Describing myself as a ‘runner’ doesn’t sound natural, but a quick check of Nike+ on my smartphone suggests that having ran more than 100 miles since May I may well actually be a ‘so-called runner’.
I have ran on and off since my early teens, turning out for Durham Harriers in junior events before discovering the delights of alcohol in my late (ok, mid) teens. I was never quick but had a surprising level of stamina which was why I was nominated for the longer distance races.
Sixth form, university and a reasonable disposable income put paid to my running for a good ten years during which time I went from being a skinny waif to overweight.
My competitive running career started with the Destiny Run in Durham aged 8 and after a few goes at that it stalled until I was told about parkrun twenty something years later. Since then I have managed a miserable 13 parkruns. That 50 club t-shirt will be here by 2022 at this rate. I have also completed the Blaydon Race twice in 2013 and 2014 and this year finished my first ever Great North Run in 2 hours 10 minutes. Whilst not strictly running I have also completed Total Warrior in the Lake District on two occasions.
My favourite running/fitness quote is “Don’t worry about looking like the person in the magazine, the person in the magazine probably doesn’t look like that.”
My running seems to come in spells, and I am certainly a fair weather runner and my dusty Garmin will tell you. Spells of tendonitis firstly in my achilles and then in opposite knee (as a result of a skewed running style to compensate for the achilles) have slowed down progress and are both still troublesome despite two bouts of physiotherapy.
My hopes for the next twelve months are to beat my PB’s in both the Blaydon Race and the Great North Run, with a target of sub-two hours for the GNR at the top of my list. All being well this will be part of a bigger change with running coming alongside increased gym work and a healthier lifestyle.