Sport Changes Lives... Heather's Story
10th January 2017
I have a strange relationship with running. I struggle at persevering with things that I’m not very good at. Skiing, playing the clarinet and driving are all things that I’ve tried and mostly failed at, and have given up unless it’s an emergency. (Well, that’s driving: there’s never been a clarinet emergency yet.)
So when I first turned up at Glasgow Frontrunners and couldn’t run more than 50 metres without thinking my lungs were going to explode, I didn’t think I would stick with it. However, in 2015 I ran three half marathon races, and the club was a major part of my transition from someone who couldn’t run down the road to someone who can happily run that 13.1 miles.
The club’s been a huge part of it because my running didn’t really start to improve until I started attending regularly, pushing myself to go faster and further with the help of the jog leaders, and most importantly gaining the confidence to believe that I was a runner. I knew I could comfortably run about 15k but had never had much success with going further than that. I could never get into The Zone and feeling tired, bored and sore would always stop me. A training group with Frontunners, with a baby-steps approach of increasing the distance by about a mile a week worked wonders.
Learning from more experienced runners about nutrition and pacing also made a huge difference. I now proudly race in my club t-shirt, which is rather different to a couple of years ago when I was too embarrassed to enter races as a club member because I thought I was too slow. I still have tired days when I think I can’t be bothered or that I will be slower than everyone else.
But I always surprise myself when I put my trainers on and get out there, and I finally understand the role that your mind plays in running any kind of distance. And I have a great group of pals to run with too.
Glasgow Frontrunners is an inclusive community-based road-running group whose aim is to promote health and wellbeing in the LGBT community. We are a friendly club and welcome new members, supporting runners of all levels and abilities from complete beginners right through to competitive runners.