Don’t stop me now | my love for running

April 7, 2017

Greetings from Barbados! I’m currently enjoying myself far too much, I’m far too burnt, and I’m about to go and drink far too much rum punch!

I have been here almost three days and I have already finished my book which was supposed to last me the two weeks I’m here – clearly I didn’t think that one through. Don’t Stop Me Now 26.2 tales of a runner’s obsession by Vassos Alexander was so bloody good I couldn’t put it down. It also made me think quite a bit about running and what it’ done for me.

It also made me a tad nostalgic –4 years ago I visited Barbados with my Dad, where he took me on my first ‘proper, tough’ run. Since then I have completed 10ks, half-marathons, 3 marathons and an Ironman, I’m currently in training for another Ironman and plan to train for an ultra soon after. It’s safe to say I caught the running bug.

Vassos start’s every chapter with a recollection of his thoughts and feelings throughout every mile of his first Ironman – I empathised with just about everything he described. The book is an absolutely perfect example of someone so non-interested in sport, turned out right obsessed with it. It was very much like me (although I am MUCH slower).

I was always the girl at school that skipped P.E, and when I did attend, I was the girl that couldn’t catch, couldn’t throw, couldn’t bat, couldn’t run – my talent was my incredible ability to be hopeless at every…single…sport.

As if late I have had a love/hate relationship with running. It has always and will always be the one of three disciplines that I love the most, and the one I was always better at. I had a pretty serious (not all that serious in the grand scheme of things, but to someone training for an Ironman it may as well have been life or death), back injury last year. Since then, my run just hasn’t felt right, or at least it hadn’t until about 2 weeks ago (please don’t jinks it, please don’t jinks it!)

I went for that very same run I did with my Dad 4 years ago, this morning. I loved every single sweaty, tough step it took to get the 4 miles straight up one rather large hill to loop it back down. I spent most of the run thinking about why I love running so much, what it is about the most basic and natural formation of putting one step in front of the other, over and over again. So here is what I concluded with….

I love running with my Dad, he got me into the sport and because of it we have spent a lot of time together over the last 4 years, a lot of challenging sporting efforts together, including; races, holidays, training camps, and pretty much the first 3-7 hours of every weekend for the last couple years. He is my training partner, coach and Dad.

Running has also given me my ‘thing’; it’s just what I do. I am that girl that runs, and I love it. I am also a ridiculously obsessive – running gives me some perspective on things, but also allows me to be obsessive but in a positive way. Unless you are coming back with an injury, I have never come back from a run and not felt better about my day, however bad it has been.

I think the thing I value most about running, which is reiterated a lot through guest writers in Vassos’s book is that anyone can run. It really doesn’t matter if you couldn’t do sport at school, or how slow you are, large you are, old you are, how little money you have, or have no gym nearby – absolutely anyone can walk out of their door and go for a run – and for as long or short as they want, and it can literally be the best feeling in the world!

Some of my best experiences (most of them in fact), have happened when running. It is the BEST way to explore a new country and see things you wouldn’t normally see. It really is true what they say – if you are loosing faith in the human race, then go watch a marathon! One of the main reasons behind my blog is to encourage or inspire at least one person to take up a sport that has literally changed my life for the better – so cringey, but so true.

So, why do you run?

Em x


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