Happiness / Running

I signed up to the half marathon: here’s why

This is probably my first, non-related journalism post on the blog. Since taking up my most recent role, and third job in the journalism industry, I feel like I have overdone advice on getting into the industry. I’ve written about my journey, my NCTJ, my work experience placements, what I’ve learned, etc… and that content still stays on here. But I have more to say, and it’s not just about work. In fact, this is the opposite.

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I blogged when I got my new job about being asked a question in my third (yes third) interview, about my non-career goals. It was a combination of that, and watching people come through the finish line at the Brighton marathon in April that made me to sign up for the half marathon. And so far? It’s going pretty well.

What I haven’t had in a long time is something to focus on outside of work. I used to dance, but finding a suitable class near me in London which doesn’t cost a bomb was hard. I went to the gym when I lived at home. But since moving to London, I didn’t have anything to do out of work. I didn’t have a “hobby”. I went out and ate a lot and drunk, but I wouldn’t really call that a hobby.

I think I went out for my first run in around February this year, and I couldn’t even make it half way round the 5k route right near my house. Hell, I couldn’t even make it a quarter of the way round. I was incredibly unfit, I felt so crap about how I had let myself sit on my sofa every evening when I could have been doing some sort of exercise. I was also frustrated that I could never and would never be able to run 5k. Obviously that was me being incredibly dramatic.

This week, I ran my first ever 12k and it was by far the most satisfying thing I have done in a long time, aside from my career. For so long I’ve been so focused on getting my dream job and being in a role where I feel comfortable, but also not on edge because I’m on a fixed-term contract. And when I got that, I had all this determination inside me to do something else. Something that wasn’t about writing even more and doing even more freelance work just to “stand out”. All that extra work, it can get tiring. Seriously tiring.

So going from someone who couldn’t manage 5k to running double that and more just felt SO DAMN GOOD. I finished and my whole body felt like jelly, but I had the biggest smile on my face, like ever. Granted, that night my body felt so exhausted that I just wanted to sleep forever, but it was so good.

And just like people tell us, exercise really does make you feel more positive, happier, better about yourself. Especially on a good day. It’s been something I’ve turned to after busy days and just felt ten times better after a run. A run that I can now do pretty comfortably with 5k. Yay me.

Yes, sometimes I’m like eugh do I HAVE to go for a run, but once I’m out, I really enjoy it. And a lot of the time I do look forward to going out for one. I enjoying reading about training for marathons, learning new things, doing exercise, and reaching new goals. It’s pretty good to have something else to focus on outside of work that doesn’t require much brain power OR a computer screen in front of my face.

And setting goals and achieving them has been the best bit. The first was running the whole 5k route without stopping. The second was running the whole 5k route without stopping in under half an hour. The third was running 10k. The fourth was running 10k under an hour. AND I DID THEM ALL.

The fifth? Well the fifth is to run 15k by the end of July in an hour and a half. I’m not quite there yet, but that 12k run I did this week has filled me with confidence that I really can do it. And I will… just not this week.

So yeah, I’m running and stuff and it feels pretty damn good. 

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