I have come up with this brilliant idea of trying to inspire and encourage our beginners and hopefully any others who read my ramblings, to keep on running and to never give up. There are a lot of people that start our beginners course, some do just a couple of weeks, others even finish the course but don't continue running. Sometimes life just gets in the way, sometimes its just that silly ol' mojo that takes a walk and disappears from your life! And sometimes people just can't find the love of running! I know that I am hugely inspired by reading other runners stories! I don't mean like the big stars, Mo Farrow or Kelly Holmes, although their stories I am sure, are inspiring, I must admit I have not really read anything about how they became runners! Sometimes when you read of the people in the headlines you kind of put yourself out of their league, outside of the hallowed 'famous' box, never to enter it because 'you're not fast/good/fit enough' to be inside that box. Those really are just stories on the telly of famous people, professionals, athletes!
Well let me tell you, we have some truly inspiring runners in our club! Our very own heros that have worked hard to get where they are and where they want to be. I have been chatting to people in our club, people from the very fast running groups to the very slower runners in my group. So far, a couple of ladies have agreed to write a blog for me. A couple of very inspiring club members that had me in tears just listening to them, who totally moved me! I have also heard of another runner in our club, who just loves to run, and loves to lead, and has no interest in beating records or anything like that, but he just loves to run. I have yet to approach him! And still, another runner, or I should say a family of runners! Maybe these people will know who I am talking about and will start writing up some notes for when I approach them!
Where to begin? Hmm, well as any of you know me, I am not your natural runner, that's for sure! I am truly the natural couch potato ever, I never even had a runny nose! I was quite happy to sit and eat, and do as little exercise as possible. But these days I exercise regualry, I cycle and run, I run slowly though, I have never ever gone much faster than a 09.50 minute mile! I did it once, when I was at my fittest just a few years back. I seriously ran one mile in just under 10 minutes! I was a pleased as punch! I wish I was good at 'filing' because then I could find the blog that I wrote about it in! But still, I am having fun looking through all my blogs as I write this up this one!
But let me start from the begining. When I started running, like quite a few other people, it was a knee jerk reaction to life changing experience, in my case it was losing mum to cancer! And it really was life changing, She was and will always be my total inspiration for me starting to run and contining to run! When she passed away in November 2007 it was like a light switch had been turned off inside of our family! We really didn't know what to do, my brothers and sisters and me and all our kids just felt a total loss! She was our center! How do you even get over losing your mum, it's not something I had even had to think about, not until 2007! Up until that year my mum was the life and sole of the party! She was always going out with friends, going out with us, having family bbqs, she was doing new things with her life after retirement! She was the first on the dance floor and the last off it! All my brothers and sisters headed down to my mums every week, kids in tow, just so that we could all spend some time together with her, it was usually a Wednesday. There was always stuff in her fridge and freezer that we used to all cook up and share a meal as a family, all of us! Spag bol, was the usual meal on those days, we could make that by the bucket load to fee us all!
My mum started to have a pain in her tummy in the early part of 2007, she didn't tell any of us, "There was no need to" she said to us after things became obvious there was something wrong. But then she got more pain, she became ill, and lost weight. Now there was need to tell! She was diagnosed in June 2007, pancreatic cancer! That's what she had. By this time though, mum was sick, she couldn't keep anything down, but she tried to stay positive. That was what my mum was like! They said that she could start chemo, as long as they could control the sickness, because the chemo would make her more sick,we needed to get her stronger first! Well, we never did get that sickness under control. She was never 'well enough' to start the chemo. The last three or four weeks we moved our mum into my sisters house, where me and my sister cared for her. Mum passed away with all her children around her, at home!
We were like headless chickens, we were angry with the doctors, with cancer, with God, with anyone that couldh've, shouldh've, wouldh've helped mum to have just a few more years so she could enjoy her retirement and her new friends that she made over the couple of years of retirement, and us! Anger is not a good thing to hold on to. It's quite a distructive emotion really. So when my sister Dawn (Bims in my blogs) had come up with this brilliant plan, to help us do something, to raise money for cancer research uk, all the girls in the family said "Yes!" It's the only thing that we could control at that time. The chaps had their part to play, they had the bbq to sort out for aftwards!
