I can’t believe it has already been 2 weeks since I jogged 10km at the Race for Life in Leicester- it feels like it was so long ago, but it’s not really. The atmosphere was incredible and everyone was so supportive of each other. I would definitely like to participate in another Race for Life in the near future, to raise more money for Cancer Research UK. While jogging the Race for Life was to raise money and awareness, I did it primarily as a way to improve my fitness and health. I thought that jogging for a great cause would motivate me in my training to complete the 10km non-stop, and it certainly worked!
I decided that I would jog the Race for Life back in January this year, but at first I chose 5km. I surprised myself when I jogged 5km non-stop on the treadmill at the gym in about 45 minutes on a flat gradient. I didn’t feel the need to stop and I didn’t feel breathy after completing it. That’s when I decided to up the ante and aim for 10km. At first I thought to myself, are you crazy?! That’s a bit of a daunting challenge you’re setting yourself, isn’t it? Will you ever be ready to jog 10km non-stop by July?
I was getting a bit worried in my training when I found it difficult to jog outside, which I didn’t start until March time. The first time I completed 10km non-stop on a treadmill was not until towards the end of April, which I did in a time of 1 hour and 25 minutes. This meant that I had May and June to practice 10km outside, and the first time I achieved that was a month after completing it on the treadmill, in a time of 1 hour and 15 minutes.
I’ve mentioned recently before that I worry a lot; I even call myself a ‘worry wart’ sometimes! I worry that I won’t have enough time to complete tasks and challenges, such as essays I’ve had to write and the dissertation which I’m currently working on. Most of the time, I have plenty of time left over to check over my work lots of times. In the month that I had left to prepare for the Race for Life, I think I must’ve jogged 10km outside at least 5 times. I proved to myself through all of those times, no matter how tough or easy I found them, that I would be able to complete the race, even if I had to walk parts of the route. However, this was not the case. I jogged the 10km route non-stop, without feeling the need to walk or stop, in 1 hour and 11 minutes, which was 3 minutes over my best ever time, but I was still thrilled!
On reflection, I thought it would be a good idea to write a post about what I have learnt through my training to jog 10km:
1. You can do great things, no matter what your body weight
I feel brave enough now to say that I currently weight 14 stone and 11 pounds, which is about 94 kg, and my height, last time I checked a year ago, is 1.74m, which is about 5 feet and 8 1/2 inches. I have been averaging this weight since the start of this year. While my training went well, my dieting has not so much. I thought that in order to jog the distance non-stop, I would need to lose at least another stone however, this was not the case. My training meant that I started to develop more muscle in my thighs and other areas of my body, so I am guessing that this muscle is burning off the calories while I am maintaining an average weight.
It felt fantastic to cross the finish line at the Race for Life, that I was able to jog 10km non-stop even at my current weight. I always had the conception that being over-weight meant that I would become tired and breathy quickly; I have proved this wrong!
2. No one cares what you are doing when you are exercising
I jumped over the hurdle of being nervous about joining the gym in March last year and I still feel fine to this day. However, I dreaded the first time I went jogging outside. I had thoughts whirring through my head, that people would wonder what ‘a big girl’ like me was doing outside sweating buckets and look at me in disgust as my ‘bingo wings’, legs, belly and bottom jiggled about. The truth is, people just seem to get on with their own business and don’t even bat an eyelid, just like those at the gym.
Even if they were thinking the thoughts I have just stated, I wouldn’t have even known and to be honest, I have learnt not to let it bother me, and just let them deal with it. If people have had those thoughts about me, then it’s their problem.
3. You start to appreciate and love your body
Before I started seriously changing my fitness and lifestyle, I never thought I would see myself jogging 10km. I loathed my majority of my body parts, only really liking my eyes, calfs and shoulders. However, when you start training, you realise what an amazing thing your body really is. You only have to look at the athletes at the Olympic Games to see what the human body is capable of.
Even while I was writing this post, I was still wondering how on earth I managed to jog 10km. Throughout my training I started to appreciate my body more and embraced the changes it was going through. I can happily say that I feel comfortable in my own skin and love my body!
Since the Race for Life, I haven’t had a chance to do intense exercise! This is due to various things, including my dissertation, my part-time job and holidays. I am currently getting exercise by taking my dog Oscar for walks. It has been nice to relax and treat myself since completing the Race for Life, but I will need to get back on track with my fitness. Even though I haven’t done any real exercise, my weight has remained the same, which is good. And even though I have said that I am happy with my body, I want to lose weight for my health in the long-term.
Thank you everyone for being so supportive! It has meant a lot to me and has been really encouraging. I am so glad that I started blogging when I did- thank you to WordPress and its friendly community of bloggers.
One happy Clare Bear 🙂