Why I’ll be running the Bath Half in 2018

Angela MacAusland, chair of the Bath branch of the Federation of Small Businesses and owner of virtual PA firm AMPMPA tells us why she will be running in the 2018 Bath Half Marathon.

I will be running Bath Half Marathon again on 4th March 2018 – this will be my 7th time of running it. I have also completed two marathons, 18 half marathons and countless 10k and 5k races – not bad for someone who used to hate running!

I started running in 2011, after meeting a lady who had just split up with her husband, was in the process of buying a business, moving home and also bringing up five children. She was just about to run her first ultra marathon after completing the London Marathon earlier that year. I asked her – as many people now ask me – how do you find time for running? You must be super busy. She said “Without running, I wouldn’t be able to be me, and wouldn’t have any down time away from everything that is always going on in my life. I make time for running and I never miss my long training runs at the weekend. I couldn’t run for a bus before I started training and now running is part of my life.” The very next day, inspired by her, I went for a run. Fast forward to 2017 and these are exactly the words I use when people ask me the same question.

Being a super busy business woman (I run my own Virtual PA business, and am currently Chairwoman of the Bath branch of the Federation of Small Businesses) as well as being a wife and a mother, I also find time to cook, bake and walk my dog. Running fits in around my busy schedule and everyone works around my ‘Sunday Long Run’ – its sacred. Our holiday this year starts on a Monday so I can get in one final training run on the Sunday before we go.

When I first started running, I knew I wanted to achieve something, so I entered the Cancer Research Race for Life at Bath University, and ran my first 5k race – and earned my first medal. (I have now lost count of how many race medals I have). I initially started running with my husband, but soon learned we have very different running styles – he’s fast over short distances, I am slow, but can keep going. Running a 5k race is a great stepping stone for anyone who wants to get into running, there are plenty of ‘Couch to 5k’ training programmes out there and I encourage everyone to give it a try.

Once I had clocked up a few 5k races, the next step was to try the next race distance a 10k. By this time, I was training on my own, and each weekend I set myself a goal to run just a little bit further. I still remember the moment my Garmin watch beeped and I saw that I had reached 10k – I literally jumped for joy, punched the sky and shouted out ‘go me!’

By now I was hooked on running and when someone suggested that I run the Bath Half Marathon, I signed up and then was faced with the daunting task of actually running 13.1 miles. By this time, I needed some inspiration and help from running buddies. I joined several running groups and discovered that Bath has a really supportive running community. I made some new friends and found that it’s OK to talk about running and all the ups and downs like-minded people experience along the way in training and racing. I can still remember the feelings of accomplishment, achievement, elation, joy, relief – when I crossed the finish line for the first time in Great Pulteney Street. I had actually run a half marathon – less than six months after I first started running.

So, what do you do after running your first half marathon? Well if you are like me, you then sign up for a full marathon. And you enter the lottery for one of the biggest marathons in the world, then you get a place and find yourself just over a year later running your first full marathon (26.2 miles if you are wondering) in Chicago. Probably one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life, but that was forgotten about the moment I crossed the finish line.

I set myself running goals, I hit every one of those goals several times over, but I still had the desire to get something else out of running. I took some running training courses with England Athletics and I am now a registered Guide Runner for people with Visual Impairments – I am still hoping to find a local runner who is visually impaired who wants to train for the London Marathon.

I also took a Leadership in Running Fitness course with England Athletics and became a qualified Run Leader – and now have my own running group called ‘Run Bath.’

My Run Bath group meets on a Sunday morning at 10:30am, underneath the walkway at Bath Sports and Leisure centre, and we run at a chatty pace, have plenty of ‘photo opportunity’ stops on the way, and never leave anyone behind, or running at the back on their own. The ‘Sunday Long Runs’ start at around 5 miles and increase up to 13 miles, depending on who is training for what race or distance. From November onwards we have a 16 week Bath Half Marathon Training Programme, every Sunday we will increase the mileage so that everyone is ready when the Bath Half Marathon takes place on 4th March. This may seem like a long way away, but I honestly believe that the more preparation you give yourself, the easier it is on raceday.

If you need some inspiration, support and guidance along the way, why not join us on Sunday mornings? Meet new friends, explore the beautiful surroundings that Bath has to offer and get fit at the same time.

Don’t make excuses why you can’t run – find reasons why you can!

To find out more about Angela’s Run Bath group click here.

And for more about Bath Half Marathon and the 2018 Corporate Challenge go to: www.bathhalf.co.uk/the-event/corporate-challenge/

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