I started running at the age of thirty for several reasons including:
- getting fit
- losing weight
- helping with my karate
- managing my depression
I started out on a treadmill but quickly realised that it’s much nicer to run outside (and I kept punching the treadmill and cutting open my knuckles, which is not a good look!)
How parkrun made me a runner
parkrun is what really got me into running regularly, although I had a goal in mind. I wanted to complete a Cancer Research 10k in memory of my dad who died of oesophageal cancer, aged 54. My goal was to complete the race in under an hour, so was thrilled to finish in about 58:30.
I then went on to join Lordshill Road Runners, started competing regularly and won Eastleigh parkrun’s points competition, before running my first marathon (and wrecking my legs which stopped me running well for months).
In April 2013, I finally completed my 100th parkrun:
I’m still quite a slow runner (and seemingly getting slower), but in my head, I’m like this:
Throughout my journey so far, my husband (Stuart) has been incredibly supportive. He is a natural all-rounder and a talented runner, but he never stops encouraging me. The image below shows him encouraging me at parkrun – it shows just how ‘in synch’ we are.
My big running goal of 2013 was to complete Paris Marathon. My marathon PB was 4:32:01, which was set on a very cold, wet, windy day on an over-long course in April 2012. Despite being injured I managed to squeak a new PB of 4:29:35. Unfortunately, this was one of my only PBs in 2013. I also became a Coach in Running Fitness.
I intended to maintain long runs of 10-14 miles throughout 2014, but I had a series of misfortunes including glandular fever, developing asthma and a cycling accident which prevented that all from happening. However, I did manage to run Brighton marathon in April 2014 and swore that would be my last marathon until I do an Ironman. However, there will be a marathon in Southampton in 2017 and I’m hoping that I’ll recover well enough from a caesarean in October 2016 to be able to take part.
I was doing weekly track sessions with Run Camp in 2014. I stopped this after Weymouth Half to focus on swimming and have been doing track sessions with Southampton Tri Club since then.
Winning my first ever race
I started doing strength and conditioning sessions that were organised by SUTRI. I got on really well with the coach (Olly, from Solent Athlete) and found that the sessions made a big difference to my running. In March 2015, I finally got a new 5k PB and a 10 mile PB 🙂
I also won my first ever race in 2015 – the Brutal 10 12-hour paired relay that I completed with my friend Kim.
Running whilst pregnant
I ran throughout my pregnancy in 2016. I acted as a pacer at Eastleigh 10k and Southampton half marathon and also ran a half marathon in June. On my due date I managed a 30 minute parkrun and six weeks after giving birth I ran a 28:15 parkrun. I hope that I can recover my speed in 2017.
Updated December 2016
Want to see my posts about running? The most recent five are listed below.
- After last week’s wet and windy run, I was so …
- This week’s Monday Morning Motivation is an episode of Jessica’s …
- The star of this week’s Monday Morning Motivation is George …
- Jessica’s parkrun Heroes included the story of Gareth Yeoman. It …
- I’ve wanted to do the St Ives Bay 10k for …