We never know where life is going to take us or what challenges it brings. In January 2010 I was happy, so happy I wanted to stay that way for as long as I could. I realised that if Ali and I wanted a long and healthy life together, we had to change. I was clinically obese, had a bad back and my knees were feeling the strain. I had various health problems and I was ageing faster than my years. I looked ahead to a life I did not want. It was time to change. By the end of the year I had lost 4 stone - 56lbs. My confidence rocketed - I had taken control and it had worked. I was exercising, enjoying buying clothes, speaking up for myself.

I began to believe in myself again, I began to dream. For years I had watched marathons with admiration and a lump in my throat. In April 2013, I ran my first marathon.

This blog is about living life as a slim person, staying slim and fulfilling my dreams. Come and join me, support me, advise me!

Take care, Sue

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Just Run

I had such a wonderful long run this week. For the first time I got a glimmer of why folks want to run for a long time; I was a bit sad when I had to stop playing out and come in for my tea!

It hadn't started very well. I'd been struggling to fit my long run in this week with work and family stuff and making sure that my legs get at least a day's rest in between the runs. I was later starting than planned so would have to run on the road in the dark for the last bit.  I managed to get out of the door rather grumpy and discombobulated. (Aided by a massive push from Ali who could see I needed to go).

The tide times were a bit iffy, but there was a slot which gave me my 3 hours more or less; the weather was set fair and the wind only 12mph, positively balmy after recent gusty gusts. On the plus side, running later, I had plenty of time to fuel up (lack of fuel made last Saturday's run a not very nice experience) but

Despite all the niggly bits, it was a gloriously sunny afternoon, one of those East Coast days when the colours are sharp and bright. I love that combination of red soil, green fields, blue sky and golden sand. Enough wind to make sure the white horses pranced and to cool the brow: An afternoon for being outside and enjoying the beauty of where I live.

The tide was on its way in so I headed up the longest beach to Yellowcraigs and a couple of miles along the top, as far as the coastal path goes before you have to descend to what is now a rocky beach. I just took it slowly and focussed on my breathing and getting into a nice relaxed frame of mind. Running is so much easier when the weather is good!

I trotted up the beach nice and slow, steady pace, keeping fuelled. After 2 hours I was hungry and I more or less ate my own body weight in jelly babies (they did taste good). Then I trotted the other way up to the car park overlooking the town. Dusk was beginning to fall, but I'd set my heart on going over 15 miles so I went round various parks and up and down grassy bits ticking off the low impact miles. As darkness fell, the most beautiful sliver of moon appeared graced by the early stars. It was magical, I love that time of day. I realised the golf course would be empty by now (well it was almost dark!) so I slipped through the gate and ran alongside the ghostly greens, savouring being the only one out there. I felt good, so I decided to go for 17 miles so I can try 20 next weekend.

I did the last few miles on tarmac. I've been avoiding road running to reduce impact, but Pam from Abbeyhill Footcare said I could start building some in now I have more cushioning.  I more or less ran in ever decreasing circles for that last couple of miles. As I got to the end, I could feel my form was beginning to go especially round my lower back, so I know where to focus next run. I was also ravenously hungry.

I got home 3hours and 13 minutes later in the dark, having done my 17 miles. My lower back was a bit stiff and under my big toe a bit tender, but my knees, hamstrings, ankles and calves were all fine. Now that my different imbalances are accommodated, the pain comes from pushing the distance and it feels good.

I drank my chocolate protein milk, had some humous on toast, stretched and then had a lovely hot bath with my Christmas pressie of  Clarins bath stuff in it. After, I gave my legs a good pummel with Napier's massage oil - quite remarkable stuff.  I don't care what the science says, I am not an ice bath sort of person. When I finish my runs I'm usually chilled to the bone and need to get warmth back to my core.  By the time I'd had my dinner I was ready to sleep!

I so enjoyed that run. Something clicked about what makes running long appealing. I loved getting into that steady, regular trot, just running - one foot in front of the other over and over again.  It also helped to run with music for a change instead of Radio 4 podcasts (sorry Jenni Murray!).

I'm beginning to feel ready for the challenge of my first 20 miles next week and I have my tactics decided. That marathon is beginning to feel like a possibility. Toes crossed!

Running stats: overall mileage stayed at 33 and a bit miles this week. I did my usual 6 miles fairly quickly, a shorter middle run and then my 17 miles. My pace has much improved. I managed only one Yoga session (but it was Stacey who's really good), but I did lots of Pilates and leg-pummelling at home. I swear my thumbs are getting at least as much exercise as my legs!

Hope you've all had a good week running!

Take care