It has been exactly 1.5 year ago now in that I was down on my knees. I was caught by a pneumonia witch left me with weeks of antibiotics that eventually didn’t want to make any effect. When the fevers were finally gone I went for a stroll in the park, this was on the 18th of January 2016. It was freezing outside, I walked about a mile and I was exhausted. But the sun was shining lovely that afternoon and that was the moment when I decided to become a runner.
Not only a Sunday afternoon runner in the park, but a competition runner and more precisely a marathoner. Despite the fact I had never been a runner in my entire life I set of with the objective to run my first full 42km marathon that very same year. From zero to 42km in a matter of months.
In February 2016 I started jogging in the park by March you could reasonably call it ‘running’. In April 2016 I subscribed for 10km races with no good idea of how far I had progressed, since I had only ran about 7km so far. What I knew was that I wanted to challenge myself agains other runners and at this point I had not even started using a running app yet!
In May 2016 I ran my first 10km race, as seen on the photo above and as you can see, I'd never heard about running clothes either. From that moment, I went all-in. I was hooked! I joined a marathon team. Many other races followed, on the road, trailruns, halfmarathons and the 42km TCS Amsterdam Marathon* as a pinnacle in October that very same year.
I Finished the TCS Amsterdam Marathon, in the Netherlands, October 2016. To my own surprise I ran my first marathon even with a negative split. Just 32 seconds off my objective though to stay under four hours: 4:00:31! ;-)
After my first marathon in October 2016, there were other races on my list, such as a 28km nocturnal urban trail with about +1000M D+ climbs in December 2016, the halfmarathon of Paris in March 2017, the full Marathon of Paris in April 2017 and the full Marathon of Edinburgh in May 2017.
I even committed myself to the objective to run 1000km in the first 5 months of 2016: done!
The human body practically doesn’t have any limits, if the mind is set. Of course it doesn’t go easy all the time and there will be setbacks. I’ve had mine as well of course. The word ‘Novice’ or ‘Beginners’ doesn’t exist in running. Every person who runs is a full worthy runner. 1, 2 or 20 miles and in which pace is of no importance. Literally in time with only 15 months now as runner on my belt, I’m still a novice runner too. If you run, you are a runner – and that makes you an athlete. You made the step that many others don’t think they can make too. So, be proud of yourself, you athlete... And keep running!