After running cross country when i was 14 and hated every second of it I thought I would never run again. I remember mum bribing me with the latest shell suit if I carried on with cross country, it was that long ago!!!
I started running as a way to keep fit as weight had started to creep on 6 years ago. I started a couch to 5k and literally hated ever second of running until I could run 5 k. Once I got to this landmark I learnt to love running, running with my friends and just bimbling around. I did the odd race but it was a social thing running with other ladies and a way to keep the weight off.
The turning point was when I joined a local running club in Telford, Lawley running club. I want for a trail run and everyone was so friendly and joined up with LRC (Lawley Running Club). With continuing support I entered over 16 halves and enjoyed racing for the first time.
Then in 2015 tragedy struck Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and was very poorly and four weeks later he sadly passed away. At this point my world turned upside down and anxiety I had as a teenager returned and tried to keep myself busy. At the time I already had a place at GNR run and raised over £500.00 and ran in memory of dad for cancer research. The race didn't go well and injury forced me to hobble the last few miles but felt i had an angel on my shoulder getting me through the race.
At that time i keep myself so busy so i didn't have to deal with missing Dad and running was my therapy. My friends at running club were a massive support and i was running three times a week training for different races. Running at that point was a way to clear my head and I felt like Dad was running with me especially with the races and runs i was struggling in. As the months rolled by I still missed my Dad as he always liked to hear tales about races and liked the bling!!
Running helped me deal with grief, anxiety and even though I miss my Dad three years on. Every time I lace up my trainers I have a happy feeling as no matter whats going on in my life running is my happy place.
I had an injury last year and couldn't run for a few months and even though went to spin and the gym didn't give me the same buzz. This time was hard and anxiety did start to creep back in.
I have slowly built my running back up and have been going to pilates classes and protecting my poorly calf. I no longer put myself under pressure to get PB’s just go out and enjoy myself. Having this frame of mind has helped me enjoy running more this year and i ran every day in January raising money for MIND.
Even though my dad always thought I was mad for running around and use to call me a roadrunner, beep beep. I hope he is looking down on me and is proud of what I have achieved, my achievements are now hanging on my medal hanger each time I see these spurs me on to the next race.
With a new 5K and 10K PB in recent weeks and getting stronger I am looking forward to running over 1000 miles this year. I have focused on speed sessions and have a new obsession with funky leggings which get so much attention at park run!!!
On a Saturday night before race days I am tee total and focusing fueling my body correctly in order to be able race at my race pace. I am a girl who needs to fuel correctly, get plenty of sleep, drink plenty of water to be able to have a decent race performance. I have the learnt hard way to enjoy races, smile and not focus on PB’S.
Now setting smaller achievable goals has made me so much happier and keeps my anxiety at bay. As the tattoo on my foot says it starts with one step - keep running!!