Monday, 13 April 2015

An ode to running

I RAN THE BRIGHTON MARATHON YESTERDAY!!! It was my first ever marathon, so I thought this would be a good time to dedicate a post to one of the things I love the most (ooh I rhymed! That’s as much as you’re going to get though, despite the title. This isn’t an actual ode because you just witnessed the limit of my poetry skills).

 photo DSC039701_zpshxy8ljtm.jpg

I started running seriously five years ago, when it suddenly occurred to me that I should probably be doing some form of regular exercise (thirty minutes, three times a week they kept saying). I’d tried it a few times before, but I always pushed myself too hard and put myself off (after a breathless and painful thirty minutes I’d vow never to do THAT again). So I started slow, literally five minutes a few times a week. Then the next week I increased it to ten. And the week after that to fifteen, and so on. And it turned out that it wasn’t as bad as I thought. In fact, I really liked it. So since then I've run three to four times pretty much every week (except on holiday and over Christmas and when there’s been beer).

Then at the end of last year, I decided to try a marathon. Training was tougher than I expected, I ran five times a week for three months, getting up at 6.30am to run before work. I had to turn down plans for Saturday night socialising and my Sundays were entirely consumed by my longer runs. Three weeks before the marathon, I injured my knee and had to see a physio. I endured a number of sports massages (not as pleasant as you may think) and added thirty minutes of stretches, muscle exercises and foam rolling (excruciating) to my daily routine. I had no idea if my knee would hold up during the marathon, and had resigned myself to walking some of it.

But in the end it could not have gone better! My knee was fine, the weather was great and thousands of people came to watch (the support of the crowds is invaluable). It was both one of the most enjoyable and most difficult things I have ever ever done. People kept telling me that the last six miles would be the hardest, but the furthest I ran in my training was twenty, so I didn't really know what they meant. Bloody hell though, they weren’t kidding. I wanted to stop every second of the final six, but somehow I didn't, and I managed to finish in 03:45:04! I am indescribably delighted.

A few people have asked if I’ll carry on running, which seems a bit of a bonkers question to me. I love running, I couldn't possibly stop. I love that it gives me time to myself, either to reflect or to focus on what I'm listening to and drown out my thoughts, if that's what I need. I love the way it makes me feel, the sense of achievement that I get after a good run. If ever something isn't going quite to plan and I feel like a big, fat failure, I know that running will improve my mood. It helps me remember to not sweat the small stuff. And I love that it means I can eat cake guilt-free!

I can barely walk now and it takes me about twenty minutes to get down the stairs. I think I'm going to lose a couple of toenails and lowering myself onto the loo is the most painful thing EVER. But it's all 100% worth it, and I can't wait to recover so that I can get back out there and run some more. Thank you running!

No comments:

Post a Comment