Running Bug Forums Beginners Why did you start running?

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  • Why did you start running?

     Sonia Blackaby updated 8 months, 3 weeks ago 17 Members · 18 Posts
  • Vicky Pixi

    February 9, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    I ran many years ago at school, I was in the cross country team but after leaving school I sort of stopped apart from some little trotting for fitness.

    I’v always enjoyed running – even tho I didn’t do it, i’v always had an interest  and watched the london marathon without fail every year for as longs as i can remember and one day I just decided that I wanted to run a marathon but I was a smoker. So I swapped a bad habit for a good habit – i’v now ran 5 marathons and even 1 ultra. Now I don’t think I could live without it, it’s my drug!!

    • This discussion was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by  Vicky Pixi.
  • Mark

    February 15, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    Somebody at work in 2011 asked me if I wanted to run the two castles 10k. “Sure”, I said “How difficult could it be?”

    I didn’t do much training and decided that 1 hour without walking was a good goal. I did it in 1 hour 8 mins and although I probably took about a year break after it; it sowed the seed and here I am.

  • James

    February 15, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    Early 2016 I just decided I needed to make a life style change. So I just went cold turkey on the smokes, and binned off playing video games until stupid o’clock in the morning. After 3 months and becoming very fidgity and restless I knew I needed to fill those voids with something else.
    Inspired by a few colleagues at work that are regular runners I decided to give running a go, so picked up the couch 2 5k app on my phone and haven’t looked back since.

    I just wish I had started earlier, and I’ll always wonder how much the years of smoking have affected my abilities as a runner. I’m quite self competitive so getting quicker and beating times I set is what drives me, but I wonder what my peak will be.

    The good news is, I’m only at the start of my running journey and theres so much for me to achieve and learn.

  • JillyMP

    February 26, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    I think my old bugfriends know why I started running, but I’m happy to share, as depression, or whatever you’d like to call it,  isn’t something to feel embarrassed about.

    Initially, being 32 with three children under 5, heaven help me… I would have imploded if it wasn’t for running. That was 18 years ago. I would run once a week with a friend, no watch, just natter all the way round in our everyday trainers. That grew to a couple of times a week, on and off, the odd 10k, not seriously, never called myself a runner. They were happy days 🙂

    Then five years ago, I lost my lovely Mum to Alzheimer’s and my Dad soon after to heart failure.  Then with other “stuff” going on in my life, I fell apart at the seams, confidence and self worth was at an all time low and there were days I didn’t want to get up.

    After a particularly ‘bad’ night I confided in a close friend who, amongst other things, suggested I start running again as I enjoyed it. That was September 2014 and I really did want to “get better” without taking medication. I signed up for a half marathon the following February, found a MyAsics plan and followed it religiously. All the paces and miles per hour kept my head occupied for hours, and I read anything and everything about running. The runs themselves were pure escapism. I did cry on some of them, but mostly I felt empowered. I joined Running Bug a few months later and cautiously made friends. Everyone would say how well I was doing with my running, not realising how much they were doing to raise my self esteem. Then I found the confidence to join the local running club.

    I do strength work to make me feel strong for my runs, (though not sure why my left leg is dropping off now?) and I’ve put the weight back on I lost, as I’m always hungry lol, (though I should possibly stop now I’m running less rather than carb loading for the nation). I am just so much happier being a runner, or being a part of that community, than not. We are a very supportive and inclusive bunch 🙂

    So running is my happy pill. Have panicked when I’ve been injured, especially the first time, worried that I would descend back into that dark place, but I haven’t. I am now the girl with a glass half full (I will get that sub 4 hour marathon even if I’m 90!)  A rather large friend of mine at a dinner party, told me that running wasn’t good for my knees. He then went on to say he was on anti-depressants for the rest of his life. If only he knew how wrong he was .


  • Richard Gregory

    February 27, 2019 at 9:06 am

    Was always a keen runner at school but should have been better, 1500 meters was my favoured distance, loved the battles of Coe and Ovett.

