Whilst there I met an old friend who suggested that I take up running.
Running was something that idiots did, pounding on the pavement, my knees wouldn’t hold out. My friend smiled and suggested i join a beginners group for my local Parkrun in South East of England UK.
I was not looking forward to this at all but I agreed to go. I won’t go in to too much detail here about the training apart from saying that we started of with a few stretches and a mixture of walking, and jogging.
The group was full of skeptical people like me of all shapes and sizes, yes there were people there with bigger backsides than me!
Socially this group was (still is ) great. I have made some wonderful friends. After 10 weeks of increasing training I was ready to do my first Parkrun. Parkrun is a free 5k run usually on a Saturday at 9am in the UK. They are held at numerous locations across the UK and globally. The volunteers at the Parkrun events are very friendly and your are made to feel welcome whatever your ability. Once you have completed your run you can check the results online and compare your times against others, it is a very well structured event.
Back to my first run… I was very nervous and could not wait to get it over with. The Parkrun got underway and I found it so tough. However my co-runners spurred me on and I finished in 45 minutes. I was not the last person back either 🙂
The feeling of achievement was overwhelming and I was so happy with my time. I have since completed 5 more Parkruns and plan to continue doing them. My time has come down to 41 minutes and my knees are not too painful, although i recommend speaking to your doctor before you start running if you suffer from joint pain or have not done any exercise for a while. The best thing for me is that I have lost almost 12kg.
Personally running was the answer to my problems, the community and the friendship that came with it has changed my life for the better. If like I was, you are currently down or in a dark place I can’t emphasize enough the positive effect that a community / group sport will have. The running group worked for me because of the group, they were so warm and friendly.
I have listed a few sites that you might find useful.
http://Parkrun.org.uk The home of the UK Parkrun
http://www.zerotoherorunners.co.uk/ A group similar to the one i joined. They are very helpful here.