A few of the girls I work with are runners – with one actually completing this year’s London Marathon – so I basically caved to their peer pressure to take on the Manchester 10k!
My training at Great Run Local
A couple of workmates signed up to the Great Manchester Run this year and they bugged me every single day to join them. Next thing I knew, I was signed up for my first 10k and I thought I better get some training done.
Great Run Local has been such a huge help to me – I like the fact it's an organised event that makes me get up and go on a Sunday morning.
The volunteers are great too, as I’m usually near the end and they are still really upbeat and cheering you on even though I’m sure they wish I'd just finish so they could be back home enjoying a brew!
Everyone is so friendly and genuinely want people to succeed, plus it doesn't feel like a race or a competition. I tend to see the same few ladies and there’s one in particular who always shouts something encouraging whenever I seem to be struggling, which definitely helps spur me on.
I love being able to track my time – I still feel like I’m gradually getting faster every week, so getting the message with my time on shows me I’m getting a little better at running, even if it doesn't feel like it at the time!
My support network
I’m lucky in that I have a very supportive husband, Andy, who is a great inspiration. He didn't start running until a few years ago when he decided to do the Manchester Marathon, so he’s shown me what is possible when you put your mind to it.
He ran by my side at the Manchester 10k, which I’m sure he found very difficult since he can run 10k in less than 50 minutes. We actually completed it in 1 hour 14 minutes, and I’m very proud to say I ran every single step of it – that was down to Andy, as I would have given up and walked if it wasn't for him.
I was so proud of myself for finishing my first 10k and I couldn't actually believe I ran every step. It hit me as I crossed the finish line and I’m not ashamed to admit I shed a little tear.
Despite feeling like I’d been hit by a car in the days after the Manchester 10k (and yes I do know what that's like after being in a car crash on the motorway five years ago!) I was on such a high that I’d actually done it, it’s made me want to do more.
Why I'm fundraising for Bury Hospice
As soon as I saw the Bury 10k announced, I just thought, why not? And as well as giving me the chance to get another 10k under my belt, I’ll be fundraising for Bury Hospice, a cause very close to my heart.
My friend Jo spent the last week of her life at the Hospice and she was only 30 when she sadly lost her battle with cancer in 2011.
The Hospice couldn't do enough for her, her family and friends, and in particular they organised for her to marry the love of her life. They married on the Thursday and she died in the early hours of Friday morning.
She was such a brave and strong person who fought to the end. I may not have known her the longest but she touched my life and she'll never be forgotten!
This one’s for you, Jo.