This Girl Can: Sophie and Running
A group of friends about to take on a running challenge was what led to my alarm going off at 6 am on December 1st 2015. I was getting up early, before work and was about to set off for my first run in over fifteen years.
I was wearing old borrowed trainers and feeling apprehensive at the thought of running. But with my two dogs by my side, we set off into the dark cold morning. Half an hour later I was back, hot and muddy but very proud. I had already managed a run (with a few walks )before my daughter had woken up!
I am a working single mum and at the time I started running, I was still taking medication for post-natal depression. The idea and challenge of running a distance like a half marathon had always appealed to me, especially when others I knew were taking part. But I couldn’t see how I could find the time and energy to train for something like that. It just seemed impossible.
During that first month of the running challenge my family were so supportive, especially my Mum. She would call round to look after my daughter so I could fit my run in each day. At the end of the challenge it was my Mum who commented on how different I seemed while I had been running. I certainly felt less anxious and stressed, like a calmer, happier version of myself.
It is now almost two years on, and I am still running. My family often come to support me at my local parkrun and when I take part in races. My daughter, who is now five, loves to come and watch. She has run a lap of our local parkrun course with me and has even run the last 50m of a 10k race, where she sprinted up to the finish line with me holding my hand. A very proud moment for me.
I have found taking part in various running events help me keep me motivated and challenged. If I know I have a race approaching I have to go for a run. I enjoy competing against myself, trying each time to be that little bit faster or beat a personal best. It’s very addictive.
Since 2016 I have run five half marathons and ran my first marathon this year in Paris. Recently, I have been given a charity place in the 2018 London marathon running for Prostate Cancer Research.
I always feel good after I have been running. If I have a problem or something worrying me, I find I can work through it while I am running. Going out for a run definitely helps clear my mind.