12 Races In 12 Months – Job Done!
When I first started running I signed up to a race to keep me motivated, I raised money for charity to give me that extra reason to keep going. Following my first race, I decided to fundraise for a different charity each year. I did the same race again for a different charity. In September 2015, I had signed up for a couple of races and my husband suggested that I do a race a month for a year – 10 months later and I have done 12 races of varying distances and terrains.
I have run from 10k (6.2 miles) to a half marathon (13.1 miles) and various distances in between. Some have been road races and some have been off-road. All have been challenging for a variety of reasons and I have learnt so much about running and training.
I have travelled far and wide to races, never alone thanks to the amazing support from my running friends. On a few occasions some of those friends have dropped their pace to stay with me.
Leeds Half Marathon was the longest race I have ever done, it was the most amazing and horrible experience and I would definitely do it again. The support along the way was fantastic, people were outside their houses with hosepipes, sweets, fruit and water. There were people cheering and playing music along the way. It was horrendously hot and lots of runners collapsed from the heat!
I learnt that there is no shame in run/walking a race, especially such a long way on a very hot day. I also learnt the importance of rest, both physically and psychologically. I miscalculated the dates and ran four races on four consecutive weeks, starting with a 10 mile and ending with the half marathon and two 10ks in between. I was very tired but I failed to recognise that and carried on running during my holiday. When I returned I didn’t race for a few weeks and definitely felt the benefit.
Another highlight was East Leeds 10k, a few little things made it very special. I was accompanied by a good few friends and one even came back after he had finished and ran the last couple of kilometers with me. I also had family support, my Dad and brother brought my nephew and niece and the children ran along with me too.
I finished in spectacular fashion with the ‘No Ego’ 10k in Dalby Forest. It was off road, as the name suggests. There were hills like I’ve never know before, huge puddles, rocks and trees. I fell over, twice. I had to go down a rocky path on my bottom because my legs were too short to step down. It was my slowest ever 10k, not a surprise considering the terrain!
The experiences of the past 10 months have taught me that rest is as important as training. Support, whether it’s from friends and family or total strangers can carry you further than you think you can go and to always try something new, whether it’s a different distance or terrain, always mix it up!
Donate towards Amanda’s accomplishment and her chosen charity – Leeds Children’s Hospital: