Over a year ago I had a chance meeting with a lady named Rosie Swale who i was fortunate enough to be able to help. i had no idea who she was - i just saw a mature lady running and pulling her overnight accomodation behind her! it was quite something. following our meeting we kept in touch and a small part of me was inspired to try running. rosieswalepope.co.uk/
However, as with most things life go in the way, then a distinct lack of courage but I bought a couple of running magazines which I left out at home and each time I looked at them I knew I would get there one day. I finally made a start, got to wk 2 then we moved house. I started again and must have jiggled about an bit as I ended up rushed to hospital with gallstone complications......everyone that loves me blamed the running lol. Then I was in and out of hospital with that whilst waiting for it to settle down enough for them to operate. That took months. After the surgery I put on a ton of weight in a very short time. It seemed like my body just stored everything I ate and even after the recovery my exercise routine and gym loving days felt long behind me. Eventually I faced the gym again. The first day back I put on my gym clothes and the weight gain was very evident. Also my body felt so heavy. It had taken me so long to shed that weight and maintain it, I was devastated. I crept in, trying to be invisible but no, the minute I entered the building I saw a couple of instructors I know then fellow gym goers. Lots of hugs later I made it to class only to find out they were taking photos for the wall displays So the universe had other ideas about me being invisible then! My mate and I rolled about laughing, I posed for the photos and realised it's just not in my nature to hide. A couple of weeks later I remembered something I had heard about running being excellent for shocking your body out of storage mode and that was it I knew it was time.
Of course my journey is well documented here so I won't repeat myself but like most others I found the first weeks very hard, suffered with near lung explosions, cement legs, and all the rest. It was interspersed though with moments of great joy. I could not imagine graduating so I didn't I just went from one run to the next expecting to give it my all and I got used to the runs being uncomfortable but possible. I tried as much as I could to settle into them and relax, distract myself but tried to avoid wishing they were over because that just seemed to make them never ending lol!
Just like anyone reading this I had my ups and downs, trials and tribulations - we all do but there is always someone overcoming far more and still getting out there. The support and feeling of connection on this site was simply amazing. Such a kind group of down to earth, humble and non-competitive people. I have never really been one for virtual communities but this just felt different so I regularly blogged my journey and took great heart from reading others experiences.
Following graduation in January, I ditched poor Laura, got a plan, ditched that, got a better plan and started my 10k training to be ready for the Cardiff 10k March 3rd. My other half and friend decided to take up running just before Christmas to support me in the 10k but that independent streak in me made sure I could do it alone so although we trained together at times I tried to take off on my own as much as possible. I think you guys will understand how much courage it takes initially to get out there alone and I did not want to loose that in case I became dependant upon them. Mind you having said that I had a bad asthma attack and when the doc finally allowed me back to running it had to be on the treadmill so that was not exactly what I had in mind
Last weekend, having not even tried a parkrun ( just didn't seem to get time) I ran the Cardiff 10k with around two thousand others. Best of all these included my lovely other half and very good friend. As I blogged on the day my OH ran with me, was very supportive and kept a much slower than normal pace as we willed my asthmatic lungs around the course (they were a bit tempermental that day to say the least) but we did it in 1hr 18. It was a first time for all of us and i though that was a fabulous time and i even had enough energy to do the pirouette i had promised lol. We encouraged my mate to go for it and she got round in 55mins....unbeleavable!! I can not tell you how proud we all were and she was there at the finishing line cheering when Matt and i crossed the line together holding hands and grinning like cheshire cats. The fastest time was 33mins so there were some very serious runners in attendance but thank god there were also others like me who had decided to do it on a mad whim, had put in the work and just wanted to finish with a smile.
I know it's a bit corny but I have learnt such a lot about myself with this program and community, not only that I have changed a lot. I still can't quite grasp what we have achieved as it seems surreal so I just look forward to the next thing. Even the week of the race I had already started thinking of the Cardiff half training which I am so excited about. I intend to draw up a plan this week, so if anyone has any experiences or thoughts they would like to share re half marathon training I would love to hear them. Oh that reminds me I really wanted to thanks Swanscot who gave me some excellent advice that I believe made all the difference to my training. Thanks Swanscot I am a bit laid up with a muscle spasm today, following a thoughtless move in last nights body pump session, hence the loooooooooong blog so I have lots of time research and plan my next jaunt.
The picture is of the three of us after the race
All the best