I've not forgotten about you all - and I'm still running but things just seem to be crazy at the moment. My dad was rushed into hospital ten days ago and has deteriorated since. It's been a really difficult time as a lot of soul searching has been done and a few home truths surfaced since he was admitted but there is one thing that has kept me sane - running!!!!! My first run after he was taken into hospital was unbelievable. All the stress, the emotion and the tension poured from me in equal measure to my sweat. I found myself in tears but felt so much better afterwards! I have suffered from mental health problems all my life and I knew that running helped - but this was the most dramatic demonstration of that yet. I'm now exhausted and still stressed and very run down after ten days of being the strong one in the family but even though running is challenging because I'm so tired, just being outside is a huge help - if my legs don't want to run, I make them walk fast! Between hospital visits and a crazy workload I'm only managing two runs a week - but they're good runs and I'm constantly pushing myself.
I've entered a competition at my running club - it's based around Parkruns. You're paired up with another runner but you don't race them. To encourage newer and slower runners to join in, the winner is the person who week after week beats their previous week's PB by the biggest margin. Far from favouring the strong runners, I actually think this favours the weaker and newer runners and I'm looking forward to it!
Somehow I allowed myself to be volunteered to be Run Director for our Christmas Day Parkrun!!! After a year where my physical fitness has improved hugely, where, at the grand old age of 45 I've discovered I can run for the first time in my life and where I've discovered this wonderful forum full of amazing and supportive people, it seems fitting somehow and I will be using the megaphone to thank all the wonderful runners who encourage and support us newbies. I love running!