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How Running Helped During C***D by Lynn

Why do I think you want to read about me?

I am just a self-proclaimed #shortfatoldbird – a 46 year old mom trying to balance the needs of my husband, my 18, 10 and 6 year olds and hold down a sometimes stressful full time job in payroll. Oh and try to run every now and then.

But maybe that’s why, I’m not an athlete, I’m not even particularly fit but at time of writing, I have run every day for 90 days.

Why? Good question, it started almost by accident. I, like nearly everyone I think has had a tough 2020, mine started with my “mojo” definitely missing – even before dare I say the C-word – COVID, hit us, I was at a low, felt very much a failure at everything and without trying to sound dramatic, the little demon in my head telling me how much better everyone’s life would be without me around was getting louder and louder and the one the thing that used to get me through (running) was just too hard, I ran 28 miles in January, 33 in February and 30 in March.

 

For me, COVID has been a turning point in a good sense, I was furloughed from work at the end of March, and found being in the house with just my family not the horror story I thought it would be – yes home-schooling was a nightmare and to be honest hardly happened and my 18 year almost became one with his PlayStation, but my mental health actually improved as I had the time to stop and think about me for a change and who I am and who I wanted to be, and I saw for the first time in a long time, how much my family loved me for who I am, and no-one was more surprised than me to find I actually, when I thought about it, liked me too!

 

Mid-AprilI decided I needed something to focus on (other than my family and food!) to give myself an incentive to actually move out of the house as the thought was beginning to become scary, and start running regularly again, I had already secured a place in the Great North Run, and knew I needed to start some sort of training, so I signed up for runr’s Miles for Mind in May again, setting myself a target of 75 miles, which at that point I thought was going to take some doing.

 

May was a struggle but I kept going, I had support from my on-line virtual running family and slowly the days passed and I found I was starting to enjoy the runs, partly because I started to NOT think about times and splits and pace, but just putting in my earphones and listening to music or podcasts (Jason Manford you have got me through so much!!) and just doing what felt good.  By the last week of May I had completed my 75 mile target but kept going to see where I could finish.

 

June and July have passed in a blur, with returning to work, changing my daughters’ schools and still running, but I have found myself wanting to get up early to go out whilst they are sleeping so I can have my time before family time life starts! June ended on 109 miles and July a whopping 141 miles! I don’t even like driving that far!

For someone who was told she couldn’t even run a bath I have amazed myself!

Highlight so far would be running half marathon’s on consecutive weekends in July, one on my own and one with a friend who rewarded me with a beautiful medal!

Also returning to London for a weekend away but having my husband pack my kit so I could continue my “streak”, Tower Bridge at 6.30am was haunting!

 

What happens now? For me, who knows, I will continue to run where I can, and continue hopefully to raise money and awareness for Mind.org – when I was at my lowest point in February, they were amazing! 

I hope that someone looks at me and thinks if she can do this then so can I, and I hope if someone is struggling they have the courage to reach out to anyone – including me, there will always be someone there, I promise.

>>>>This next section from Lynn shows the how tough running can be and we're all supporting her ❤️<<<<<

I post this not for sympathy but to show it’s Not every run that makes you feel stronger and happy, but some are better left just where they are! I have beat myself up all night over this but today I get up with renewed positive motivation (sort of).
 
I have been struggling for most of the month to be fair with aches and pains and little niggles but I have just loaded up on painkillers and carried on and I think in hindsight this was wrong. 
 
Why did I do it? Honestly, because I didn’t want to feel like a failure - I have been running everyday for so long (for me) and I could hear the voices “knew she’d give up, knew she wouldn’t see it through, she’s not getting enough attention so now she’s feigning injury to get it”.
 
I think now those voices are not the people reading this but my own voice, that little part of me that is like my anxiety devil, desperately trying to drag me back to the hole 🕳 where I still think maybe that’s where I deserve to be but I don’t want to go there again, I have worked so hard to claw my way out and I feel my family do need me to be around.
 
So today I may run, I may not, BUT I chose NOT to dwell on the thought that I only ran for 95 days but to shout “I bloody ran for 95 days!!! - ME, the #shortfatoldbird who couldn’t run a bath!”
 
 

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Thanks to Lynn for sharing her story and we're certain that there are many others out there juggling lots in life right now.

You can follow Lynn's running journey on the links below:

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lynn-chedham

Instagram: @shortfatoldbird