I’m a mum of two teenage girls and I only took up running properly 10 years ago, as a way of chilling out when the kids were little.
When I started out, I decided to do a bit of training to see if I could finish a 5K without walking. I wanted to get fit and chose running because it could fit around looking after the children.
It's so convenient because you can run for a short period of time, you can run anywhere and you can run any distance, so it was just an easy form of exercise for me to do.
From 5k to finishing marathons
Bit by bit and without really realising it, I started to run that little bit further and started to set myself new, small goals – I just got the running bug! I liked being out in the fresh air and having a bit of time on my own, and it just grew from there.
I’ve since gone on to complete three marathons and if I’m completely honest, I don’t quite know how I got to this stage.
I progressed to a few 5k runs, then took on 10k runs, and before I knew it, I was running a couple of half marathons.
I gave myself three years to train up for a marathon and then went on to complete my third last year. When I thought about it in the past, I thought there was no way I could run that distance, but I’m telling you... if I can, you can!
Running is good for the mind
Obviously I enjoy being a fitter version of myself but, for me, the main reason I love running is how it benefits my mental wellbeing.
Running helps me to process what I've done in the day and plan for the next. It helps me relax, sleep better and there’s nothing better than being outside in the fresh air.
I recommend treating yourself when you’re training too – it’s a great morale booster and it’s a little reward on its own!
I lost a few toenails when doing marathon training so I was delighted when I realised I could have them replaced with acrylic ones until they grew back. Don’t worry, I’ve never lost any toenails training for a 10k!
Katy’s top tips
Like I say, I’m absolutely no expert but I am testament to what’s possible when you put your mind to it!
A few things to think about, and that have helped me along the way, are:
The main advice I’d give to anyone training for the Bury 10k is to gradually build up your distance in training and then on the day, just go for it!
Think positive, remember all the training you’ve done and then just try to enjoy it. However bad you might feel during the race, it will be far outweighed by how great you’ll feel when you cross the finish line.
Queen – Don't Stop Me Now. It blasted out of the speakers at my first Great Manchester Run when I was struggling about at about 7k – it really kept me going and when I hear it now, it reminds me of that day and how far I’ve come with my running.
I just have to jump in a hot shower with a cup of tea if it’s a winter run!
After each marathon, I’ve celebrated at our local Italian restaurant (in flip flops because my feet were too sore for proper shoes!)
I’ve run in many nice places (I even take my running kit on holiday) but I've not found anywhere I prefer running more than Heaton Park. I run there quite early on a weekend morning and at that time of day, it's quiet and absolutely beautiful.
A decent pair of trainers. I'm happy to run in any old running kit but always buy the same make of trainer and when they wear out, I just buy another pair exactly the same.
I've not really got one of those, just keep putting one foot in front of the other!
Just get started, stick at it and gradually build up your distance. You will feel a great sense of achievement when it's done. If I can do it, anyone can!