I have surprised myself!
If anyone had told me, this time last year, that a year later I would have signed up to run a half marathon, I would have laughed! Like many others school and running brings back painful memories. Later, I skirted round requests from my, then, teenage daughter to run with her and generally had a lifestyle with inconsistent exercise. What changed?
Just over a year ago I began to realise the importance of looking after myself into older age (I was 57 at the time) and also began running a health and well-being course, known as Intentional Health. In order to be in a position to encourage others, and to implement my own much needed intentional changes I began following a C25k app, hoping to run my first parkrun round about Christmas time.
Things weren't completely straightforward. As an older runner I was twitchy about minor injuries and went to see a physio when I found my knee painful when going down hill a day or two after running. I also invested in correctly fitted running shoes (a step of faith, considering the cost, but well worth it, in my opinion). I finally ran the parkrun in February having joined a running club a few weeks earlier. This helped me to gradually realise that I could run greater distances and was hoping to run a 10k race in June. Unfortunately another set back came in the form of a curious rib injury in May, which stopped my training for a few weeks but I had the thrill, in July, of running my first 10k with my daughter (now aged 22 - the same one who had wanted me to run all those years ago). It was a wet and blustery coastal route so hard work as we were buffeted around on the narrow path but we made it! Fortunately for me she had recently run her second half marathon so was happy to go at my pace whilst encouraging me to see if I could pass the occasional runner up ahead.
I can't say I always enjoy running, but what I do enjoy is realising that my body can do more than I ever realised it could. Completing the 10k has given me a level of confidence that I have run nearly half way in a half marathon, but to step up to that distance does feel a big thing. I have yet to see how I get on running the longer distances required but whenever I panic about it, I think about the next run ahead of me. In this way, I hope and believe that I will be ready for the Bath half by the time March arrives