My Running Experience; Mia’s Story
The first I heard about Bath Mind setting up a running group was on Instagram, where Bath Mind did a post to say that they were going to be setting up a running group for beginners with Hannah the Runner (luckily, I already knew Hannah through attending Breathing Space, also run by Bath Mind).
For a while I had wanted to start doing some sort of exercise, but everything was aimed at exercising for physical results, which I wasn’t looking for. I wanted to exercise for my mental health. After chatting with Hannah at Breathing Space, I quickly realised that joining the running group was definitely the right thing for me, because Hannah was all about running for your mental health.
The day came for the first session of running. I felt nervous, but I went regardless. The first week involved walking with a couple of hills to get our heart rates up a bit. I remember feeling really unsure about it and questioned if it was the right thing for me. I really struggle with anything new or that’s a change to my normal routine, which made starting this group a massive step for me.
The ups and down of running
The next day after the first session I emailed Hannah and told her that I wasn’t going to do the group and didn’t think it was for me. Hannah replied saying it doesn’t have to be all or nothing and to see how I felt the next week.
The next week came around and it was the first session where we actually had to run for a minute at a time, with walks in between. Surprisingly I decided about fifteen minutes before the start of the group that I was going to give it go. Luckily, I only live a two minute walk from where the group starts. During the run, I remember feeling really rubbish that I was the slowest person in the group, but I did it… I got through it.
Once I got home, I cried a lot to my partner Bradley. Bradley was really proud of me regardless for going and attending the session.
Hannah and Chris (the other running coach that always ran with me at the back) always reassured me that it didn’t matter that I was at the back of the group. All that mattered was that I was there doing it every week and not giving up.
Change can be hard sometimes
The first few weeks of the course, I still found myself going home upset after running. I think this was due to it being a big change in my life, as well as being slower than others, and having poor confidence. But, I didn’t give up.
Once I started to get used to running and the group of people I ran with, I started to love going to my running group. I got on well with everyone there, and you could tell everyone cared because they were so supportive. I especially got on with Chris who, during the first few weeks, would just have to talk at me whilst we ran because I couldn’t catch my breath enough to talk! Eventually I started being able to chat whilst I ran which I was really proud of.
I don’t think I could have got through it without Chris. He motivated me when I was low, tearful and doubtful that I could do it. As Chris would say “you can do it, this is a doddle!”
I think starting running has been one of the best things I have ever done in my life. It has massively helped me with my mental health. Now, I feel better after a run.
When the hard work pays off
When I got my couch to 5k certificate, I went home and cried. I was so proud of myself for doing something and finishing it. I think it taught me that even in everyday life, it’s all about putting one foot in front of the other.
I have also carried on running with Hannah and my partner Bradley. I am proud to say that I am now a runner, and I love it!
Thank you so much to Hannah, Chris and Clare my running coaches for helping me to start and carry on running. I will be forever grateful.
A huge thank you to Mia for sharing her running experience with us. If you’d like to find out more about Hannah The Runner’s running groups, head to her website.
Posted on: 15th February 2022