Last year when I was training for the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon it was my first time training in over 5 years. I was surprised how self-conscious I was running. I tugged at my shirt to cover my bum, I didn’t want anyone I knew to see me during the run and I wondered from afar did I look like Phoebe from Friends once did. It was crazy. No one cared, absolutely no one!
Leaving my house I would purposely wait till I was out of sight and off my street before I would start running. It was a reoccurring little thought that I had, “people will think I look silly.” I had this inner voice regularly for months during my training. It would pop up every so often as I started my runs but as I got further into the run the thought slipped away.
I mentioned this a few times to Today FM colleagues I was training with and to friends who were also taking part in the mini marathon and almost a 100% said that they felt the exact same way. Mainly because the people I was talking to and sharing this with were like me, not elite athletes, just ladies and mom’s trying to get a little bit healthier and a little more in shape.
And that is one of the important things at the core of the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon, building confidence. So many positives come out of that day and the lead up to it but I really think this is crucial, instilling and returning confidence to so many hundreds and thousands of women who through dozens of different reasons, may have lost it. Their bodies changed because they made 3 people, they fell into a bad routine and gained weight they didn’t want to, they had an illness, a break up or a loss of some kind. But getting out and running and building up to the June Bank Holiday has steadily rebuilt what we all deserve, confidence.
So this year when I am training I care a lot less about what I look like and am certainly aware that no one is looking at me or caring what I am doing. If anything I am now passing other women training, who I am pretty sure have their eyes also on the mini marathon. And as we pass each other we give little nods or smiles of encouragement. And with each run I feel my confidence growing and this for all of us, can only be a positive.