Why do you run, Alastair Vance?

About Alastair

Welcome to a blog series called “Why do you run?“. I hope to publish inspiring insights from runners I know, on why they started running and continue to do so.

It’s-a-me! I’ve blogged about many other runners over the course of this series, and now with the launch of the #releasetherunner movement, it felt like a great time to share my own story.

I was never an athletic kid. I was the kid who dodged team sports and would rather spend the time in the band room, or art room. I suffered from childhood asthma, so it never took long for me to lose my breath when forced to participate.

It was my wife Liz that first started to run. I had absolutely no interest in it. She would keep asking me to join her, or try it for myself — and I did — but it never lasted long.

To find out what finally kicked my butt, and made me stick at it, keeping reading…

Why did you start running?

Having children changes you. Having children when you thought you were done, and are shortly turning 40 is something else entirely.

I will not deny the fact I was a little shocked (not who-is-the-daddy shocked) when I found out we were expecting our 4th child. I was turning 40 soon. How old was I going to be when this kid went to college? How old was I going to be when they married? Or had children of our own?

I was going to be bloody old, that’s what.

There was no changing that now, but what I could change was how healthy I was going to be. This is the reason I went back to what Liz introduced me to, running, and this time I stuck at it.

I have another role model, whose story I’ve already posted on here. I aim to be as fit and healthy as I can be for as long as I can.

What keeps you motivated?

At the beginning it was all about getting fit. It was easy to see progress initially through distance reached and weight loss, which definitely helped to keep me motivated. These days I pull a lot of motivation from my running friends.

I also like to have a plan with a goal in mind. This keeps me focused and I work much better with a routine.

What is the most important thing you’ve learnt as a runner?

Patience. I got injured last year, and that set me back a lot. My running came to a total halt for a month and over a year later I’m still not running as fast or as long. It was frustrating at times, but I’ve learnt to accept it. I am improving, and I’ll work my way back to that level and beyond.

If you couldn’t run, what would you do instead?

I enjoy hiking and biking. I’m lucky enough to live in an area where there’s plenty of parks and greenways to explore.

What’s your biggest running goal?

I’ve ran a marathon before, but I’d like to run one well. The next time I hope to train better and run a race I’d be proud of.

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