I am sharing this beautiful note from one of my clients. She trains as part of a small group with me once a week. I challenged them in January to target a 5k run on 6th March. There was no pressure to run it. Just train and attend on the day and see what happened. Either way it would be an achievement. I am so proud of this group of previous non-runners. They showed up, had fun and crossed that finish line with a smile on their faces.

..and this is what she said

After the excesses of a fun-filled Christmas, my fitness class decided we needed a goal to help us focus on getting back into shape. We all signed up for a 5km fun run in early March which gave us roughly six weeks to train for it. I certainly would not describe myself as a runner, of any distance for that matter, so the thought of completing a 5km run was very daunting.

During our fitness class, Ciara helped to keep us fit with cardio workouts, and despite the miserable January weather, we headed out to run a few laps around the local park, each session increasing our distance to close the gap to 5km.

Now, the 5km run may not be a challenge for many. However for me, having first started with Ciara with “a dodgy knee” and a declaration that “I’m not a runner”, running any distance seemed almost an impossible task.

The day of the run was beautiful, sunny and bright, and the drive down to Carlow was fun (we had chosen a run outside of Dublin so to be sure not to bump into anyone we knew). All along though, I was nervous, lacking confidence in my ability to run the distance, completely out of my comfort zone as we were all pinning on our numbers to be timed for the race. As the race started and we ran past the starting line, all my thoughts were with my three boys who train hard for their clubs, be it rugby, athletics or GAA. My eight year old tried his very best running at the indoor championships the previous week, and if he can succeed by finishing strong by running his very best, then I could follow his example. At any point where I felt like taking a “little break” especially when the course got tough heading uphill, I thought back to my eldest who trains and plays in all sorts of weather conditions for his school and club. It really was my turn to learn from them, to be motivated by their commitment to exercise. I wanted the boys to see that I can train for a race and to complete it, to run when I said I couldn’t, to finish it without taking a break. I wanted them to be proud of their mum.

So my time wasn’t the fastest – 5km in just under 35minutes – but I was so happy to cross the finish line and was lovely to have a friendly face, Ciara, greet me at the very end! What a fabulous feeling, to have achieved something that seemed so unattainable. Needless to say, my first call was to my family – a FaceTime call to let them all know “I did it! I ran it without stopping!”