I joined Pure Beginners a couple of years ago, with literally not being able to run to the end of my drive. That course really helped me to see how running can benefit your life in so many ways, weight loss, friends, health, and so I continued taking leisurely short runs and also progressed to taking part in my first two triathlons last year. I had managed to turn myself around from someone who spent far to much time sitting around in the evenings and eating all the wrong foods, to someone who now had a passion to train hard and really build my body stronger with a positive life style change.
I was on a great path, and I am lucky to part of several clubs which all have inspiring people in, who are always there to offer advise and keep me motivated. Unfortunately last summer my mum suddenly and unexpectedly passed away, and this was a trauma that mentally I couldn’t cope with, I just didn’t realise it then. I continued to train hard, in fact I went into overdrive, and I ended up obsessively training, as if the harder I trained the more it would block out any feelings that might of tried to surface. I found I was running most days, but for no reason, just because if I didn’t run I would feel bad, so I was running but with no purpose. The run’s were not even good, I would stop every 30 seconds and felt like I had gone back to the pure beginners day, mentally my body wasn’t letting me enjoy the runs, I felt like I should just give up.
In around September, I started to realise something wasn’t right and I needed to do something. I asked on one of my clubs how I can get back to being a good runner, and many people suggested I run with people, as I always solo’ d run. I didn’t’ want to do this, as I am not a speedy runner and I felt like I would be holding everyone back, but I knew if I wanted to move forward I would have to push myself out of my comfort zone.So I started running on some of the Tuesday / Wednesday runs and also started trail running, again in groups. This really helped me to get back into a rhythm and forced me to not keep stopping and believe in myself. I then pushed myself further and wanted to do try new things I had not done.
When someone dies’ there are lots of horrible 1sts out there, and I wanted to create my own happy firsts. So I did my first cross country having never run that far before and I loved it, I did my first handicap in January and again these new experiences were all given me a buzz. Suddenly I am feeling mentally such better, and I am training for all the right reasons now and am back to enjoying it, and pulling out new records often on my runs, fast 5k, furthest run, I have even entered my first half marathon. I have realised how training is so good for my mental health and also how important mental health is, the feeling a good run can give you with your heart beating fast and the wind in your face is just amazing, and we are lucky we are able to do it.
I have been reading some books on positivity lately again to help me on my journey of recovery, and this week on the handicap run, I did entire run saying in my head things that I love and things I am lucky for ‘I love Chinese takeaway, I am so lucky I have money to pay for that’, I am lucky I have my running shoe’s to get my round this 4 miles’ I am lucky I have a lovely clean and tidy house’ you get the drift. Before I knew it I had gone up the first hill, last time I walked mostly all 4 hills and this time I was flying up them without even thinking about them.
The club really does cater for all abilities, and everyone is applauded no matter how fast or slow, and I really feel encouraged on every run. Each time I meet new people and learn new things, and again we are so lucky to have a club like this on our doorstep. Anyone out there reading this, who has wanted to try one of the weekday club runs / an event / or even the new cross country season, give it a go, even if you are slow and come in last, there will always be people there to tell you how amazing you have done
Thank-you for sharing that Nicola and I am sure there are plenty of people this will resonate with and that positivity was so clear to see and hear last Wednesday!