I have now been a Redway Runner for a whole month and in some ways, because of the welcome I have had, it feels a lot longer.
I have worked out that I have clocked 68.5 miles in that time (I clearly have too much time on my hands!) and my fitness levels are the highest they have been in a couple of years as a consequence. I started running 5 years ago, but struggled to find a regular running buddy. Within a year, I had run one full marathon (the inaugural rain-drenched MK marathon) and several half-marathons.
During these early running experiences, I began to notice the RR vests wherever I ran and was frequently nagged by Steve Patey to come and join. I resisted for a long time, as I didn’t think I’d be able to fit into a timetable of organised runs. Two years ago, I had a bit of a health scare after the stadium half, so decided to focus on cycling for a while, though always wanted to get back into running at some point. After a few false starts I finally got back into regular running in January. Soon after, my uncle died and chose to enter the stadium half in his memory.
Training was not as smooth as I had been used to, but I got there in the end. On the day, I find myself running with my friend Glynis Wiles for a few miles and all of the support that she was getting wearing her RR vest was what convinced me to join.
In the past month, I have found that running regular timetabled runs has had the opposite effect. I am out of the door and at the meeting place half an hour early. I am creeping closer to my parkrun PB and have had a go at several different runs, getting quicker, fitter and enjoying it immensely.
This is the first time in my 47 years that I have joined a club of any type and I am doing something just for me. Since being in MK, I have met most people through work or through our 3 grown-up kids. Now I am meeting people from all walks of life, as well as running with former pupils and also parents of people I have taught. David Rose, who I have known for several years, has introduced me to lots of new people and Facebook has also played a part in me getting to know the club.
Ros Crawley is another long-standing friend who has helped me and encouraged me. Without her I would not have run 10 miles within 2 weeks of becoming a member. A massive thank you to everyone who has chatted to me on various runs, but especially to all the leaders I have got to know. You give up so much time to help and encourage all of us and I have at no point felt judged for the standard of my running.. All I have had is encouragement.
After I ran the 2012 MK Marathon, I felt I had unfinished business, but I am yet to run another. If I don’t get into London, I will enter MK, because I now know that Redway Runners will get me back to that standard. In the meantime, I look forward to running my first half as a Redway Runner at the NSPCC in September.
The renewed running bug is so serious, I feel frustrated if I miss a run! Thank you and best wishes