‘The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible’
– Arthur C Clarke
I first started running in May 2004 as I was feeling unhealthy and unfit and I knew I needed to do something for myself. Having not run since leaving school, where I was probably one of the few who actually enjoyed cross country, I started running with a friend and we began by not being able to run for more than a couple of minutes and then needing to walk, which was great because the plan we were following told us to do just that!
I ran my first 5K in September 2004 which was the Hyde Park Flora 5K in 32.36
From there I fell back in love with running, with racing and getting out in the fresh air and enjoying the countryside. So in January 2005 I joined my local club Ampthill and Flitwick Flyers and have enjoyed the fun and nonsense that belonging to a club gives you, ever since!
I tried my hand at many different distances from 5K up to half marathon and then got a place in London Marathon in 2009. I trained hard and then with 8 weeks to go I got injured and couldn’t run… I decided to just do some short runs and go for it anyway. It was the most painful experience I have ever had and it took me 6 hours to get round and I had caused so much more damage that I was only able to run sporadically for the next 18 months! (and yes I was a pain to live with during that time and yes as a coach I would never suggest it as a good idea to any athlete I was working with!)
So in 2011 I decided I needed a goal to work towards that would take quite a lot of time to train for so I could come back to running slowly and not put any pressure on myself. There is a local run near me called the Greensands Ridge Relay which is 35 miles long and done with 6 relay members… they do allow solo runners if you have a team in (which we always do) so with my running buddy (get one – they are the best!) beside me we decided to train for the June 2012 race.
‘Only if you reach the boundary will the boundary recede before you. And if you don’t, if you confine your efforts, the boundary will shrink to accommodate itself to your efforts. And you can only expand your capacities by working to the very limit.’
– Hugh Nibly
It was hard going and we loved it – from there I was hooked and that year did a 50K and a 56 miler (it was supposed to be 54 but myself and above mentioned running buddy were too busy talking to read the map properly!) which was a qualifier for the LDWA 100 which was in May 2013 and was an amazing experience across Cornwall and Devon. Pushing me mentally and physically to new and unknown levels of ability!
Me at mile 37 of 100!
I have a three favourite sayings that keep me going when I think I need to stop (in running, life and business!) which you will find throughout this article.
Overall I have now done 9 Ultra’s and looking forward to my next one in May 2015, which is 40 miles in the Oxfordshire countryside. There are now so many options out there you can always find one that suits you!
One of the most common things I hear is that someone doesn’t think they are good enough or fast enough to join their local club. This isn’t true as most clubs have people with all abilities in, but it is one of the reasons that in 2011 I wrote my book ‘How to get off the sofa and start running’ as an easy guide for those who were starting at the beginning or were coming back from a long time out and just needed a bit more confidence to get out there!
‘It always seems impossible until it’s done.’
– Nelson Mandela
Coming up Stairway to Heaven – Grizzly 2014
(and yes we started the climb on the beach in the background!)
Annie Page is a qualified Level 2 UK Athletics Endurance Running Coach, Owner of Essentii – developing the potential within – specialising in Business and Sports mindset development. The book ‘How to get off the sofa and start running’ is available from Amazon and The Endless Bookcase.
Copyright Annie Page © 2015 All rights reserved