Running the Derby10 in November of 2016 was one of my biggest achievements of that year, that and of course graduating! I had finished my Internship and I had an unusual amount of free time until I started my next job. I had wanted to begin developing my fitness levels, and ultimately take on something that I had never done before, enter the Derby10.
I signed up in July, I was mixed with feelings of excitement and sheer panic. I hadn’t worn my running shoes in months and I was sporting what could only be described as post graduation-celebration gut and a bad knee from playing Rugby in my final year at University. How on earth was I going to develop the fitness levels needed to run 10 miles in just under 5 months with a dodgy knee? In hindsight I was been incredibly melodramatic and found that the body adjusts to exercise quicker than expected!
I threw together an excellent playlist of upbeat songs and began running when I could keeping a note of my runs as well as my lazy periods. I’d just like to clarify that I was running 2.5 miles in 40 minutes due to my post graduation-celebration gut...I’m holding onto this excuse for dear life. I sometimes had weeks off at a time. My routine wasn’t always set, my new job had started a few weeks after this venture. By September I was running 6 miles in 56 minutes, a major improvement considering I could barely walk up the stairs without feeling a little breathless (post graduation-celebration gut). In honesty, the process of my running schedule was temperamental. I found it hard to stay focused. There were weeks where I ran every day. When you work hard and don’t see progression in your fitness or running time it is only natural to feel disheartened. Yet, it was the adrenaline and the excitement to run for such an amazing charity which kept me focused.
Race day eventually arrived, I was feeling slightly nervous, but excited. Arriving I saw everyone in their fancy running gear, lunging, stretching and looking worryingly unphased by the hustle and bustle in Derby County FC stadium. I approached the AA booth and was met with familiar faces and a sudden surge of pride to be running for the sponsor of the Derby10, I remembered the reason why I started training in the first place, it wasn’t just to try something different, but support a charity that had become my family. I was raring to go.
Adrenaline pushed me to the finish line, throughout the run you are heavily provided with electrolytes and water to fuel your body, you’re cheered on. People who'd never met you before clapped and shouted words of encouragement. I was advised to take my time, I finished quicker than expected and I felt amazing. I ran the Derby10 in 1:40minute’s. I had just proved to myself that I’m capable of doing amazing things with just a bit of motivation, Annabel’s Angels was my motivation.
What did I learn? That my body was stronger than I gave it credit for. Remember when I was enjoying my post graduation-celebration gut? In just a few months I had managed to transform my fitness. What else? Running for a reason, for a cause , for Annabel’s Angels was one of the most rewarding thing I’d ever done.
The Derby Ramathon is just around the corner and with free spaces available for those who run for Annabel’s Angels. I implore you to try something new. Run, walk or crawl, as long as you cross that finish line. Running for Annabel’s Angels was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. I’ve maintained my fitness since November, it was a gateway to bigger and better things for my body and my mind. You never really know your limits unless you push yourself to them. So, what’s stopping you?