I have always wanted to be a runner. Growing up I’d watch people running and I’d think about how freeing it looked. I have had severe depression for most of my life and I think I saw running as a way to run away from how I was feeling. I remember a couple of times as a teenager running and trying to become a ‘runner’ but would die before getting around the block. I didn’t know how to pace myself or how to breathe. I’m quite tall and have long legs and was always tripping over myself and being generally uncoordinated.
When my marriage ended I tried to do all these things that previously seemed too difficult, group sport being one of them. I joined a netball team and started working out at the gym. I judged my success on how long I could be active before I felt like I wasn’t going to die. I was an endorphins junkie straight away and it still is the main reason I exercise.
I met Zoey on twitter when my son was a baby (so 6 years ago!) and I watched as she started running on the treadmill and getting better and better.One day I was chatting to another mum whilst our children ran around one of those noisey indoor play centres. I still hadn’t given up on my dream of running and mentioned ‘how do you become a runner’? Julie was a runner before kids and she said ‘you just run’. That night I went to the 24 hour gym and ran on the treadmill for about 30 minutes, I wasn’t fast but I did it. I kept this up for months.
One day I decided I should go outside to run but I was terrified of it and how I would pace myself. I tried using the C25K app but because I already had a level of fitness and ability it held me back. I just started running until I had to stop. I taught myself to run about 5kms outside.
During this time I had been reading Kate’s blog and still friends with Zoey and I stalking Operation Move and I wanted to become a better runner, so I signed up for Far and Fast and then later Far and Fast platinum. I have achieved my goal of running 10ks and now I’m working on a half marathon. I love running, for once in my life I feel like I’m good at a sport. Yes I know I’m not the fastest runner or running ultra marathons in the back of Mexico but I’m running and I can do it. I can chase my son around for hours and keep going. I have something that I can keep setting goals for and something to focus on when everything in my life seems to be falling apart and I’ve made awesome friends in this wonderful community.
At the moment my training focus is completing three half marathons this year but my biggest challenge is working out how I’m going to fit in my training once I move out of my mums house and can’t leave my son in bed at 4.30 in the morning knowing that someone is in the house with him. I love how supportive the women in Far and Fast Platinum are, always hints on how to get out the house, ready to hand you a cup of cement when you need it or to hand out the hugs, but my favourite is how they make me laugh.
Being part of Operation Move keeps me alive, literally and gives me something meaningful in my life, that’s about me and noone else.