Why do you love running?
It’s amazing to ask people this question and to see their eyes light up as they start to talk about why they laced up their trainers that first fateful day and never looked back.
For me, I’ll admit – it certainly wasn’t love at first step! Back in high school, a friend convinced me to join the cross country team with her so she would know someone at the practices, and figuring that I needed to join an after-school sport to look ‘well-rounded’ on my college applications anyway, I decided to go along!
That first three mile run was a killer. I remember not being able to do the whole thing without walking, and me not being a runner, I spent many of my first runs wearing a thick cotton t-shirt and long football shorts. As anyone who’s been to Southern California (AKA a desert) in the middle of summer can attest, that is a very big mistake!
Apart from discovering the wonders of proper running gear over the next few years, I got better in leaps and bounds. Hitting PB after PB was an amazing feeling – it probably helped that every race we ran was such a weird distance! 1.67 miles, anyone?
High school me trying out a half marathon after all those years of training
I also had my fair share of ups and downs – the downs being some pretty severe injuries, the worst of which was a stress fracture that pretty much ended up breaking my fibula in half after I kept running on it for weeks (yes, that was stupid, I know!). It really frustrated me to have all of these setbacks to my running, and after four years of having practice for three hours a day, five days a week, with a race on the sixth, I seriously needed a break from running – and so I stopped while at university, pretty much entirely.
I don’t think I properly fell in love with running until I moved to London in October 2016. I was moving over to join my long-term boyfriend and didn’t really know anyone. I wanted to get fit again and meet friendly people, so what better thing to do than join a running club?!
I’m so happy I stumbled across London City Runners. When I found the club online they seemed friendly, encouraging and welcoming – and importantly, were free! I won’t lie, I was pretty nervous the first time I went along (with all those fears that running club newbies seem to share) but there was absolutely no need to be.
All smiles after my first race with City Runners – Hampton Court Half 2017
I still remember doing the Tuesday Thames loop for the first time and the feeling of awe I experienced as I ran past all of London’s gorgeous landmarks, lit up against the night sky. I ran faster that night than I had in years – almost like my legs were telling me that they had missed this!
That was the night I really and truly fell in love with running, and haven’t looked back since. Every Tuesday, I’m grateful that I get to run past these sights that so many people only ever dream of seeing. I love going to a club where you can make friends in an instant (even if being around so many good runners convinces you to sign up for your first marathon, despite you saying you’d never do one!). And finally, I’m grateful to live in London, what has to be one of the best cities for running in the world!
So, what makes YOU love to run?