I have just completed my first half marathon since having my son. After a traumatic birth, not having slept properly for over 12 months and a hip injury, all I can say is it took me a long time to fall back in love with running.
Now I know that pregnancy and motherhood has changed a lot of things in my life but I really want my old friend back.
You see, Running and I have been through so much together. We first met when I was training to get into the Air Force Reserves. I knew absolutely nothing about running. I went for a jog full sprint, threw up and limped back. I slowed down a bit, kept at it and started to run a few km's a night. Running really gave me something to concentrate on as a naive 20 year old!
From then, running and I progressed further. I remember my first 10km. I was using an old GPS and it kept losing signal so I had to keep running laps of the street even though all I wanted to do was collapse! I bought various running items off eBay, I remember my first Nike stopwatch and purchasing my first Runners World Magazine. Running gave me a purpose.
Running was always there for me particularly after idiot boys hurt me and friends disappeared. Running is what helped me get through. I plodded the streets of Oldbury in Birmingham. Not very quickly, but I did run some distance. I then started to run home from work. Running really helped my anxiety, increased my self esteem along with the added bonus of bypassing the traffic at peak time.
My first race was a 5km Santa Fun Run. I ran it alone. I was embarrassed to tell people what I was doing. Running stuck by my side and even though my Santa suit fell off, I still crawled over the finish line and got my first ever medal.
Running and I went on a new journey after that we joined a running club. Everyone was lovely but I was placed in the slow pace group. Reality hit me here how slow I was compared to other people. I lost confidence; I didn’t think I could be a runner. I guess I gave up.
We fell out for over a year.
Running and I rectified things when I first moved to Melbourne, Australia. My anxiety was so high. I was unhappy so I tied up my trainers and ran slowly but surely. I had put on so much weight as I was comfort eating and drinking that running really struggled with me, however, I ran my first half marathon. Yes it was super hard but I did it.
I then decided to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Running helped me realise what food I should eat and what I shouldn’t. If I woke up hung-over - Running didn’t like it and made it so much more difficult!
I decided to run another half Marathon with this new view of healthy living. I wiped 25mins off my half Marathon time. Running made me feel wanted, happy and for once in my life proud of myself!!
Even in bad times Running has been there. When my Dad was sick and got diagnosed with Bowel Cancer, I ran to forget, I ran to think and in all honesty when in the UK to visit my sick Dad, I ran to be free, to get away from the Cancer that had possessed my Dad.
One day Running and I went out when my Dad was napping. Suddenly, I heard my Dad call me, he had woken up and crawled outside to see where I was running to and if I was safe. Running gave me the opportunity to see my Dad perform his Dad duties for one of the last times.
When I got back from UK after my Dad died, I had to put my energy into something. My mind was crazy. Running and I decided to enter a Marathon. We trained and trained and you know what I only flipping ran the Melbourne Marathon. I was badly injured after, I couldn’t do much with my hip so Running and I fell out for a few months.
The day I left my ex Husband I ran and ran and ran I didn’t know what else to do. Once again running was there for me.
My hip injury messed up things for a while. After seeing several specialists I was told I should never run again. I was basically told to break up with Running, as he was bad for me. I cried. I got into my car and sobbed. I didn’t want to lose this friend of many years.
So what did I do? I didn’t!! I decided I would train for a triathlon and give my hip a rest for a while. Running was still there I just didn’t see him as much. However after a while…we started our friendship again. I only did smaller runs then I did a 10km and a half marathon and once again running was there for me!!
So you see, Running has been my constant friend for many years! After recently migrating back to the UK, running (plodding) has been the only one to really help my anxiety and allow me the opportunity to do something not everyone can do. So Running – I can’t wait to see you for our next long distance bonding.
I know you will be there when ever I need you.
Running and Bec – Friends Forever
Huge thanks to Bec for sharing her story.
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