Hi, I’m Amy and I joined the Rock My Wedding Team at the start of the year. With Lisa on maternity leave you’ll be hearing more from the wider RMLtd team over the next few months.

On January 9th, this year I started running. For me to start rather than to just talk about it was already a triumph.

As a complete beginner and life long loather of long distance running I knew I wanted/had to use an app. Having heard many success stories from friends that had started running using such 0 – 5k apps I felt confident in them, not so much myself. After a browse in the app store I decided to go with the 5k app by Fitness 22.

I was not alone in this crazy plan to ditch my couch potato status to regular runner in all its lycra glory. I had begun this journey with two friends. Mums from school, fellow novice runners that happen to be neighbours – perfect. We all work part time so scheduled running in the evening on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with a sneaky run on a Sunday morning. Pre-arranging our days early on really helped with forming some structure for our week and committed us further to the program.

This little app assured us that after 8 weeks, with three runs a week, we would be able to run for 35 minutes flat and would run a distance of 5k. Oh how we laughed. As much as we wanted to do it, it didn’t truly feel like a possibility.

Run 1 was hard. I was unfit, carrying an extra layer of Christmas that I may well have jingled as I moved but I was happy, really happy.

The app works in a way to build up your running times. At the beginning the runs are 1 minute, which felt like an hour, followed by walking for a minute, over and over. The runs got longer and the first milestone came when we ran for 5 whole minutes! We were exhausted and elated. Then came 7 minutes, 10 minutes gently increasing and blending in with the walking breaks.

We ran in snow, ice, rain and wind. Not once did we slack off or catch a dose of excuse’itis. Perhaps a little TMI but not even periods stopped us, a clear sign we were hooked.

I was really surprised at how much I looked forward to run nights and how fast the weeks flew. I had been re-gifted the motivation that I have lacked for a long time.

Reaching the last run on that app was monumental and to honour our first 5k we also ran it as a virtual race. I’m not sure if it was sweat or it was the pride physically bursting out. We were empowered and we were runners!

For me, I feel running has been of huge benefit to my mental wellbeing. It has afforded myself time for me and creating some much needed head space. As a mother to three ‘me time’ has historically meant that I have successfully visited the toilet alone. Running with friends has been especially lovely.

Recently I read a quote that hit the nail on the head ‘not all change is physical.’ What a completely accurate statement. I haven’t lost any weight running. One of the girls has lost a stone. We both feel equally pleased and proud of our accomplishment.

I am still running as often and am taking part in OutrunMay raising money for Macmillan.

What apps have you used to get yourself exercising? Anyone else made new friends whilst getting fitter?