A year in the life of a reluctant runner


This lady is a total inspiration to me. This photo was taken at the end of my graduation Park Run …. I ran my graduation run about a month after everyone else as I’d managed to pick up a Grade 2 hip flexor tear (I seem to be tearing muscles left right and centre …. maybe it’s middle age creeping up on me! 🙂 ) I was so nervous but this lady let me talk total and utter crap to her all the way around which made me feel so much better. As we plodded alongside each other, I talked and she swore, or grunted or moaned, or swore some more. A year on, she’s just smashed her first half marathon and keeps on inspiring people with her courage and determination day in, day out. Take a little read of her year so far!. Thanks for writing for me Lottey Gates. Much love xx

Lottey’s (running) Life ..

Looking back as I approach my 1 year graduation “runniversary”. The date when I was buddied with a wonderful woman called Sam who took me from nervous beginner to park run graduate in 43 ish minutes.  I take great pride and pleasure in my years achievements.

I met many fabulous people during my beginners’ course as I learnt to put one foot in front of the other at a slightly faster pace than walking, gasping my way from 30 seconds of running before I had to walk, all the way up to 40 minutes and more of running without stopping.  Many of them I still run with, still laugh with and still offer my very personal opinions of running too!  My course was in winter, it was bitterly cold, or wet, sometimes it was cold and wet….. but out I went every Wednesday and moaned and complained and gasped my way through the 45 minute session.

I went to “homework” runs on Saturday mornings, but joined the Saturday morning beginners group instead of the official “homework” group because the lovely Mr B was the run lead.  He was super encouraging and always made me smile, that and some lanky runner type crazy lady and her mates made me feel really welcome and would high five me as they looped back to me for the hundredth time! They were fast, and I am not. So I would swear at them as they came towards me (and stick two fingers up as they ran past) it was not so cold, but I’m not a morning person, so hauling my butt out of bed just to do “homework” and be overtaken by speedy whippets was never going to put me in a good mood.

After I graduated, I wanted to “pay it back” to thank the club and the helpers for all their invaluable advise, support and encouragement. (Perhaps to give someone else a taste of “you can do it, just 15 more seconds” as they turn blue and pray for an ambulance to be just around the corner).  I returned as a “helper” on the next round of beginners as a new group began their journey of 30 seconds running for the chance of a 1 minute walk through to their graduation. I was delighted when Rachael, who had been in the group I helped and who I had become great friends with, asked me to be her graduation buddy.  I was thrilled but incredibly nervous. What if I couldn’t run all of it on the day, what if I was too slow for her, what if I let her down.  Buddying my new friend was more nerve racking than graduating myself, but I loved it. I loved encouraging her, and motivating her to keep going, and was thrilled that she ran the whole distance on the day.  Their course was in the spring, so obviously, it was too hot, or there were too many midges, or flies, or bees, or pollen. (There is a pattern to this running malarkey)

Helping that group of beginners gave me self-confidence, it was rewarding in more ways than I can express, I continued to learn about myself, about running, about other people, and I started to run more. I would go to other runs because some of those beginners wanted to go, I would go to club sessions just to support the beginners, we even started to run just as a group of those beginners because we enjoyed running together.  I would moan, and complain, but they would just laugh at my wittering.

In my year of redway running I have:

  • Helped a group of non-runners to become confident, competent runners
  • I have encouraged them to sign up for 10k runs then competitively ensured that I beat them over the finish line!
  • I might even have encouraged some of them to sign up for half marathons (although I am sure I told them not too)
  • I have shown my family that their 53 year old morbidly obese, hypertensive runner relative can achieve anything because she has the determination and stubbornness to keep going.
  • I’ve had temper tantrums and refused to run
  • Had injuries and continued to run
  • I have completed many 5k runs, 3 x 10k runs, and a half marathon
  • I have cried, laughed, got drunk, celebrated with cake, sworn, and hugged more times in the last twelve months than I thought was possible. I have made more friends in 12 months than I think I ever had
  • I have people shout my name encouragingly when I run

lottey 1

This picture is the face most people see when they see me running…. Grumpy, sweaty, wishing I hadn’t got out of bed that morning, and definitely wishing I had not agreed to run whichever run it is.

Running is not something I enjoy, but it’s something I “willingly” endure, because occasionally, just every now and then, something fabulous happens that makes all the pain, the getting cold, the early mornings, the getting wet, the looking ridiculous trying to walk up-stairs on Mondays worthwhile.

lottey 2



And this! is the face of a someone who just achieved “something fabulous” I ran a half marathon (that is me smiling just in case you weren’t sure)



Thank you so much for writing for me Lottey! Keep plodding lovely lady!

Until next time

SM xx

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