Running Has Shaped The Woman I Am Today #InternationalWomensDay

In celebration of International Women’s Day, the lovely team at MyProtein invited me to make a #PressForProgress fitness commitment, and to shout from the rooftops what I will be owning in 2018 as part of their #TodayIWill initiative. To help me achieve my goal MyProtein sent me one of their Limited Edition Active Womens Sample Box filled with snacks, supplements and protein products, available now on their website.

So here goes ; #TodayIWillRUNINTHERAIN 

In 6 weeks I will run my first ever Marathon and at this second I am equal parts terrified and excited.   The snow, rain and whatever else the weather wants to chuck at us may be trying to throw me off my game but with race day around the corner, I’m feeling ready. Running is a huge part of my life and in so many ways it's shaped the strong, confident self-assured woman I am today.

I started running in 2015 when I first moved to London. I am not exaggerating when I say that back in 2015, I could not run for a bus. Along with my mum and younger sister, I had decided to attempt a 5k Race For Life. The goal was simple, but steep ; run the whole thing without stopping. I look back at that race now with the goliath task of London Marathon in front of me and laugh. That 5k was my marathon of the day. It seemed impossible. I didn’t believe in myself one little bit, I had never committed to anything in my life and I had definitely never set a fitness goal. I was convinced I would fail. I felt worthless.

I joined a running club because I knew I didn’t have the discipline to train alone and the accountability of running with other people kept me in check. Running stopped being something I was afraid of. I actually enjoyed it. 

Every time I ran a set distance without stopping, I achieved something. If I got faster, I achieved something and if I turned up after work even though I was tired and cranky, I achieved. The rush of endorphins and the impact running longer and longer distances had on my self-esteem was unreal. 
I learnt discipline that I later applied to studying as an adult. I knew I would be able to study and sit my chartered management accountancy exams because I had learned through running how to set a goal, train and smash it. 

Running gave me an escape from my anxiety. I’m sure you’ll have heard this time and time again but when I put one foot in front of the other, my mind clears. All the fog, confusion, drama or anger from the day disappears and all I can think about is my breathing and the road in front of me.

I had always had a difficult relationship with food and my weight. I was never happy with the way my body looked and I never felt comfortable in my own skin. Running changed that. .. not immediately mind you. I made a TONNE of mistakes in the early days. When I first started training I would starve myself and run. I would drink like a fish and run. I would eat ice cream for dinner, throw up and run. This daft behaviour didn’t matter at first because the distance wasn’t too far, but once I decided I wanted to start trail running and long distance challenges, I had to learn how to eat properly for the first time in my life. I needed to fuel my body and exercise became about being strong, not aesthetic. I used to obsessively cut out pictures of girls in bikini’s in magazines. Now I sit in a sports bra and leggings comfortable I don’t have washboard abs or the perfect physique because now I see my body as this incredible machine that needs power and fuel to achieve amazing feats of endurance.  

Running makes me feel powerful. It’s made me physically and emotionally strong. I became this bad ass woman that run’s long distances across Europe ; 30k in Budapest, a 20k Sky Race in the Dolomite Mountains, 5 half marathons and it’s fuelled the serious athlete who is striving for under 4 hours 30 minutes at London Marathon 2018.

When I wrote my fitness pledge I literally meant I will pull my sorry butt off the sofa when the weather is rubbish and persevere with training, but I actually think it’s more than that. To ‘run in the rain’ is to face down adversity. As a woman it means throwing away the rule book, ignoring the people telling you what to be, what to look like and how to act, but actually most importantly for me, never again listening to the lie that I’m worthless. 

Until Next Time . . . Take Heart x 
*This post contains gifted items


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