Carla Brayshaw column

Visitor columnist, Carla Brayshaw.
Visitor columnist, Carla Brayshaw.
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Ten weeks ago I took up running. On a night out in Morecambe, I bumped into an old friend whom I hadn’t seen for about 20 years.

She told me about her running club, aptly named ‘Plodding Along’ which takes non-runners to 5K and beyond in 10 weeks.

I laughingly suggested she would never get me to 5K as I really am a non-runner. After exchanging Facebook contacts we vowed to keep in touch and each went our separate ways (in our case it was an evening in The Royal listening to the fabulous Fuse)

Next day, ears still ringing from the night before, on checking my phone there’s an invite from my friend to join her Absolute Beginners class on a Monday evening.

I am terrified by the prospect of running with a group of people. At high school, the words ‘cross country’ struck fear into my heart and I would be found at the back of the pack, walking with the other non-sporty girls, with a packet of wine gums stuffed down the waistband of my navy blue gym skirt.

In those days you could either run or you couldn’t; some children seemed to have a natural ability and others, like me, just dreaded Monday afternoons and double games.

Well, I went to my first session and quickly realised that running can be taught.

We started off with a five minute brisk walk and then 1 minute bursts of running with 90 second walk breaks. I managed this fine and felt suitably pleased with myself.

I continued with ‘homework’ sessions and kept up with the group runs, each week adding more time to the running whilst taking fewer and shorter walk breaks.

Here I am after 10 weeks and I can run 5K and far beyond.

I can run for 45 minutes non-stop and after Christmas will be starting on the next level which will take me to 10K.

I’ve only had one real set-back along the way.

About three weeks in, my left knee became really painful after one session and a visit to The Runners Centre was in order.

Ian gave me some good advice and I left with a new pair of trainers and a ‘prescription’ to eat some crystallised ginger to reduce the inflammation.

After a week’s rest, thankfully, the injury settled down and the knee is as good as new now.

I am amazed that I can actually do this.

David has even joined me on some sessions and I have recruited a few others, including my best friend Debbie.

She is a real success story. She couldn’t manage 30 seconds running on week one and is up to 20 minutes non-stop.

We are both planning on doing our first charity run on December 28, in aid of the Ryan Stanford appeal. So not only do we get fit, we get to raise money for a good cause too.

Thank you Debbie Alexander and Plodding Along for proving me wrong.