I have to admit it, my running has been a bit stagnant over the last year. I haven’t stopped running. I’ve done a few races, including some marathons, I’ve got a few PBs at different distances but something has been missing. I haven’t really known what.
Is it just me or do you find that your running journey is a bit of a roller coaster? Exhilarating, unpredictable, fun and occasionally nauseating! I’ve been running now for eleven years and there have been many twists and turns, loops and ups and downs but I’m still on that rollercoaster and currently reflecting on my journey and keen to get others to board too.
I have this theory that running finds you when you need it most. Let’s face it, starting to run is really hard. Going from walking to constant running takes time and determination. Pushing your body feels unpleasant. The voices in your head tell you to stop. Feeling out of breath, sweating and a racing heart aren’t always nice sensations. People often start and fail and start again and then every now and then someone keeps going, works through it and running becomes a regular and essential part of their lives. What is it that makes the difference?
I’ve been tweeting for six years, enjoying the banter with others and then suddenly, bam, up pops Nat aka ThisVetRuns. From her first tweet in April 2018 she had me captivated with her honesty, quality blog writing and I admit, the occasional cute photo of her dog and random kittens from her work! It’s been wonderful to follow her return to running after a miscarriage and see her progress in her goals. I love her attitude and I was really happy that she agreed to take part in this Active Women Interview Series.
When I’m choosing a challenge I just have to find something that catches my eye and makes me say, “Oooo, I fancy that.” I never quite know what I’m looking for but when I see it I know it’s the one!
Reaching the 5k target is a huge accomplishment so congratulations on your achievement! Perhaps you’ve done a 5k race or a parkrun to mark the occasion and are still basking in the glory of success. What do you do now though? Has running become a regular part of your life that you can’t do without out or more commonly, are you still wondering what all the fuss is about and dreading putting yourself through another run? Deciding what step to take next can be tricky. It’s very easy to find yourself not running at all and quickly losing all that fitness you’ve gained. Take a few minutes to consider which way to go now. Here are some ideas and options.
So, Sunday is the day! I’ll be lining up on the start line at Old Trafford and only 26.2 miles will be between me and the finish. If I’m honest, I’m in complete denial. I think possibly that’s a good survival tactic, there’s no point expending energy worrying about it.
Well, there have certainly be some challenges thrown at all of us when it comes to getting out and keeping active over the last few weeks haven’t there?! My first update was five weeks ago. Since then, the miles have cranked up and so has the wind speed, the weather warnings, germ level and the general business of my life!
Even as a doctor, I had no concept of the power that exercise has to improve and maintain mental wellbeing until I experienced it myself. When I started running it was to get fit and lose a bit of weight after having three children. I knew that regular exercise would do the trick. What I didn’t realise was that ten years later, my main reason for running wouldn’t be so I could eat cake or keep up with my kids. My reason to run has changed. I now run more for my mental health than my physical health. This is why I was delighted when England Athletics, asked me to support their #runandtalk campaign in conjunction with the mental health charity Mind.
Author Jenny Baker kindly sent me a copy of her book Run For Your Life – how one woman ran circles around breast cancer. I was really keen to read this, not only to hear her story but also to help with my conversations with patients who have cancer.