Meningitis Now Believe & Achieve B&A staff member Becky Hartwell

I am not a runner

Becky Hartwell 18th July 2018

Our Believe & Achieve Co-ordinator Becky is one of the increasing number of people to sign up to our new virtual event

FFN Jog On

"I am not a runner" - this sounds like a strange way to start a blog post but I think of it as the disclaimer to what I am about to say.

A lot of Believe & Achieve is about setting yourself an aim or thinking of where you want to be. A month or so ago I wanted to raise money for Meningitis Now. Kirstine Dellbridge, someone who I originally met on a Believe & Achieve PGL weekend and who came to our B&A workshop in Cheltenham, has run 10k. I was impressed because I am not a runner but sometimes I wish I was. I love the idea of running; wind in my hair, tunes in my ears, sunshine warming my bare arms and thoughts not churning as I run through the neighbourhood. I’ve tried running and it has never resembled the image I have. It hurts, my thighs cry out, I swear my ankles are going to snap and the only thing covering my bare arms is layers of sweat. Melodramatic much?

I never achieved my dream of being able to go for a run. I tried years ago and gave up.

I told Kirstine that I’m not a runner and gave my usual excuses; too much weight, tiny ankles and that I’d be asking for an injury.

She told me that if she could do it then anyone could. My excuses were useless. What could I say to that?

And then Jog On Meningitis was launched and I saw an opportunity. Jog On Meningitis is a virtual event for those who want to do a challenge in their own time. You have to reach 50k in 50 days. As you can imagine I’m not a marathon or half marathon runner, I can’t swim any distance, climb a mountain and I haven’t ridden a bike since my BMX broke when I was about 12. This was my time to achieve a fundraising goal. But I am not a runner. I could walk 50k in 50 days but I needed the challenge. I wanted this to be something I worked for.

I decided to combine Jog On Meningitis with the Couch to 5k app and downloaded the free one from BBC Get Inspired. The aim is to train non-runners to run 5k in one session, which takes 9 weeks. Although, it’s going to take me longer because… (I don’t have a good excuse but give me time and I’ll think of one).

As I run, at around 6.45am so strangers can’t laugh at my Phoebe from Friends run, I have Sarah Millican (other celebs are available) telling me, “You’ve done really well, pet.” She’s lying but I take the motivation techniques because I need them.

So far I’ve completed 3 runs and hit 10k. But I have 40k to go.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress and the things I’m learning but I want to leave one thought with you… I am not a runner. But I’m trying to reach my goals. If I can do it then you can too.