    Did some occasional running during my 20s but nothing to shout about.

    The running really started after my mother died of cancer I wanted to do something in her memory dreamed of doing a marathon so I signed up to the Belfast marathon as a strong connection to Ireland and Belfast so seemed rather appropriate, I signed up to Macmillan Support.

    After that I have continued running ever since I love it I’ve met some great people along the way locally and through our great bug connections.

    Mine more marathon left in me London when ever that happens, I do like 10k and half marathon I don’t do many repeat events like to find different courses and medals.

  • Dorothy Meikle

    February 27, 2019 at 11:59 am

    Really enjoyed reading your  running journey.  Inspiring and realistic at the same time

  • rob k

    February 27, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    Off and on I have always run. At school it was the 400 and 800, in my 20s it was to crosstrain to play football and volleyball. In my 30s to try to keep fit it was short, fast runs.

    Into my 40s it became to deal with the stress of work. I worked in central London for nearly 20 years and running was my “out” from the stress of the job, too many cigarettes and too little sleep.

    I quit cigarettes when I decided to aim for a marathon and haven’t touched a cigarette since December 2012.

    The stress overload hit a peak and a period off sick in May 2013, during which I spent the time outside, started my parkrun adventure and began to get involved in the running scene. Since this stress crash I have had various periods of depression (most notably after a serious injury) but running has certainly helped with a sense of wellbeing from the onwards.

  • Richard Woodfield

    February 28, 2019 at 12:37 am

    I was always very unco-ordinated and unsporty – last one to get picked for any teams in school playground and that sort of thing.  As an adult I liked walking holidays but did nothing more energetic that a bit of swimming.  My arms are so freakishly thin they are practically only visible with a high res camera, and nothing I did ever developed my feeble arm I never improved at that.

    I was overtaken with work related depression in my late fifties – ultimately that led to me leaving work.  My daughter (who had herself got into parkrun) suggested I might like running.  I gave it a go and haven’t looked back since.  Initially I just enjoyed the endorphins beetling around the system, but soon it was an enormous boost  to my self esteem to find that with practice I was chipping away at my parkrun times.  Then the racing bug took hold….

  • Rachel

    February 28, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    I was always quite sporty in school, but terrible at distance running so always resigned myself to be a sprinter on sports day. Fast forward a number of years  I was stuck in traffic coming home from work and I was beginning to feel envious of all those people out running. A chat with a friend in work had us try a couch to 5k, thinking if I can run 5k I would be totally happy with that lol and that’s been me hooked ever since

  • SunnyDays15

    April 12, 2019 at 10:43 am

    I absolutely hated cross country running at school as we’d always be sent out running in the cold & rain, followed by the dreaded communal showers you had to take after.  However, I did always enjoy the shorter sprint races like the 100mtrs, but I was never that good at it. I loved other sports at school though like high jump/long jump/the gym equipment/table tennis & rounder’s.

    Fast forward 24yrs to 2008 and a message went out at work to see if a group of women wanted to get together to do a Race for Life at Broughton Hall, near Skipton to raise money for Cancer Research. After a little gentle persuasion from one of my friends who said she’d like to give it a go but only if I did, I caved in & said ‘yes’. To be honest, we didn’t really do any practise runs apart from running on a treadmill but it was that first event that definitely sowed the seed for me. Women of all abilities just coming together to raise money for a good cause. Many better runners than me but many not as fast either. It was such fun & I crossed that line in just over 39 minutes I recall. The following two years I did the race again with a friend at Burnley Towneley Park & each time my time was better than the last.

    I then joined a ‘Women’s Running Network’ group for beginner runners which was brilliant. I really enjoy running with other women & I soon started to improve my times. In 2011 I did my first 10K with the running group at Manchester (the BUPA 10K) in a time of 01:08:49 (my practise run had been 01:14:00 so I was really chuffed. Unfortunately after that my children’s activities seemed to take over my time & I ended up having to give up the club which did eventually finish anyway. The only running I did after that was on the treadmill.

