First things first and many of you won’t know this but I am a very shy individual. Back in September 2012 I was low on confidence too. But myself and Jim joined jogscotland. It’s a community running thing. It helps a lot of people. It helped me a lot but I won’t pretend I loved it. I found it very hard to fit in here as I was shy, low on confidence and most of the people there had moved through in groups together. But it gave me the discipline I needed for regular runs, and upping my mileage, and showed me places that I could go running. Sadly I was eating like a pig as well. I did the Mo run 10k in the November and fell to pieces. Just breaking 56 minutes and I hated the pictures I saw of myself.
I weighed myself at the end of the year and was touching 14 stone. I had never been that heavy. Elaine bought me a cross trainer for my xmas and I broke my toe moving it. You couldn’t make it up. I then got a calf injury striding before a session. But in between injuries I kept trying. I had an aim. Break 50 minutes for the 10k. I joined the Ravenscraig gym and started doing sessions there. By April I decided to do parkrun again. 23.44! Another minute off. Going the right way. Target was 50 mins in the mens 10k in June but I got injured again. Started running again at end June when in holiday in Wales. Found my mojo doing a slow 5k each morning along the beach and trail. This was my halfway point. Loved it.
I went home and entered the jogscotland big weekend 5k. Out of 200 I finished 9th! 24.15 isn’t my fastest but what a boost. No one else from my group was there which surprised me, nor was anyone interested when I posted the result on the site. But hey, I was never really a part, but it annoyed me. I think at the end of the day we all want a bit of acceptance?
Weight was down under 13 stone and nearing 12 1/2 so was trying hard. I trained on my own knowing I had a 10k in September. I was determined to beat 50 mins at Bella.
I nailed it. I put myself through the pain barrier that day. Over a stone and a half lost since the start of the year. I was totally ecstatic.
I had the Great Scottish Run coming up. I trained really hard. Ran Chatelherault weekly, nice tough hilly run. Got injured 2weeks before it. And started comfort eating (I know!!!!!) But I went out on the day and I got round it under 2 hours, So I was delighted. 1.52.03, and £1000 raised in memory of my Dad and sister.
The Jogscotties were meeting after it at the letter J. I walked up and said hello to a couple of people who turned their back on me in front of my wife and kids. Elaine was furious and didn’t want me going back there. I was questioning whether I had what it took to step up to one of my local running clubs or to chuck it altogether. At the start of November I again smashed my 5k time at parkrun and did 22.05. I was still running with Jogscotland and was starting to break down some of the barriers but I knew something new was needed. None of this is meant as an assassination on Jogscotland, it just wasn’t for me, but I have seen the good it has done for so many people. I emailed Hamilton Harriers (my first club) and Motherwell AC. The reply from Motherwell told me what I wanted to hear. I thought I could do it. I was going to go down there and give it a go. Of course I then got injured again and wasn’t able to run again properly until April 2014. 5 months out again. Typical. But this time I made the best of my time out. Elaine and I changed our outlook, changed our eating habits. I used the cross trainer religiously. By the time I was able to run again and after 3 weeks running I had arranged to go to Motherwell and was only a couple of pounds off 11 stone.
Now, injury permitting, I was ready to give it a wee go. Thursday 17th April 2014, Strathclyde Park, 6.30pm, sitting in my car terrified watching athletic people turning up for training. Trying to hide my nerves so they wouldn’t ruin this one for me as they did Jogscotland I opened the door and walked towards the boathouse…..