If you think – God, I could never do a ‘proper’ run, I was right there with you and seriously, please do read on…
I’m proud to be a This Girl Can ambassador. One of the main reasons why is because I am RUBBISH at exercise and I think, if I can do it, anyone can. And I’m proud of an initiative that empowers more women to do sport. Because a lot of us feel rubbish and it’s all about getting out there and DOING it.
What I’m hoping is that someone will read by blog and think – well if lazy Tang can do it, so can I. I’m good at being bad and when I say that, I mean for example, my running. I’m at the back, completely out of breath and in most cases, last (hence bad). However, the fact that I’m there and completely going for it is what I mean by being good. Everyone who struggles with exercise should be told that they can, that it doesn’t matter how unfit you are, that it’s ok to try and it’s ok to be bad. However, you’re still lapping everyone on the sofa!
- I can’t even run for the bus
- It’s going to be so embarrassing coming last
- I’m not fit enough yet, I’ll just build up slowly first
- It’s way too far for a first run
- Maybe next week, I’m exhausted today
- I scraped my knee earlier this week, I best rest it
All excuses, but I didn’t realise how much of an excuse they were until I’d gone out and done it. I’ll explain why soon.
For my first ‘proper’ run, I skipped 1k, 3k and went straight for 5k. I blame and thank my boyfriend who’s an incredible runner. He runs all the goddamn time, he makes me feel lazy just looking at him. He honestly walks as fast as I run. However, he suggested I join him at a Parkrun and I thought ‘well ok’, all the time thinking I’ll bow out that morning, on the way there, just before I start. I thought it’s too crazy for me, I can’t even run up the stairs without getting out of breath, I’ve never even done a 1k before. Again, all these excuses.
So I headed to Gibside’s Parkrun for my very first parkrun experience one very early Saturday morning…
The venue itself is just beautiful. It’s worth heading to even if you’re not going for a run. The good thing about being on a parkrun through Gibside is 1) You get to see all the grounds for free 2) You don’t notice how hard it is at times, because your path is constantly changing and it’s so pretty! You run past the stables, hall, column and much more.
The lovely staff at the parkrun are also so nice and supportive. I was honestly scared. This might not sound much to people who exercise all the time, but for someone new I was on the edge of quitting. They explained the course, how it works and told me not to worry about being last. There’s a gorgeous dog and his owner/runner at the end, that are set to always be the last ones.
What I hate about running groups is, as I’m usually last, the person who’s super fit at the back is pretty much walking so you feel a bit of pressure to keep up and also sometimes they chat to you. Which is sweet but I’m gasping so much for air, I can’t breathe, let alone talk. However, this Parkrun have it so spot on that I seriously didn’t even see the last person. I didn’t feel like I was being chased or that I had to make sure I was far enough ahead. (Think they probably kindly walk or stop along the way to chat to the stewards).
And after some encouragement, we set off!
And it was tough. Not too tough physically but it was all in my head. Just thinking, I can’t do this, I’m not going to get to the end and all the fears from my sporting past caught up with me. Everyone who said I was the unfittest person they ever knew, who laughed at me for being a This Girl Can ambassador, who said ‘You? Exercise?!’ It got to me and I kept overthinking.
See – me at the back, and that’s at the start. But it’s ok!
I managed to run most of it, walked a bit but all at a slow rate. However, before I even knew it, I could see it… the finish line.
And getting over that? Best feeling ever. And then I realised – it’s not that hard! I did 5k in around 40 minutes and it was okay. I came almost last but that didn’t matter, I did it!!!
Not bad for a first timer:
Here’s my finished my run, exhausted selfie!
It was so good, I went back and did it again – another week that is, I’m not that crazy. Gibside have plenty of exercise programmes too, from nordic walking to pram pushing and most are free, check it out here.
Thanks for reading my mammoth This Girl Can post but seriously – if I can do it, so can you! #TheseGirlsCan xxx