So me and my sister started out training plan, to help this fat, old, lazy mare of a couch potato (that's me by the way) to do that very first 'race for life' and little did I know then, that Race For Life, for me, meant exactly that! I will be racing/running, for the rest of my life, or for as long as I have strength in my body! I started writing my diary, my open diary, on line in the form of these blogs. I didn't mind that people would be able to read it, I was hoping that they would write something in the comments and 'nag' me to keep on going! I wrote:-
Who knows how difficult it is to even think about starting to get fit. When you have reached my age, and that is passed forty, then you start to wonder if it is even the most dangerous thought that has ever popped into your head. After all, running after kids and pushing the vacuum around is hardly exercise, and now that I have wooden floors even that little bit has been taken away. But there it is, this thought lingering in my mind. Not only that but then someone suggests that I do a 'fun run' for charity. A fun run?! I ask myself, what on earth is fun about running. Of course I make all the excuses under the sun, like why that is probably not the most positive activity for me to do at this time in my life. But does that stop the said someone from giving me the emotional blackmail, 'Oh, but we are going to have mums picture on the tee shirts, and its for Cancer Research UK
That was the very first paragraph of my very first blog, you can read the whole epic blog by just clicking Here
The 11h March 2008 I first penned those words.......well, typed, I typed those words. And yes, I was 45 years and 3 months old at the time, not exactly in my prime of life. Totally unfit, and a hefty 13.5 stone in weight! I was, am, 5 foot 2 inches tall, so I was quite a blimp, here is a picture of me.
|This was at my daughters baby shower|
just before little dude was born, my grrandson!
But that first 'training' to do a 5k, well, I had my sister and some others to keep me going. It's hard to do thing by yourself. I know because I tried. I really did! I had to go and buy new stuff to go jogging with, my fat backside needed room, it needed to be comfortable too. So I went shopping! It was bloody hard trying to find something that would accomadte my fat arse. All the shops that I went in only seem to cater for skinny arses. It also seemed to be, around that time, that people just wanted these 'jogging' clothes to just 'hang around' in, not actually do any jogging, so they made them exactly for that purpose, track suits that were never meant for the track, trainers that were just for hanging around in. It didn't occur to me that I should have gone into a 'professional running/sports' shop! Well, I wasn't an athlete was I. I ended up getting my matching outfit, non tech material of course, but I didn't know then, out of a 'fashion store'. Here, this is what I wrote about it. I know somewhere I had a picture of said arse in the jog pants, but I think it was maybe on an old phone!
Well I’m home now, obviously as I’m writing blog. I got my lovely new jog suit out of the bag, I look at it admirably, Oh yes, I shall look the business in this tomorrow! But, (its back again that but) on the ‘butt’ of my jog pants, that I hadn’t realised before (because I never looked at my butt when I tried it on in the shop), in baby pink, is the word, ‘Athletic!
I laughed to my self at the picture in my mind of that word stretched across my bottom. ‘Athletic!’ The only thing athletic about my butt is that you could probably use it for the vaulting events in the Olympics.
Click here to read the rest of the blog if you like!
My family just absolutly cracked up laughing! So did I! But at least I had a 'track suit' I still didn't understand about sports bras though! Over the next few weeks I quickly learned 'the girls really needed to be under control. The weight started to come off very, very slowly even though I really wanted to have instant results! I thought with all my running it should be showing that I am working hard! Even with the the distances I ran, I expected instant results, I ran a mile one week therefore I should be able to run for 6 miles following week and at 5 m/mi. All that exercises I should slim down to size 10 in a month! If only! I was running, and the occasional cycling too, on my trusty Raliegh bike, great big heavy thing, (cross training was something I learned about) me and Bims took our bikes for a spin through the woods a few times! That was great fun. I have progressed with my cycling these days. I have cycled to Brighton a few times, once over night too, boy that was great fun. I have done a couple of other Friday Night Rides to the Coast as well. Bought myself a real cool road bike.
Here's the blog about our first Race For Life that we did.
With my running though, I didn't give up, although, 2009 was a pretty hefty year for me, as you can see from that picture of me! In 2010 I decided to do another race for life, well my friend persuaded me to do another one, and so we started training together, we worked hard at it. We even got some other friends to do the race for life, Bims came along, and me and her even wore our teashirts again.