    Then New Year’s Eve 2013 (after a few too many brandy & cokes) I went & signed up to do the Great North Run 2014. I had previously tried for a place the year before but didn’t make the ballot (kind of relieved at the time though) but it was one of those bucket list things that I really wanted to say I’d done. This time I got my place in the run which was a special one that year as they announced the Millionth’ runner. I ran to raise money for the British Heart Foundation and got lots of support. It was an amazing day, I loved every minute & although I couldn’t run the whole distance (I’d not really trained properly, I just wanted to take part) I was chuffed to finish in just over 3hrs.I then went on to do another 10K at Burnley in 2015 for the Stroke Society & the Great North again in 2016 for Diabetes UK (again in just over 3hrs but 2 mins faster than my first time). During all this time I still hadn’t really got into running regular or training properly, I just loved to take part & raise money for charity. I even joined Park Run in 2016 in the hope of running more but only managed 5 runs that year & 7 runs in 2017.

    In 2017 I made a list of 50 things I wanted to do that year before I was 50. One of those things was also on my bucket list – a skydive! So I hung up the running shoes that year & instead of doing a charity run I did a charity skydive to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK. It was amazing, wish I’d done it sooner. Little did I know this would then spur me on to improve my running. I realised then that there is so much more we are capable of & can do if we really want to.  So I made a pledge to myself not long after that, that I would reach my 50th Park Run by my 51st Birthday & improve my run time to get a sub 30. I’d already had 3 PB’s towards the end of 2017 & my time had got down to 30:48 by November 2017. On April 28th 2018 I manged 29:28, I was ecstatic! I then got 3 more PB’s, my last being 28:22 & reached my 50th Park Run in Dec 2018 on my 51st birthday. Unfortunately I was really not well that day with a barking cough I’d had for 2 weeks & shouldn’t have run as it was hard to breath, it was also a really wet miserable day but I was determined to do what I’d set out to do. My time was slower 31:42 but I didn’t care, I did it!

    My aim for this year is to get to my 85th Park Run by the end of 2019 & beat my PB time of 28:22 & I would just love to get a sub 28 time. I’d also like to beat my 10K PB time 01:05:25 this summer when I do Burley 10K again in July. I’ve just had to have 5 weeks off running due to a cataract op but I’m now trying to build it up again & I hope to do at least 3 runs a week & gradually build longer runs into my sessions.

  • JillL

    April 18, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    Oh gosh I was never sporty at school – in fact the cross country route went through land belonging to our house. So as everyone ran up the hill across the skyline and back down I’d nip in the back door at home grab a juice and some biscuits and tag back on the end and run back to school!
    About 10 years ago my lovely friend and work colleague Eliza ran the great Manchester 10k to raise money for Marie Curie. I was in total awe of someone who could run for 50 minutes non stop. Eliza convinced me I could run too – she clearly saw something in me that I hadn’t recognised myself. So I downloaded the race for life couch25K plan and followed it to the letter. Running on our local cinder track at 6am in the morning to avoid anyone seeing me run. I completed the plan and then ran the race for life that summer with Eliza it was a poignant run as her mum had recently passed away from ovarian cancer so we finished the race in tears and with a big hug.
    I ran on and off for a few years – struggling with working full time 2 young children and studying for a degree I fell out with running for some time. 2014/2015 turned out to be a dreadful time my dad was hospitalised with a severe heart condition in May. My lovely friend Eliza was diagnosed with breast cancer and in October my mum passed away. Then early 2015 my god parents both died within 10 days of each other I attended their double funeral with my dad who was so distressed. My dad had been in business for over 30 years with my godfather and it was him who introduced dad to mum. My dad grew up with my godmother and had known her all his life. Then in March that year my father in law passed away. There was so much sadness. So in summer 2015 I decided to pull on my running shoes again and there was running waiting for me like an old friend. Slow and steady to start with but I realised then how much running meant to me and how much I had missed it. I juggled night shifts and evening shifts with running and got myself up to half marathon distance running my first half in September 2016 and raising money for cancer research.
    It was in August 2016 that Eliza was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer and it is a battle she continues today. I’ve had various health issues and injuries over the past couple of years but I’ve retired from nursing and can take the time to look after me for a change.
    So here we are today. I love running and have been lucky enough to run in California, Florida, Sydney, Dunedin and Christchurch. Plus a few trots around Spain and France. I think I will always be a runner now if my health allows and if not I will involve myself marshalling or coaching.
    My next challenge is to run the Royal Parks Half and raise money for the Maggie Centre in Manchester (where Eliza receives help and support)- just search for jill longshaw on just giving if you would like to donate.
    I love being a part of running bug and have made some lovely friends through the site – your support and friendship is always very much appreciated xxx

