My First Love

During these past few years I’ve been dabbling with a variety of sports, through injury from running and through sheer fear of not being able to complete a swim event, I put my running on the back burner for a while.

Road cycling has hit my radar recently, after a spell of injury from running, I took to the bike to keep my body ticking over, to keep the endorphins high. I enjoyed it, felt strong and saw some improvements in technique and strength. It became a social event with others joining me and the weather we experienced throughout the late spring and early summer made it a thing of beauty. I have entered into the Ride London ballot and will hear whether I am in the event in February 2016.

Sea pool swim training started in earnest in June this year as myself and two friends were entered into the Bude Sea Pool Channel Challenge. We took to the water twice weekly to train for the mile we would be swimming in October. Considering I am not a “natural” swimmer, again I saw improvements in my technique and started to see my times improve accordingly. I’m very pleased to say we completed the challenge on 10th October 2015 and it seems we may be in the team for next year already!

Seapool

Variety is the spice of life but I have to admit that I always go back to my first love. Running has everything encapsulated in one sport for me. I find the social element a real highlight. Nothing quite gives me an endorphin high like it does. The calmness and focus that follows keeps me energised for days. It really should be prescribed on the NHS for all the positive elements it gives to its users.

Cross training will play a part in my workouts but there will always only be one true love for me.

Nature Nurtures.

This morning’s run was spent being nurtured by nature.

The view from my kitchen overlooks the countryside that I run in and is always goading me in with its green pastures and muddy trails. I can see my route out over the common that leads into the woods and this morning I was itching to get out there. Pancakes were made and the boys were off to school…this was my chance.

It was T-shirt weather out there today, which always makes me a happier runner. It certainly feels more like spring now. The still air, the muddy but not sodden ground, the protective ewes with their lambs, the pheasants that I startled and of course the spring flowers in the hedgerows & churchyard.

I have survived a winter of run training with all of it being completed in the great outdoors, the promise of spring has been long awaited and I’m one happy trail runner.

Towards the ocean

Moss covered wall image Tree lined route

Solitude

It’s ok to be alone and enjoy it.

Running allows me to do just that.

Regular snippets of time away, out on the trails or coast paths in the beautiful outdoors, makes me a better mum. The here and now, the changing weather and the fresh air all combine to make it a perfect place for me to enjoy that time. I come back refreshed and topped up with energy.

Time spent running is never guilty time, the boys would find it odd now if they didn’t see me get out on a run and come back rosy cheeked & stinking (their words!). Guilt doesn’t rear its ugly head when I’m out there. I do this in part because of my family, because I want to stay energised to keep up with my 9 and 6 year old boys, because I want to be a fun mum that takes them on fab bike rides and get mud splattered and because it makes me value the time that I share with myself.

I enjoy the strength I have to power on when I put my mind to it, I enjoy having thoughts that only appear when I have quality time away from the madness that is a family home and I enjoy the person I have grown into because of my family and my running.

This was highlighted to me when I watched this wonderful film about Kasie Enman in The Mother | Salomon Running.

A down to earth film that resonates with me. I’m no mountain running champion but you don’t need to be to GET this. Everyone has a way of finding their solitude, whether it is in a shopping mall, enjoying crafting, scrap-booking, surfing, whatever it is, you feel better for having had that time.

There are demands on all of us, be it as part of a family, an employee, a partner and knowing when you need a little me time is a completely healthy part of being you within your own environment. I just know that for me it will always be running that gives me that.

Here’s hoping you all get a little “me time” as well x

What makes a run a good run?

In my case, it certainly does not depend on the weather. In the last 18 months, I have shed my fair-weather runner skin and morphed into a bring it on kind of runner.

Today’s run was evidence of this change. Storm clouds were brewing as I layered up this morning, getting ready to hit the coast paths and trails around Millook, North Cornwall. It looked like we were in for more storms towards the latter part of the day, so getting out in the morning was sensible.

Starting point

View at the start – Millook

An hour into the run, the group were under no illusions that the wind was picking up, the proximity of us to the coast path made us first hand witnesses to the changing size of the waves breaking onto Chipman Strand. At this point we diverted and made our way inland – a sensible option it was duly noted! I think the wind had whipped us all into a crazy frenzy as we had a giggle for the duration of our 8.5 mile run. The wind at times made moving forwards a sport within itself. We really did have added resistance today. We slipped & slid down many a muddy track, screamed like girls (me) and landed on our posteriors (Sarah), climbed every stile, choreographed the Morecambe & Wise Bring Me Sunshine dance through a field and stopped for some amazing views & photo opportunites.

Sunday Run

The Crew

 

I always look forward to running with a group, not always the same people but always good to chat with, who encourage you up the hills, pass you a fruit pastille or three or arrange to take on certain events with.

What makes a run a good one for you?

A good run for me incorporates being out with people, chatting, laughing, enjoying the space I am in, feeling strong, getting fitter, eating cake with the crew and of course, coming home with a little mud between my toes.

What are you running away from?

How many of us have been asked this question or invariably ask ourselves this question when we are out on the lonely roads/trails at all hours of the day/night?

I don’t ever think of it as running away from anything in particular but I do see it as a way of me gaining some quality time with me. I need me to be energised and content to help keep my family happy and healthy. I need me to be energised and focused to get on with my work and I need to feel that I am nurturing me. I also have a very real need to be out in the countryside. Some of my best running moments have been on an early morning run in the summer, with not a soul around, to witness the sun rising – yes sometimes I am THAT early!

I started running to get a little “me time” after my second son was born. It was a run around the block with two friends, that was back in 2008. A total of 3 miles at best to begin with, we encouraged each other to meet in the early hours to get our runs in before the rest of our households were awake. Even sleepness nights didn’t stop us, it was starting to become more than just the run! You learn a lot about a person when you run with them regularly, needless to say these two people are now some of my closest friends.

Now I run because it is what my body wants to do, it is what gets my endorphins sky high even when I can’t imagine they will. It’s the time I spend with like minded people, the conversations we have, the friendships that have been nurtured through running and ultimately the relationship I now have with myself. I value myself enough to know that I need to give myself time to be there, out on a run. I value the strength running as given me both physically and mentally and I value the challenges I come across.

Ultimately, it’s become part of what I do.

So, what makes you get out there? I would love to hear why all you lovely people are still out there running. If you feel inclined to tell me, please leave a comment or tweet me. Would love to hear why you run.

Happy Running x

Why I Run Viewpoint