Andrea Kelly – my running journey

I started running in 2007. It was a time before running apps, smart watches, running groups and Facebook. I used to drive my routes after I finished them to find out how far I had gone.

In 2010 I fell pregnant. I managed to carry on running until I was 31 weeks when I ripped all my muscles around my pelvic girdle! After that I stopped running for 18 months. I would look longingly at people out running and feel rubbish.

In September 2012 I bought a treadmill. I walked / ran every day for 30 minutes until I did less walking and more running. On Boxing Day, I ran 4 miles outside. After 4 months on a tread mill, a run outside felt incredible!

In March 2013, the charity where I worked, received the proceeds of a “Virtual Race”, I was intrigued. I liked the sound of this run in your own time but still get medals and charities benefit. What an amazing idea. I joined immediately.

Coincidentally Susan (the founder of Virtual Runner who lives locally to me) asked for medal packers not long after. Off I trotted, excited to be a little part of the virtual running gang. That night inspired me to really push on and try to increase my distance. My times were now much slower than previously but somehow it just didn’t matter. I had found a group of people like me! I loved it!!

In June 2013 I signed up for my first half marathon and I trained myself. In September 2013 I ran the Robin Hood Half Marathon.

Since then I have grown in confidence and run many races. I still hate crowds and prefer my virtual races but I am getting better. I have made some great friends through running too. This year, I have even ran the London marathon! I would never have had the self-belief to do something that massive without my running friends and the support of Virtual Runner.