So this is new! Well, not new new. Remember when I tried to take up running when Iris was a baby? Remember when I completely failed to even start my local ParkRun?
That wasn’t actually the start of my running journey. I used to do a little bit here and there back in Bristol. I even did Race For Life (very slowly) one year. I preferred the gym though, and spin classes. Running in the centre of Bristol made me feel self conscious.
This time, I’m going to do it. I have no gym. There isn’t one for miles, and I’d have to get two buses and find childcare.
Running is the ideal exercise if you live in the arse end of nowhere, have limited cash, limited time, and two small children who act like the world might end if you leave the room for a second or two. It requires some clothes, and a pair of comfy running trainers. I know trainers can be pricey, and really you would get your gait analysed in a running shop, but there are pretty decent cheapo ones out there. My old ones, in the picture above, are expensive Nike ones that I bought in Barcelona when I didn’t have kids and I went on holidays and bought shoes on a whim. They’re actually crappy. And they don’t fit anymore anyway because I went up a shoe size having babies (WTF is that all about?).
I’ve got about 3 stone I want to lose, but it’s not coming off. I’ve improved the way I eat times a million since new year. Vegan is the way to live for me, I’ve discovered. I can cook now, and I think about the nutritional value of every single thing I eat. Roller Derby training is going so well and I love it so much. I’m working really hard and learning every single session. Yet the weight creeps on. Not off. It feels so unfair, and it’s had me in hysterical tears so many times. I hate my useless body. It’s so tired and achey and sore, and sometimes just being awake all day and keeping the kids alive is too much. I have yet to figure out what is up with me, but I have finally convinced my GP to run a blood test to check my thyroid function. It’s a start. She doesn’t believe a word I say though, and keeps pushing anti depressants on me. I’m old friends with depression. I’ve lived with it for about 14 years on and off. I am not currently depressed. My drive to get out and do something is higher than it has been in years. I want to do stuff, and learn stuff, and get on with life, and apart from the physical stuff I feel GOOD.
Running is hard. Really hard.
I set off one day, running as much as I could but actually mostly walking, and an hour later I was back at my house and I’d covered 4km. I set out again and did the same route, several times, slowly getting better. Running more and walking less. Still walking most of it though.
Then a Roller Derby buddy invited me to Park Run, so I dragged my terrified self to the park early on a Saturday morning and somehow completed it in under 40 minutes. I had THE BEST time. Park Run is fabulous. The volunteers are encouraging and friendly, the other runners cheer you on too. It’s a bit disheartening when you’re on your second lap and you can see people leaving because they’ve finished already, but you just have to remember that you’re not sitting on your sofa eating toast with your kids so you are already a runner. The high I felt at the end (ignoring the fact that my legs felt like jelly) made it totally worth the lower leg pain that almost made me cry on the 3rd lap.
I’ve done another Park Run since then, and I ran almost all of it. I added a few minutes on to my time because I walk faster than I run (ha!).
Unfortunately a photographer took pictures of my second Park Run and I had a huge wobble when I saw them. I don’t look how I was feeling. I look pretty ropey. I have about 50 chins and I’m bright red. My legs felt strong and unstoppable. They looked like wobbly sausages. I’m wondering if it’s acceptable to shout at the photographers to just piss off? I might try it next time.
A new trainers purchase and signing up for some challenges has helped me to restore my motaivation. With people handing over hard earned cash to charity because of my running, I’m kind of forced to keep it up.
Today, the first day of May, I began the Out Run May challenge to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. I lost my wonderful Nan to cancer in 2014, just weeks before Iris was born. She told her doctors she was hanging on to meet her new great granddaughter but she didn’t make it. It broke my heart and it still hurts. Everybody thinks of the research charities when they think of cancer, which is obviously a great thing, but the people who actually do the caring get forgotten. Can you imagine being a cancer nurse? I can’t. I’m too emotionally fragile. They are just incredible wonderful people. I’d love to raise £100, and I promise to run as far as I possibly can this month.
I set out on my first run of May this morning. It wasn’t as early as I hoped, despite being up with the kids at 6am. Trevor slept in and I decided to leave him. He’s tired too and he deserves a lie in. Astrid was up in the night with teeth or tummy ache or whatever (I never can understand when some parents say they instinctively know what their kid is crying about) so what I really wanted to do was drink several buckets of coffee, eat a whole loaf of bread and lie on the sofa watching CBeebies under a pile of small children. Instead, I headed out.
My first mistake was to try a new route. Today wasn’t a day for change. I didn’t stretch properly because I’m lazy. I wasn’t hydrated. Still, I pushed myself and learnt plenty about who this running version of me is. I wanted to run the whole first kilometre without stopping, and I did. It bloody hurt though. The backs and fronts of my lower legs hurt. I was slower for the second kilometre, and slower again for the third. Then something in the shin area of my right leg began to really hurt, too much to run through. I was about 2km from home and I had to hobble back. It’s not an injury, because it was fine after a little rest and a protein shake. It must be the lack of stretching.
I will try again tomorrow.
If you want to sponsor me (please please please – I’m not too proud to beg) you can do it here: Mouse’s Just Giving Page. I need your donations to keep me going!
I’ve also signed up for the Rainbow Run in Barry Island in a couple of weeks. From the looks of the pictures, I’m going to be attempting to run 5k through a cloud of powdered paint in an attempt to to raise money for Ty Hafan. They are a paediatric palliative care charity, and I can’t think of a better cause. I only have a paper sponsorship for that one, but please let me know if you want to support the cause.
It’s 11pm and I’m supposed to be up early for a run tomorrow. Oops.