Alfie and I believe a good laugh and a long run are the two best cures for anything!
Coronavirus has changed the way we live and we’re all missing family, friends and using words like Covid-19, lockdown and social distancing at a time when we all need comfort the most.
Making sure we take the time each week to connect with loved ones and talk about our mental health needs is so important and so is finding a way to cope with this ‘new’ normal.
My escapism from it all has been running and here’s why…
It’s been just over two weeks since I started my running challenge for better wellbeing and to raise awareness, support and hopefully funds for Mind, the Mental Health Charity by getting active and running each day for 30 minutes or more.
It’s going to be a while until I reach the above form, taken over 11 years ago. I remember it well, it was the Reading half marathon and I couldn’t resist wearing my Pompey shirt with pride as I ran past the finish line and into the Madejski Stadium. Darren, my then boyfriend sat patiently in the stands with mum and dad waiting for a couple of hours to finally watch me finish.
I was then 30 and this was my first half marathon after getting the running bug from starting to run the previous year. My friend, Becky got me started by inviting me to run/walk the Race for Life in Basingstoke. This in itself was a challenge, I’d never been a runner and I never dreamt I would be able to run it! I’m asthmatic and couldn’t even run down the road without feeling knackered and out of breath. But I was determined to give it ago and put in the training. I started running on a treadmill in a gym, running for 5 minutes and then walking for 5 minutes and gradually building up to run for a total of 30 minutes.
My first Race for life (5k) was in June and by September I was running the Hampton Court 10k. It was like a bug – a good bug which made me feel good not just for my waist line but also for my wellbeing.
Reading was my first half marathon in 2009, followed by The Great South Run (10 miles) around my beloved Pompey. That year was quite a year for Darren and I as we also bought our first house together and got married later that year in October.
In my Dad’s wedding speech he reminded me about my ultimate challenge which was to run 26 miles in 2010 at the Brighton marathon – I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since then!
I haven’t given up running since completing that one, amazing marathon but I’ve had bigger challenges that have meant putting running on the backburner – having both Alfie and Betsy-Ann.
I belonged to Farnham runners for a while and completed several Great South Runs but since becoming a mum, finding time for self care has been tough and it’s definitely not been top of my list of priorities.
However, now more than ever, being kind to yourself has never been more important. Being active helps me to keep strong and healthy but it also supports my mental health by decreasing my anxieties…
I know I can run but it’s all about getting into a routine and getting my 41 year old body to keep going. My knees and back hurt so much plus I’ve developed a ‘runners knee’ where i’m not used to running everyday for 7-days a week. And what’s more of a challenge is making the time to run every day for 30 minutes – a tough task what with working, two little ones and a husband working in the NHS!
But I’m doing it, I’m determined – a trait I’m well known for plus I’ve learnt as a child that there’s no such word as can’t.
The more I run, the more I love my body. Not because it’s perfect – far from it! But because with every day I run, it’s proving to me that I am capable of more than I ever thought possible.
Take care everybody,
Stay safe, be kind and keep going…