0 to 10km for Scottish Book Trust with Emma McNeill

Emma and Struan training.
Emma and Struan

When the opportunity to do the Edinburgh Marathon Festival 10k as part of a Better World Books team arose, I was thoughtful. I had never ran before. Was I up for the challenge? I decided to throw caution to the wind and commit myself. Life is too short to always stand on the side lines.

So the next step was to think about training. Me being me, I wouldn’t actually start running until I had read up about technique and breathing so as to prepare myself. I like to get as much knowledge as possible before I start something new.

I knew that reading about running would be much more enjoyable to me than actually starting my training. But after procrastinating by reading, I realised that time was ticking on. I needed to get off my chair and start moving. My first run was 1k, around the block, it went better than expected but I found myself stopping and walking often.

Over the next week I carried on with my training but knew I wasn’t really pushing myself. The answer to all my problems was staring me in the face: my 6 year old son (Struan), with the inability to sit still and more energy than you could imagine. I asked him if he wanted to go running with me and he was excited to join in. This was great, he would be my motivation and I would make sure he used up some of the copious amount of energy that he had.

So it was back around the block again this time with Struan leading the way. He just kept running, it was like something out of Forrest Gump. I couldn’t believe that he wasn’t out of puff – this was easy for him! He would get ahead of me if I had to stop running to walk and then he would run back to me again. He only asked to have a break once and even then he only stopped running for about 5 seconds before he was off again. It reminded me of a conversation I had with him about a boy chasing him at school, who had to stop because he was tired and with a big smile of his face, Struan told me “but I never get tired.” I knew at this point that even once the 10k had been completed I would carry on running with my boy.

Since starting my training I have run or exercised almost every day with few rest days in between (because I now feel guilty if I don’t do anything!) and I am amazed at what my body can actually do. I’ve gone from no exercise to doing something pretty much every day and all because Better World Books was putting together a team for the 10k!

If you want to support the team you can do so by going on our Just Giving page and donating to our chosen charity, Scottish Book Trust who inspire, support and challenge the people of Scotland to see and fulfil their potential as readers and writers.


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