  • Chris Pattison

    April 19, 2019 at 7:16 am

    Going back to my younger days I took to running along the seafront/cliffs at home (North East).  Going to college saw the end of that, but at the end of college I took it up again, doing a number of 10k’s, HM’s and 10 mile races.  I started getting difficulty with my knees and the medical advice at the time was to give it up.

    Forward wind a few years and a doctor told me (in my 40’s) that I was overweight, high blood pressure etc etc … and essentially get my act together.  At that point I took up walking (20 mile hikes mostly), and at some point I thought hey my knee’s are okay I should give this running lark another go.  Took to running again and on the whole there has been no recurrence of the knee issues over the last 8 – 10 years.

    I’ve grabbed PB’s in 10k, HM and 10 mile distance (took awhile before I improved on my historical 10k time though). I set myself a target of a marathon at 50, then swore one was enough … ha ha.  Got a few more in mind now and hope to build up to 26 or even 50 of them before I have to hang my boots up.

    Saw that same doctor a few years ago, sat behind his desk, red in the face and overweight.  I resisted the urge to tell him to get his act together …. although in fairness I probably should have, and I defo owe him one.  Not so sure about the first doctor that told me to give up running though – wish I had ignored him.

    Running (along with family) is my life now, would be lost without it.  Whilst it doesn’t cure all ill’s, its amazing what it can do for some people.  There’s nothing better than supporting (or running) parkrun and also crossing the finish line on a Sunday morning.  I’m also full of praise for the running community in general and this place. 🙂

  • NathalieR

    April 19, 2019 at 3:56 pm

    The short story is that one morning of summer 2014, I woke up saying that at some point in my life I would complete a marathon. To this day, I still don’t really where that came from! But I have now completed 3 and along the way, I absolutely fell in love with running!

    The long version of the story:

    Why a marathon? Because it is such a mythical distance, and I also happen to like Ancient History. Besides going to Marathon whilst on holidays in Greece, my only other encounter was watching the end of the Paris marathon on telly one year and being in absolute awe of people able to run for so long, both in time and distance.

    In 2014, besides the run-panic to catch a train/plane/bus/tube… I hadn’t run since leaving school, and, back then, I was “allergic to sport”. I did do ballet dancing and figure skating, but always seen them more as an art form than a sport. I didn’t even own a pair of trainers of any kind!

    Pop, my boyfriend, had always been running on and off, and he used to “disappear” for a couple of hours on Saturdays to go running. I thought he was mad, but if that was making him happy, then it’s all good.

    I told him I’d signed up for the Color Run in September that year and bought the cheapest pair of trainers I could find. I jogged (a bit) and I speed-walked (a lot) but I did it, crying my eyes out as I cross the finish line. I remember he was away the weekend it happened, and when I sent him a picture afterwards of me covered in paint, he was so proud.

