I'm still running three times a week and still see a gradual improvement. From learning to run 20 minutes continuously, without having a walking break, I have been trying to increase the length of time I'm running for. At the beginning of the week, I was managing 26 minutes, and I was just thinking that maybe for the next session I'd try 28 minutes. But the run was going very well and I thought 'it's only 4 minutes more to do 30 minutes', which is what I'd aimed for all this time. I thought I'd give it a try and to my utter surprise I managed it! Half an hour of continuous running, no stopping - if you'd told me a year ago I'd be able to do this, I'd have rolled over the floor with laughter.
I'm all the more surprised because I am the least sporty person I know. I used to be the one who got chosen last at school for teams in PE. I would be the one dropping the ball which everybody else would catch. I would be the last one coming in if we had to run around the track. I would dread the days on which we had PE.
And then, a few years ago, I felt I had to do something about my fitness. I was a bit overweight and my job is very sedentary, and I knew it wasn't healthy. So I started swimming - the only sport which I enjoyed. I found I got better and better at it and discovered it is true what they say about sport: it makes you feel better, endorphins do exist, you do get more energy. Then when I met B., I started cycling near where he lives - miles of country lanes to explore. I love going out on my bike on my own and enjoy the surroundings, the changing seasons, the wildlife you spot.
As I posted here before, after mum became ill and then recovered, I wanted to do something positive. Running would be a real challenge - something I couldn't ever imagine being able to do. But although it has taken me much longer than I expected, my perseverance has paid off and now I can run 30 minutes and I actually enjoy it. Someone asked me the other day if I was going to stop running after Race for Life (this Sunday) and I said no, definitely not - I can't imagine anymore that I'd not do any form of exercise. And running is definitely going to be a big part of that exercise regime. I think I have mum to thank for that - so thanks mum!
On another note, isn't this gorgeous?