Who can do it? You can!

7 months after giving birth and it was time for my debut run for Wigan Harriers Endurance writes Becki Kaufman.

5 weeks after giving birth I was itching to get out for a run and to shed those unwanted pounds, 32 minutes and 3.1k later I realised it was a tad early to be running, however 3 weeks later I couldn’t wait any longer.

It was really hard starting again, legs aching, everything wobbling (not attractive) and ridiculously out of breath – don’t think pushing Fox (8 weeks old) in the pram made things any easier. Even though it was hard it was fantastic to be out, running with Mel and Mandy, plus everyone being so welcoming and excited for me.

As the weeks went by, the miles clocked up, things were shrinking which was making running easier so, in a mad moment of weakness, ‘Congratulations you’ve signed up for Wigan 10K!’ ‘OK,’ I thought, ‘I’ll aim for under 1:10:00 for my first 10K.’ Towards summer we started to do one track session per fortnight with Andy, putting us through our paces (I’m sure at times labour hurt less) however I could feel the benefits, less wobbling and getting stronger physically and mentally.

A few friends…..

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RACE DAY!!! Here it was and I was weirdly excited about it. Aim: to enjoy it and be tired at the end. What a mental game it was, not to get sucked along at the beginning and die, to keep concentration otherwise the pace drops ….never had to concentrate like this at swimming! Setting of I saw the camera man….breathe in quick… then to settle into the race, running on my own to prove I could do it on my own.

Smile!!

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As I rounded left at Beech hill lights I looked at my watch to see 11 minutes, excitement arose as I realised I would make it past Martland Mill before Andy would go across. Much further along the DW road than expected I high fived Andy as he shot passed. I started to say ‘Well done’ to all Wigan Harriers, Dan, Andy R, Dec, Bobby, unfortunately the rest just had a thumbs up as I needed all the oxygen available .

Rounding DW it was wonderful to see Graham, my Mum and Dad, Tim, Nina and the Kids. The cheer was even better and uplifting (Thanks Guys), I arrived at 5K in 28mins, over a minute PB J Woohoo what a start.

Martland Mill was quiet and this is when the heat hit: no breeze, lots of hot and sweaty runners, plus a lot of heavy breathing making things hard. This was the beginning of my mental game. The long incline came but I didn’t feel it (obviously the pram pushing gave me extra muscles) it was just how long I’d been running without talking to anyone was amazing me!!!

Home run: hitting the park and suddenly it became rather crowded. Sarah shot past and I realised I was dying, however ‘Go Becki’ was yelled across the park and I saw Andy bounding over the grass. Here I thought I smiled but apparently it looked the complete opposite and seriously peed off (sorry if anyone else got that face I promise it must have been the effort!). Weaving through the park was hard, was it ever going to end?!? Eventually we popped out of the park and my Garmin beeped 10K 59 minutes….hmm no end aarrgg! Final corner and I heard, ‘Just like the track’ so I put my head down and dug in deep, feeling the change in pace was amazing, over taking people was even better, but the best was finishing in 1:00:13 – obviously the big hug from Richie as I crossed the line was amazing too J however the beaming smile from Andy made me realise my achievement!

Who would have thought that exactly to the day 7 months earlier I’d have finished my first 10K?

Thank You to everyone who helped. Running with me, giving me a welcome hug, the ‘You’re looking great’, ‘Great to see you running again’, ‘Fantastic effort, keep it going.’ All of you helped me to achieve this…. Guess what? I’ve even been looking for other races now!!

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