Life likes to throw us these little curve balls. Everything seems to be going so…
My love for running started a little differently to most. I think the main reason people start running is to lose weight, not me, I wanted to keep up with Adam, my border terrier! I decided I wanted to join my husband in his love for Agility, (I’m not going to lie, I wanted to beat him). Agility involves getting your dog around lots of obstacles as quick as you can. Well, quick I was not, but Adam was, so I had my work cut out to keep up.
So, my friend Ruth, who has also done Agility took me to a running club called Dunstable Road Runners. They were a very friendly bunch and I loved turning up every Wednesday to run and chat. I was actually amazed at how quickly I got hooked. Running is definitely addictive! I get a massive high whenever I run and any stress I had throughout the day would soon disappear. Before I knew it I had entered my first race which was a series of cross countries running for the club. I’m not going to lie, they were not my favourite, I still have the smell in my memory of deep heat every time I entered a changing hall. It was the mud I couldn’t stand and the chance of a stream crossing with the added excitement of cow poo!!
My biggest memory was this very, very wet crossing of a stream in Wellingborough, I was covered in mud from head to toe. Not that far in front of me was a lady in white compression socks! She was amazing, she must have run so delicately all the way to the finish as she did not have one single bit of mud on her.
Cross country running soon progressed to entering a few 10k races, followed very closely with me venturing into half marathons. This is when I found what I truly enjoyed, long-distance running. I took the plunge and decided I needed a bigger and longer challenge, so after only 2 years of running, I entered my first marathon (the very first Brighton marathon).
Now I know I said I didn’t start out running to lose weight but it did happen, and with that my eating habits changed too. I wanted to be able to run faster and for longer, so I changed my diet and ate healthily for the first time in my adult life. Gone were the takeaways and the bacon butties every morning, some days croissants just to mix it up. While trying to maintain a healthy diet I had to deal with some curveballs, the office birthdays! As you can all appreciate with an office full of people, you were almost guaranteed some form of cake on most days. Now I was not one to say no to a yummy cream cake, but if I wanted to run at my best and improve my fitness I had to stop the cake munching! This wasn’t easy in an office full of ladies.
One thing that arose in the office was my rapid weight loss due to my healthy choices and addiction to exercise, I was now being accused of having an eating disorder! This became difficult, it was never a ‘well done you’, or ‘you’ve done so well, you look amazing’. Nope, all I get from everybody is them telling me that I have a problem! ‘It’s not healthy you not eating all these cakes’. I ignored their negative comments (after I finished crying) and carried on my journey, happy, healthy and enjoying life.
Well, that was 13 years ago, and 13 years on I no longer do agility – don’t worry Adam’s now retired from agility. I love running even more now.