THEY say about giving birth that women quickly forget the pain so they can go on to have more children and ensure the human race doesn't die out.

I feel the same about running.

I find just about every step agony, all the while chiding myself for getting involved in this crazy endeavour in the first place.

Yet, at the end, the joy of having made it over the finishing line is enough to wipe out the memory of every painful stride.

And thank goodness, or it would never happen again.

Each year I take part in Moira's Run in Queen's Park, the 5k race to raise money for The Moira Fund. The charity was set up in memory of Moira Jones, who was murdered in the park in 2008.

Each year is a labour of love, a feat carried out only as a mark of respect for Moira's mum, Bea, and the work of the charity.

Last year I thought I would try a new tactic and actually train in the lead up to the race.

I downloaded a Couch to 5k app and fell very quickly in love with someone called Michael Johnson, the voiceover guy.

I'd been split between him and Sarah Millican, the comedian, but I couldn't be convinced Sarah Millican really wanted, given her Northern common sense, to urge me towards anything more energetic than a nice cup of tea.

It was Michael, lovely, honey voiced Michael who got me going.

"You're doing really well," he'd tell me and I believed him.

Anything for you, Michael Johnson.

So there I was, after years of trying, years of doing the first three weeks training then sacking it off, finishing the Couch to 5k app and being A Runner.

I still haven't Googled Michael Johnson because I can't bear to find out that he supports Trump or hates dogs, thus ruining the Michael of my imagination.

Anyway, I was primed. I was ready. I had found a really old but unworn pair of trainers in my spare room and I was GOOD TO GO.

I ran last year's Moira's Run without stopping. I was so delighted with myself. It took me the full 30 minutes but I was running.

I kept my medal on for a week.

I vowed never to let my fitness slide and to keep up my three times a week runs.

So, Moira's Run on October 27 this year marked my one year anniversary since I last went out for a run.

I could give you all sorts of excuses but there it is - I never ran again.

Moira's Run this year was tough. There were a couple of bits that I had to stop and walk but... when it was over and I had another medal round my neck I realised the pain was forgotten.

What a buzz. I ate two cakes to celebrate.

I needed, it was clear, something to motivate me to get back out there again and something more than once a year.

Lo! the running gods did hear my prayer and a post appeared in my Facebook news feed for a new parkrun in Queen's Park.

Not only is the park near to my flat, the starting line is at the gates at the end of my street.

There was no excuse.

Still, Saturday morning came and my alarm went off. I hit snooze. I hit it again. I just went back to sleep.

The friend who was running with me phoned to ask where I was. Where was he? At the starting line. Erk.

I got out of bed at 9.24am and was at the start line at 9.33am.

Let's just say it wasn't my best effort. Having missed the introduction, I thought the course was two laps round. Towards the end of the second lap the penny dropped that I wasn't nearly finished - I still had a distance to go.

It took me 40 minutes to do two thirds of the route and then I went home again, absolutely disgraced.

Saturday, there, though, it was all change.

I went back, this time determined. I ran the full course without stopping, even though there were points on the hills that I thought one of my lungs might explode.

The care and enthusiasm from the volunteer marshals and the support from other runners made it... dare I say, special.

It's incredible that these events run all round the country purely from the power of volunteers.

The camaraderie was amazing and shouts of "Well done!" much more convincing when I was actually running.

Afterwards, it was round to Queen's Park Baptist Church where congregants were putting on tea and coffee (and some cakes) for parkrun runners.

I could not ever have imagined enjoying such a thing but I loved it. I waited impatiently for my time to be emailed to me.

I have a parkrun PB now – 34 minutes and 58 seconds.

I was far, far from the fastest on Saturday but I was by far the proudest, even having been lapped by those twice my age and those a quarter of it.

Thank you marshals, and all parkrun volunteers. See you on Saturday.