January 5, 2011 | life

Why I Run

This time, a year ago, I was just a few months back from a three year stint in Canada where 20lbs of”Canada Fat’ had spread itself around my butt, love handles and belly to shield me from brutal winters. Or so I told my self. The reality? I was lazy. I’d always been active, but once I started to travel, funds ran low, depression set in and it just became harder and harder to give a crap about fitness.

Taking up boxing last February showed me just what a state of emergency my body was in. I practically needed to be stretchered out of that first session. It wasn’t pretty. By May, I’d shed quite a few pounds and was approached to run the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon in October. At this point, I still wouldn’t run for a bus. But, I accepted the challenge. My first attempt was hideous – I couldn’t run for 30 seconds – but it annoyed me that I wasn’t good at it, so I resolved to get better.

I completed that half marathon in 2 hours 30 minutes and my first thought was ‘great! It’s over!’ My second thought was ‘I could have done better.’ And so, I signed up for the Paris Half Marathon, got 19 of my Twitter friends to do it with me and we call ourselves Team Bangs on the Run, doing it in aid of Refuge (for women and children escaping domestic violence).

It’s taken time, but I’ve now started to enjoy running. Each time I run, I feel myself getting stronger, getting better. I enjoy pushing myself, showing myself that I’m not a quitter. (Yes, there are many-a-cheesy parallel between running and life itself).

My training plan has me running four times a week. I run alone. It’s not always easy. There are days I just don’t want to do it, but it’s mind over matter. Once I have that running gear on and am out the door, I forget all the reasons I told myself I couldn’t do it.

When I run, I think about the 19 other girls who have taken this leap of faith with me and are training their asses off. I block out how cold it is, or that I may be running in snow, or that my nose is running or my feet hurt and I just run. I think about finishing in Paris in 2 hours 10 minutes (my goal time) and how that will feel. I think about how much better my body feels having shed over 20lbs and being in the best shape of my life.

I started doing a new route on my 4 mile training runs that has a big hill in it. It makes my legs burn and my lungs feel as though they’re going to burst through my chest, but half way up that hill, I pass a women’s shelter that houses women who’ve escaped domestic violence and suddenly, I feel power in my legs. Suddenly, I’m running for all those women. For every woman who doesn’t have a voice, every woman who’s scared, intimidated, been hit, pushed, abused, silenced, protected their children, buried their pain. For every woman who’s ever felt less than, as if they have no escape, but they somehow find the strength to do it. If they can withstand that, I can run up that bloody hill and then some.

Our aim is to raise Β£10K for Refuge. I’ve never personally experienced domestic violence but I feel for every single woman who has. Every penny that Team Bangs on the Run raise will help make these women safer.

And that, is why I run.

If you’d like to sponsor Team Bangs on the Run and help us reach our goal for Refuge, please check out our Just Giving page – we appreciate every penny and message of support.

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Honest Mum

Well done Mizz, you are a total inspiration. I’ve always loved the buzz of running and granted, at first it is hard to get going but then once the endorphins kick in, it becomes addictive! Keep going, rooting for you all the way!

Vicky B

Bravo Bangs, another excellent post! And a massive kick up the backside I needed. I started running last January (and like you I couldn’t run for 30 seconds without needed a sit down) but I worked my ass off to reach my June 5k target(not very far, I know, but I literally went from the couch to 5k. I was ridiculously unfit). I did the Race for Life in Hyde Park and felt fantastic!

Unfortunately injury, coupled with a move has made me lazy, but YOU (along with my expanding waistline!) has made me get my arse in gear and get running again….TONIGHT! And maybe I’ll do a half marathon in the near future!

Tyrone M.

This is dope. You do it for yourself, but you also do it for folks who can’t…and to help others. Love it.


And henceforth…. You are my inspiration to keep on running.

It hurts, it aches- but I’m desperate to get fit.

Well done Bangs- I have every faith you’ll meet the 10k target for Refuge.

Fashion Limbo

Bangs you really are an inspiration, i just wish i got out of this depression, or slump, or whatever it is I’m in. I’ve been wanting to be fit for ages now, and while i have always have tried to do so, getting a back injury this last year has made me the most unfit I’ve ever been. For my back not to hurt I have to live like and old lady, having the activity level someone in their 80s would have, and I’m not even 30. It also doesnt help that I live in a country I don’t like with no friends or family, that it’s cold and miserable. I read things like this you have just written and it seems so foreign to me, so “I wish I felt a kick on my backside like that” or “I wonder how it feels to be so motivated to do something and want it that hard”.
I ran a couple of half marathons last year before the injury, but I did it hardly, cos I’m lazy and mostly depressed. I read things like this and hope one day I will be like you and not this joke of a woman with a pot belly and zero motivation. I wish I could ran in Paris – so you better make us all proud and kick some ass, for those who cannot be there πŸ™‚


…for the past 3 weeks I’ve given myself (and others) every excuse under the sun to avoid going running, too cold, too much to do, running gear isn’t dry/hasn’t been washed yet/looks shit on…
no more excuses. tonight I go running.
thanks for the kick up the booty I needed!

The Jaded NYer

That’s beautiful. But I’m still not running. Not even for a bus. O_o

Seriously, tho, I’ve done work for women’s shelters before and they need and deserve every penny you are raising. I can’t wait to see the final tally and race times for your whole team. Go ladies!!


I’m totally with Tyrone. So proud to know you. But yeah, running isn’t my thing… where’s the link to your donation page?

Hannah Hobson

What an amazing post bangs, this has really inspired me to do something too! One of my ‘before I turn 30’ goals is to run the London Marathon but right now I couldn’t even run to the end of my road! I’m 24 so have many years ahead but I want to start running now and giving my body a new lease of life in terms of fitness. You are a true inspiration bangs, thank you πŸ™‚

Hannah xx


Well done for running – I wish I could, but age and knees get in the way, so I walk, fast, and that gets me at least as sweaty and out of breath…or is that the hot flushes kicking in. I envy those who can run, my sister does and says that when it goes well it is like flying. An inspiring post. Thankyou. Jan


Really great post, it is amazing how goals can change your life. You are so good for sticking to it, even on the days when you might not feel like it! I really need to get back into exercising and this has inspired me to do it…must not have any more excuses and just get on with it.

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