Not long now!…. Soon we will all be lining up on the beautiful Oxford city streets ready to take on the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon 2015.

I’m pretty much done with my training and will be dropping a lot off my mileage this week in preparation to be in the best possible shape for Sunday’s race.

It’s been a week of many highs and only one low, being another rejection email from the London Marathon 2016. Oh well, maybe 2017 will be my year.

Here are last week’s vital statistics:

• 4 Training Runs + 1 Parkrun totalling = 34.43 miles
• Smashed my 5K personal best by 30 seconds = 18 minutes 40 seconds
• Crossed the line in 3rd place of 145 runners at my local Parkrun
• Received my Vitality Winners pack in the post – Thanks Vitality x!
• Volunteered to Marshal at my local Junior Parkrun and watched my son clock up his 7th Junior Parkrun – Well done Son!

I’ve been really working on my nutrition this summer and as a result I’m quicker, fitter and feeling healthier.

Today I thought I’d share my personal ‘Top 10’ benefits that running has given me over the last couple of years.

1. Energy
Most people say to me these days. ‘But aren’t you tired after running so far each morning before work’? Quite honestly I don’t know why but the more I train the more energy I seem to have. It’s great, my legs feel spring like even when I walk now.

2. Weight loss
I’ve lost a load of weight. 23 kilograms / 3.62 Stone to be precise in a little over 2 years. I’ve not had to change my diet too much either, just cut out some of the obvious stuff like crisps, sweets and fizzy drinks. Soft drink wise I only drink water and now I love the stuff.

3. Mental wellbeing
I’m mentally stronger for running. As I spend hours out and about I have tons of time to think, review and reflect on life’s events. It’s taught me how to be more strategic in my thinking and executing to get stuff done.

4. Strength
I’m stronger physically than I ever have been and my muscles continue to develop. My calf muscles feel iron like these days.

5. Confidence
I was always confident, but running has given me another level. So many running feelings and experiences reflect back into day to day life and that builds you mentally to have the confidence to perform on so many levels.

6. Goal setting / achieving
Running is simple. One step in front of another again and again. It’s a small goal that can take you a long way. I’ve found entering races and events gives me targets to aim at and achieve. Much like the rest of life by setting the right goals and following the steps to get there. Success becomes a habit.

7. Focus
Having time during my runs to think, to switch off from life and be in a natural state away from the hustle gives me the chance to focus on what I need to do, what’s important and has given me clarity on where I want to go in life.

8. Knowledge
I’ve spoken previously about having all that time whilst running with your thoughts. Time to analyse, time to reflect. But most importantly time to learn. I love to listen to audiobooks whilst running and by clocking up 40 hours a month on the run is a lot of learning time.

9. Success
A new personal best, a new highest finishing position or just getting the distance completed. The feeling of success in running is incredible and one of the main reasons why I keep going. What are my maximums, what are the possibilities?

10. Sickness free
I haven’t been that sick for over 2 years now since I started running, whenever I’ve felt the start of a cold, I laced up and opened the door and ran. Pretty soon the poorly feeling had breezed away. I’ve watched whole teams at work get ill around me and I’ve managed to stay fresh and healthy. I put it down to running.

As ever thanks for reading, I appreciate your time and hope you enjoy the day on Sunday at the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon 2015

See you on the start line……………………………..

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