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Couch to half marathon and jog leader: Laura’s miles better

October 3rd, 2015

This time last year I wasn’t running. 2014 was a tough year: I had been in an accident and was recovering, so running was the last thing on my mind. I found it difficult to be in public places and felt like a shadow of my former self, having lost enjoyment in many things. I didn’t start to feel better until the start of 2015.

I joined the Couch to 5K programme with Glasgow FrontRunners in early January 2015 and like others I would have struggled to run the length of myself initially. However, over the weeks of the course I began to feel better about myself; I was enjoying returning to running, getting to know new people and making new friends. A bonus was that I was losing weight too.

GFR Couch to 5k graduates and supports, Victoria parkrun, 7 March 2015

The end of the course culminated in a 5k parkrun which, despite the terrible weather, was a great experience and a huge achievement for us all.

Following on from Couch to 5k many of us aimed to take part in a 10k and continuing to run with the club helped make that possible. I took part in a 10k in Madrid, and the Women’s 10k in Glasgow.

Since then I’ve continued to enjoy running with Glasgow FrontRunners, and on Sunday 4 October I’ll be running the Great Scottish Run half marathon! It’s the longest distance I’ve run in several years, and whilst it’s not my first half marathon (it will be my third), it will still be special. I’m fundraising for Prostate Cancer UK and I’ll be proud to wear my Glasgow FrontRunners top on the day.

I’m happy that I’m running again, I’ve made new friends and lost 2.5 stone since January this year. With encouragement from jog leaders, I’ve even signed up to be trained as a jog leader for the club. I may not be the fastest runner (far from it!) but I want to give something back to my club and support others with their running too.

To anyone who says they can’t run, I challenge them to give it a try! Programmes like Couch to 5k are ideal for people who don’t think they can run; the support from others and the jog leaders can help you become a runner… You just need to take the first step.

Laura Howell