Dear Beginner’s Diary (6): “It is official, I am a runner.”

 Natasha who brilliantly desribed how it feels to go “From couch to 5k” over the last couple of weeks goes on a long run on her last session of the Beginners Class. And even though it did not quite turn out the way she had expected, this is just the beginning.

“It is official, I am a runner. ‘Is it because I rose to the challenge off tonight’s 5k run’, I hear you ask? Actually no, it is because I have sustained my first … (and hopefully not the first of many) running injury. Whilst running to West Bay tonight, actually outside the fish shop at West Bay to be precise, I felt my calf muscle cramp up and I thought, being stubborn, that I would run through the cramp. However, moments later, deep within my calf muscle, I felt a ping and that was it hop-along-Cassidy I had become.

One of the many things that is good about Bridport Runners ‘couch to 5k programme’ is that it is so well organised, you are never alone. Ben, who ran the London Marathon on Sunday in a brilliant time, was leading (not that we had to keep pace with him, thank goodness). Pete was keeping us motivated in the middle of the group, and Claire ensured the slowest among us were doing ok.

After my ping, Claire stayed with me with kind, encouraging words and stretching exercises to help ease out the muscle. Hagen came to my rescue in a white car (the white horse was unavailable on such short notice), and when we got back I was clapped when I hobbled over the finish line to the successful 5k’ers. No matter who you are, what your state of fitness is, you will never be made to feel uncomfortable at Bridport Runners, instead you will feel encouraged and praised for your achievements. I already knew this but tonight clarified it for me.

I’m running the Park Run in Weymouth on Saturday 26th April, so this is when I will be doing my 5k Challenge (injury allowing), and on completion I shall be the proud owner of my certificate from Bridport Runners.

I console myself tonight, with hot chocolate and copious amounts of custard creams; after all, every cloud has a silver lining.”