When I moved to Middlewich, a lovely town in Cheshire, last year, I found it was surrounded by canals and as it turns out great places to run. Now, I like the idea of running, it’s just I am not too fussed on the reality of it. I find it boring as hell. If I listen to music, after two songs I’ve calculated that I have been running for 6.3 mins so must have done at least 1.2 km. Yes, it’s the accounting gene in me. So I am already working out when I can stop and the thought of stopping makes me want to quit even more.
So I needed running buddies.
Looking on the trusty medium of Facebook, I found that Middlewich has its own gossip station, apologies, I mean informative community page. I asked a question as to wether Middlewich had a running club and was directed to RunMiddlewich. So after a few weeks of complete avoidance, I got the bull by the horns and went along.
Now here I must add something, joining a running club for most people is all fine and well, but I also have the joy of having a stammer. And the one thing I always stammer on is my name. Some people, when you first meet them, come out with the wisecrack of ‘Haha I thought you had forgot your name then…’ No you plum, that is hardly likely. So with Facebook, I made sure I commented on the group, made sure I had a profile picture people could clearly see and prayed that most people would ‘know me’! However also running and talking is hard enough, but chuck in stammering and it’s bloody hard work!
So I donned my shiny new trainers, a newly acquired hi-vis running jacket and off I popped to the local leisure centre to meet the group. Well, I had no need to be anxious at all, everyone was so friendly and I subsequently found out it was simply a group of people formed by the initative of two local guys which had grown into a lovely supportive group. They had recently started a Couch to Five Km (C25K to be down with the kids) programme and had posted it round Facebook etc and they had about 30-odd newbies who were ready to sacrifice themselves to the canal paths of Middlewich!
Over the weeks, I did some running with the group, and then also a few us braved it out on Sunday mornings depending on schedules of work and kids and before we knew it the group leaders had us roped into doing an actual 5km. On the big day we had our picture taken for the local paper and we went home proudly sporting our medals!
So now I am doing 10km training. Did I seriously just type that?? Hell yes. Even my work colleagues are getting in on the act, seems everyone is getting in on this running bug. So I have signed up with a colleague to do the Great Manchester 10km, with the promise of beer and food after!
The only issue I have is I do not seem to be losing weight as I end up eating my own body weight in anything that passes my nose after I’m finished! Oh and the fact that in my office we have a penchant for Greggs sausage rolls on a regular basis!
So running doesn’t have to be just a fitness thing, it is a social thing. It gets you out there, in the fresh air, meeting people you would not normally come into touch with. It gets you to know your colleagues, it gives you goals.
Look up a group in your town, most have them, who knew! Get running, get friends, get a life!