The route, the people, the event of the Petts Wood 10k was just brilliant, my family came along to support me and watch me. It was just truly amazing, I loved it! It was also this year that I thought about joining the running club, and to help me do well I joined the beginners, DiscoRich was taking it at the time, it was the last week of the course that year, but he encouraged me to join the club in group 1. I loved the idea, bcause then I could do the 10k whenever I wanted! Little did I know then, when you join the club you become part the team, a team of marshals! But that was still such a brilliant time, encouraging all those runners! Well, I think maybe I have the cronological order mixed up, but it was something like that!
I have been part of Petts Wood Runners ever since, and not just a member who turns up just once a week on Tuesdays, I run on Thursdays, twice in the day in fact. I run on Saturdays at park run and have done over 50 park runs now. I have also become a LiRF, me, can you Adam and Eve that!? But I wanted to give as much back to the running club that it gave me. As you can see, running on my own, I was very intermitten, maybe running twice a month! But with the club I was there every week, I was there when there was beginners to encourage, I just wanted to share what I have achieved through running. I have I told you what I have achieved through running? I don't think I have. I have achieved fitness. I am not the fittest Old Girl in our club thats for sure, but I am fitter than I was twenty years ago, thirty years ago even, because back then I couldn't even run for half a mile! I have found a way to run out my anger, I have found a way to run out my sadness. I have found a way to run when I am feeling on top of the world. I have made some amazing friends! You just couldn't write this stuff up of how friendships are made for a soap opera! Oh, and have I told you I have run in the Virgin London Marathon.....twice! Once for Cancer research uk and the other time for St. Christophers, a place that my mum had to go to for a short time, and the nurses there were just simply beautiful people! My blog for my first marathon is here
That first marathon I did, oh my goodness! It was tough, and a very emotional journey for me. My thoughts that day towards the end of the run was firmly on my mum. How could I have got here, to running a marathon!? My goodness, couch potato to marathon runner.....and more! I even organised a racing event in memory of local legend that used to run around my area. His name was James Gilson, a total charactor, this is the event here.
So you can see, my mum passing away, it really was a life changing experience for me! It changed my life. I still miss her like crazy, and I still want to do something to help ease the hurt in my heart and the anger that still comes to me when I think of those horrible days before she died. It's all documented here on my blog site. Just peruse along at your leisure, I have add links to some of the blogs that I have spoken about, just click on the highlighted blue links. I will share this with you though, a video I made, to help with our fund rasing back then, to show everyone what a wonderful, fun, loving mum we had, here take a look. That second to last picture though, that is what cancer had done to her. I put that picture in, although it upsets me and my family to think of her like that, but it also reminds me that cancer is a bastard, and I need to keep just a little bit of anger inside, just to keep me on my toes, to do the one thing that will keep me healthy and to raise cash for nurses, research or things like that with my running or cycling.
I am not going to go and tell you about all 9 years of my running. I used to call it jogging, but I feel now that I can say I am a runner! A slow runner of course. Jogging is what you do on a treadmill, or on the spot, or a quick jog to the shops! Nine years now, nine years and I still struggle with keeping fit. But I know that I am a lot fitter than I was nine years ago! I still can't believe it myself. I am just glad that I wrote a shit log of blogs about every single run or exercise or bike ride that I have ever done! Yes, you read that write. I have written about every run I have ever done. Most of them are in this blog, Running for Running Sake, hundreds and hundreds of posts! Because now I am just running for running sake, still struggling to keep fit, stay fit. But now my running is for fun and friendships, and because I can! Oh there are times when I think "You're running Old Girl, cos mum's not here". There are times I wish I could share with her about my running, my first ever marathon for instance! The London marathon, in 2013. That again was a great family day, because my husband and kids and all my brothers and sisters and nieces were all there in London! What an emotional day that was!
Who would have thought that from a 5k run, that I had to be almost dragged to, dragged around to train for, (and then we all walked it anyway!) that I would run two marathons! Not only that, but I joined a running club and become a leader! I have also got myself a draw full off running gear, several cycling shirts, complete with the padded tights and shorts, wo bikes, busy working on wearing out my second Garmin and have made some incredible people through running and cycling that I call my friends for life! It's a great feeling this getting fit malarky. If you reading this and thinking I can't do it, then go read ALL my blogs! The amount of times I felt like that, yet here I am 9 years later. I have no intention of stopping of slowing down........I should say that I need to get faster!
Next special blog to follow.