My relationship with running has been a complicated one. P.E. at school instilled a hatred in running in me that would last until my twenties. Why run unless you are being chased by an axe murderer? I reasoned. I would marvel at runners as if they were a different species from myself whilst chain smoking Marlboro lights. The Great Eastern used to pass straight in front of my house and it was a good excuse to perfect water pistol aim and nothing more.
Then I wanted to get fit again after having my son and my husband suggested running. I wasn’t convinced but he promised me nothing would get me fitter quicker so I found a pair of trainers and we ran to the Ramblewood from our house. My lungs felt like they were going to explode in my chest, I couldn’t breathe and I was incredibly annoyed at how hard it felt to run a distance that didn’t seem that far when walking. But I did something crazy and signed up to run the Eye 10K for Sands (Stillbirth charity) and suddenly I was in training so I had to keep going with it.
I joined a local gym and had the worst induction ever with a young lad who was very condescending and I very nearly ended up crying. If you work in the fitness industry, please be mindful of how vulnerable people are when they are starting out with you and don’t be that guy who puts people off coming back. Thankfully my friend Lou showed me the ropes and we trained together. We ran our 10K and got super fit.
Me and Stevo decided we were ready for another baby a little while later. After a few months a Minnie Cross announced she had taken up residence in my womb with daily vomitting episodes. I have pelvis problems in pregnancy that make walking painful so running got shelved for a while.
Then two years ago we entered the Great Eastern and trained a bit. I was playing tennis a lot though so didn’t have much time. I completed it but it put me off running for a while.
Then a running streak (running every day) in January last year got me loving running. I loved it so much that I didn’t listen to my body when my knee started hurting. I pushed through and ended up with pateller tendonitis. It was an overuse injury. The doctor used to be a runner and advised I vary my terrain as concrete is very harsh on the joints. The injury taught me that pain is a signal and a little less sometimes is not only advisable but really important if you want to maintain your fitness.
Training for the Great Eastern this time around has been a different experience. I do a lot more strength work these days and I can see how the hiit classes I teach have improved my aerobic fitness. I end each long run feeling like I’m not totally spent in the way I was last time. I’m feeling really excited as I remember how great the atmosphere was last time.
The love affair is back on with me and running. I run to enjoy beautiful views, I run to see what my body is capable of and to unwind. Every run feels like an adventure as you feel the seasons changing around you. Today we stopped to pick up conkers and made eye contact with a heron. That’s pretty special if you ask me.