Posted by: stokiecat | January 2, 2014

Beginning to Run – Day 2 Janathon 2014

I’m fairly confident that I can define myself with the phrase “I am a runner”. I have read some guff about running versus jogging but I think it’s your own choice how you want to define yourself.  Others may label you and personally I don’t care much for labels, but I am a runner. When I first started in November 2012 I was definitely a beginner, I still am, but the clincher for me was after the Congleton Half Marathon in October 2013, when I had decided to take a month’s rest from running, yet I still ran once a week, even without intending to or planning beforehand. I have tried other forms of exercise to varying degrees (more about that another day) and I fully appreciate that others may have their own choices of how they want to exercise but I run. As a runner I still appreciate what I can learn from others, in particular the wider health and fitness community.

All this is all a long way of getting to the point that I follow some fitness blogs including Phil Learney ( who posted today on Facebook the following:

“Gyms will still be quiet today as New Year fell midweek, people will start Monday and have ‘only one more weekend of fun’ or ‘just a few more days and I’ll start Monday’………

It’s 11am it’s a Thursday. YOU are starting with the WRONG mentality people. It’s a lifestyle NOT something you’re doing short term, it’s something that should be of a level you can maintain and improve upon. Something that inevitably never has an end date should never begin with such a definitive start date.

There is NO SUCH thing as a perfect nutrition plan, there is no such thing as a perfect training plan. It’s about evolving, changing and adapting to both your lifestyle and your physique. Start something then grow upon it. DO NOT flip from ON or OFF.”

As this is the beginning of Janathon, I have been thinking about new and fresh starts and remembering I used to be that person, until I discovered running. It was a revelation when I discovered that not doing something was not an excuse for continuing to do nothing. As a famous sportswear manufacturer says, just do it. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t but feel good when you do and don’t worry too much about planning. My preparation for the run today was awful, I overslept by an hour, I got snapped by a speed camera on my way in and my planned route along the river was out due to flooding. Instead of my planned 5 miles I decided, in honour of beginnings, to run the first route I ever ran which is a 5km round Stafford. I joined a beginners running group at work, led by the brilliant Dan Maddock – also a Janathon participant, check him out! – and like quite a few late beginners (I was 39) I could barely run a mile. That initial 5k route is not very exciting, just a couple of housing estates, but whenever I run this route I always think of it as renewal, a way to remind me that every journey does start with the first step.

office window view

The view from my office window, somewhere in there is my running route and, that rare thing this week, sunshine!

I know we’re only 2 days in to Janathon but the other running related thing I’ve done today is buy a new foot spa as a reward for starting 🙂

And now an apology…. I spent about 4 hours adding the Janathon blogs to my Feedly reader and right at the very end I hit the wrong button and lost about half of them so didn’t get to read them all, (yes the overall theme was rain). I do have a bit of a social life outside of running but I plan to try again over the weekend and hopefully catch up on some good reading. The good news is what I have read so far has been very entertaining!



  1. Great post. So true about the getting started mentality.


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