Blog: Running Through My Mind
Hi. My name is Karen and I am a running addict.

There, I said it. That wasn’t so hard now, was it?

Warning: May Contain Flapjack

Hi. My name is Karen and I am a running addict.

There, I said it. That wasn’t so hard now, was it?

My blog is called “Running Through my Mind” because, apart from the obvious, which is that I blog about whatever is running through my mind at any given time, I have also learned that running is probably 90% mental. Running is also my meditation. It is the perfect opportunity to run through things in my head (pun intended), or to clear my mind completely.

I started running almost a year ago. I don’t have any inspirational, motivational or heart-wrenching tale of how I got into running; I wasn’t overweight, I didn’t have depression, I hadn’t been diagnosed with any illnesses or been warned I needed to change my life-style, I didn’t do it for charity. In a nutshell; I was bored, feeling unfit, a tinier bit bigger than I would have liked (but we are talking size 12 instead of size 10 which, for a lady with a sedentary job and on the wrong side of 30, is not exactly shocking), and basically just a bit fed up.

So I laced up the trainers a shopaholic friend gave me when she last had a wardrobe clear out and discovered a load of unworn clothes and shoes, dug out a pair of very tired looking lycra shorts and a baggy t-shirt and went for a run.

I am very fortunate to live in East Sussex, with the South Downs National Park literally on my doorstep and Beachy Head just a short drive away. I also know the area very well, particularly the trails and beauty spots, from walking my dog and also my frequent trips out into the countryside to indulge my passion for landscape photography. The trails were therefore the obvious place for my first foray into running – and of course there was also the advantage of not being seen by too many passers-by with my red face, mis-matched sportswear and, no doubt, peculiar running style.

Little did I know; those first few runs were to be the start of a whole new chapter in my life.

However, here are a number of things I wish someone would have told me before I started:

  • Running is 100% addictive

  • Runners high is real

  • You will become obsessed with food in general, but with peanut butter and flapjack particularly

  • None of your clothes will fit because you will lose a load of weight at the start (despite all the peanut butter and flapjack)

  • parkrun is excellent

  • You will find a competitive streak you never believed you had

  • parkrun is a nightmare if you find yourself at the top of the points table, as you then cannot miss a single one for fear of dropping your lead (see my previous point about a competitive streak)

  • You will obsess about improving your pace/increasing your distance

  • You might actually start liking hills and hill training

  • If you trip over with your iPhone in your hand when you are running it hurts and the iPhone will be irreparable (although it will finish recording the rest of your run home on the running app and then you can pin point from the split times at which point you were lying on the deck self-diagnosing your injuries)

  • Your non-runner friends and colleagues will give you strange looks when they ask you why you run and tell them it’s because you enjoy it. No, I really do. It’s fun.

  • You will start thinking that pigtails or plaits actually look great on you (perhaps just us women, that one)

  • You will get through an awful lot more shampoo (again, I am thinking more of the ladies here)

  • Running is more about mind over matter than about physicality

  • You will find yourself boring your non-runner friends half to death with tales of how you got your last PB, or which races you are entering

  • Once you have mastered the parkrun 5km, you will find yourself thinking 10km isn’t that far, it’s only two parkruns. Once you have mastered the 10km, you will find yourself thinking a half marathon isn’t that far, it’s only just over two 10km runs. This is a slippery slope and, before you know it, you will be signed up for a marathon next year (yes, I am talking from experience here)

  • Pier pressure in the running community, particularly on social media sites, is huge and you can find yourself swept away on the tide of euphoria and marathon success stories (again, I am talking from experience)

  • Some running tights go transparent if you bend over or stretch (thankfully, for me, this is something I have observed on others and taken heed of, rather than something I have experienced first-hand)

  • You will spend more on trainers than on any single pair of shoes for any other purpose

  • If you can’t go for a run as planned, you will become the grumpiest, sulkiest individual on the planet until you can

  • Coconut water tastes disgusting.

    These are just a few of the many things I have learnt along the way and I am sure there are many more revelations just around the corner. I look forward to learning about them, both good and bad, and hope you can come on this journey with me, through my blog. Who knows, perhaps we will even pass each other on the trails sometime….