Yesterday was a big moment for me. I dusted off my trainers and took my first running steps in over a year. It was a challenge, and I’m not gunna lie there was as much walking as there was running; but I put my trainers on, I got outside and I did it. 30 minutes of exercise in the beautiful early spring sunshine. 30 minutes of exercise in trousers that were slightly too tight and rubbed on my stretch marks. 30 minutes exercise in a sports bra so tight (completely necessary to support my humongous breast feeding mammories) that I could barely remove it unaided!
Just over 6 months ago, I couldn’t even walk, and there was a few weeks where I wondered if I would ever be able to walk again. To have gone from a wheelchair to a zimmer frame, then crutches to walking unaided I am finally getting back to doing something I love, and hoping to get back to running on a regular basis.
Running is, and has always been, a huge stress release for me. In 2009, when training for Trek Iceland, I ran 3-4 times a week, running around 5k every time in about 25 minutes. I felt fantastic, and probably the fittest I have ever been. I was never a long distance runner, and likely never will be, but I enjoyed the quick half hour of freedom that running gave me. Half an hour to get away from the backlog of thoughts in my head, and think of pretty much nothing except the thudding of my feet against the pavement. Not only was running great for my mental state, but I saw a noted improvement in my physical state too – and that is another reason for wanting it back!
I still have just over a stone of my ‘baby weight’ to lose and for me, running is the most enjoyable way of attempting to shift it. With my other half around a little more than normal over the next few weeks at least, I am making the most of the extra freedom I have inherited, and aiming to get out as often as possible.
Once I know I can complete a 5k (however slowly!) in one session, I will get myself back to parkrun – somewhere I used to be a regular and volunteered prior to having my children. Parkrun is a fantastic community event, completely free and completely volunteer led. Once registered, you print off your barcode, and simply turn up and run on the day. You don’t have to be a pro – whether you can run 5k in 20 minutes or 45 it makes no difference – everyone is welcome! At the finish you are given a position tag, and have your barcode scanned at registration. Later that day, the results are shared online, showing your running time and whether or not you have achieved a personal best. I used to love the feeling of beating my previous run time, and I made some amazing running friends.
My aim is to complete a local 5k event, the Knowle Fun Run in May, and I will be raising money for The Sepsis Trust.
I have always been more motivated when I have a challenge and a target, so as of today, this is mine. Wish me luck!