For Christmas 2012, Hannah bought me a GPS watch. It’s one of the best presents I’ve ever received, as I’ve told her about a thousand times since.

I didn’t run much in 2013; I got to 10km once, thought that was good enough, and stopped. In 2014, though, I did a lot better, completing about 600km over the course of the year. In total I think it was about 70 hours of running (yep, I am very slow) which gave me plenty of time to think. I haven’t run at all this year because of injury, but I still wanted to post this. Here’s what I’ve learnt from putting one foot in front of the other.


I’m a slow runner. Really slow, in fact; I finished in the bottom 15% of the Great Manchester 10k in 2014. My average paces don’t even make it onto the pacing charts in my running diary. At my pace, I’d be lucky to finish a marathon before they close the course.

I am fine with all of this.


That doesn’t mean I don’t want to get faster, though. After my disappointment with my result in the Manchester 10k, I started a half-marathon training plan. During the plan, I set a new 10k PB which, had I run it in Manchester, would have put me in the top 40% of the field. And I finished two 21k training runs, which I didn’t think I could have done in 2013.


I do not get medals or awards for running. Nobody high-fives or cheers for me. I do it for myself because I enjoy it and I know it’s good for me. And if you do the next thing that’s required of you, you get a bit better, and so on, until you’re somewhere you’ve never been before.

Unfortunately it hasn’t taught me everything: it hasn’t taught me how to go easy on myself when I fail, or to think something other than, “I wish I was that fast” when people speed past me (I have that on my bike, too.) But considering I never thought it would teach me anything, I’ll take what I can get.