    Then, I found out about parkrun. I looked it up online and decided to give it a go. But before turning up, I wanted to be able to cover the whole 5km without stopping. Finally, I did my first parkrun in May 2015 and met a lot of very enthusiastic and welcoming people. I also discovered that not all runners are tall, lean, gracious gazelles bouncing on clouds, and that the fast ones also huffed and puffed as much as I did!

    Pop found a 1-mile race in June and he jokingly asked me if I wanted to do it. It was free, 1 mile long in London and you got a glass of bubbly to celebrate afterwards, so I said yes. That was the first race I ever took part in. For someone who could barely run 500 yards 2 months prior, I was super chuffed! Every time I look at the medal from that day, it reminds me that everything is possible.

    Then, in February 2016, Pop took part in the Brighton Half Marathon. I told him that the last one he would do that year (Bexhill Poppy’s half on Remembrance weekend) I would do too. I had 9 month to train for it. In April 2016, my first 10k, and in November, my first half marathon as promised. The weather was horrid that day, gale force winds, hail and rain, but it was my first HM and I had no idea if it was hard because of the distance/effort or because of the weather or both!  Again, I cried as I crossed the finish line, Pop freaked out as he thought I was crying in pain, when actually, it was pure joy to have achieved such a thing.

    2017, more races and some injuries and I learnt from both of them.

    2018, Brighton marathon: a marathon was THE thing I wanted to do and what this whole running malarkey was about for me. The race and the training weren’t plain sailing, but such a feeling of achievement at the end, not only for me, but also because I had dragged Pop into this too. We were both marathoners! Then, we did another one later on last year and I’m afraid to say, I’m hooked!

    2019, more marathons, Paris last Sunday, I’m still learning lots and that’s fantastic! But, more importantly, running has taught me great life lessons: more confidence and resilience, more adaptability and resourcefulness, support and will-power amongst others, and for that I am very grateful.

  • Simon

    July 15, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    To be honest, because it was quicker and easier than going to the gym.

    Now I’ve been member of a few gyms, and a gym was great when the weather is cold and wet, and the trees are bending to the horizontal in the sleet and I needed to work off some of the winter padding, but the rest of the time they were hot, noisy, crowded, poorly lit and awkward.

    Then one Saturday morning, tired of the crush and packed treadmills and rowing machines of our expensive gym, I decided to go jog around a local walk instead of accompanying my wife to her gym class.


    There’s not a lot of folks about at 9am on a Saturday morning: the weather was fine, just cool, and I barely met another soul as I admired the countryside, cows and potholes of my local village roads and tracks, and discovered that a regular gym attendance does not a runner make.  But I was entranced: the fresh air, freedom (for want of a better word) and calm of running alone through the countryside was so completely unlike the noisy pressured dimness of the expensive gym, that I was hooked immediately.

    Since then the distance and regularity has extended, to the extent I laugh at my old gym program now, and the treadmills can’t keep up.

    In my gym years I was boggled by the distance of 5K, now I run it before weekday work.

    In my gym years I walked up hills, relieved to get to the top, now I dig in and climb, albeit gasping, to the top with a sense of triumph, and commitment to faster, better pace and technique next time I run that loop.

    In my gym years I dreaded the changing, driving, parking, juggling of gym machines and waiting, now I just change and run out of the front door.

    A quick 5k before work, or the morning after the night before, or when I can’t focus, or feel down, or need a break, or Have Just Had Enough, and it’s all good to go again.

    My only regret is I didn’t discover just running 20+ years ago – I’m well into the senior category now but these last years have been a joy.

    Never, ever let anyone tell you you’re too old, this aches, that’s a bit iffy,  it looks like rain, it’s too cold, snowy, icy, too hungover, or early. I’m a night owl, but some of those sunrises are just the best!

    No regrets here.

  • Vicky Pixi

    July 17, 2019 at 9:13 am

    @simon – Gyms should be banned!!!!

    Ok – there good to weights but for running, nnooooooooo.

    Think you described the why we run perfectly 🙂


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