Turning 50 last year was a milestone and with milestones come things you want to do in life.
One of my goals was try to my hand at running. So the first weekend in September last year I turned up at Pendle parkrun, terrified of getting lost and not sure I could even make it round without first aid being administered. Everyone was very friendly and people guided me to the start and even ran with me in case I got lost.
When it came to the hill Charis was waiting cheering me along even though I was walking. I finished with a time of around 35 minutes that day. I returned home shattered with sore legs but knew I would be coming back.
Along came October and everyone suggested I might want to join Trawden AC. I remember thinking they are all professional runners and I would be like the three-legged donkey at the back of the race. Nevertheless I did join and went on to do my first 10K race at Accrington.
The months passed by and everyone was so helpful with their advice and offers of training that following, a large glass of wine at Christmas I booked my first half marathon in Malta so now the serious training had to start!
I remember sitting on the plane on my way to Malta reading a running magazine with tips for training for a half marathon as I turned the page there was a training programme for a marathon. I remember turning the page back very quickly thinking no way. (Little did I know that six months later I would be on the start line in Scotland for my first marathon.)
So I set myself a goal for the New Year to do a half marathon and finish parkrun in 27 mins 30 seconds.
In the midst of my half marathon training a follow on group was set up by Ashley Eastwood and he asked if I would like to help. I felt very privileged to be able to give something back to the club after all the help I had received. It's been so wonderful to see so many people progress to their first 10Ks at Burnley and Wigan and wearing their TAC top for the first time.
Well 12 months have passed this weekend since I did my first parkrun and as I am sat here writing this I have very aching legs after just completing a 20 mile race.
It's been an amazing year with my parkrun target smashed as I did it in 26.04 mins thanks to Michael Wriggers pushing me round. I have completed five half marathons and am running the Loch Ness Marathon at the end of the month with a few more half marathons on the horizon.
I have competed at cross country, run up Pendle Hill in the dark, tried fell running and competed in the Pendle and Burnley Grand Prix.
It’s been one of the best years I have ever had and have made such special friends.
I would just like to say a big thank you to Mo Boden for looking after me during my recent illness and a special thank you to David Howard for his advice and encouragement and training me to run up the hills which I moaned about constantly.
The reason I wanted to write this is because there may be someone out there who thinks it is too late in life to start running or maybe thinks I can't do a 10K or even a half marathon.
I have learnt that this is not the case and with such a good club behind you helping anything is possible. My advice would be just go for it!
So what is my goal next year?!