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, 15 September 2013

Planning Marathon Number 2!

It's been a busy few weeks as the tectonic plates of life take a wee shuggle and I've not done as many runs as I'd have liked. But I decided to use the running I could do to tackle a few barriers and that's proved really valuable in getting me back on track.

On a trip up North, I had a delightful early Sunday morning run in Inverness. After a bad night's sleep and a day in the car, I knew a run was just what I needed; plus a run is a great way to get the feel of a place.

Inverness is a delight to run in. I did the obvious and ran along the River Ness that cuts through the town.  There's paths down both sides and lots of bridges, so you can do a real mix of loops back and forth across the river. I don't get the chance to run over many bridges at home so I took full advantage and weaved from side to side as the whim took me.  I used the bounce on the bridge to help me run lightly, an aspect of form I've neglected recently.

A little way down towards the edge of the town, there's a wee island in the middle of the river that's just  like Narnia with lights stringing through the trees and a maze of little paths. Magic. I bet that's a cracking run any time of the year and I could have gone much further. I look forward to running Inverness again before too long.

My run was not stylish. My legs were heavy and I had  a a persistent pain in the butt from sitting down  that just wouldn't shift. I was tired, grumpy and lumpen. It was an ungainly run. But I was pleased that I didn't let the pain put me off. I analysed it, kept an eye on how it responded to running and I wasn't frightened of it. For me, losing the fear of pain is a key part of the recovery process.

Back home again, I did my first hills since the marathon. After the warning from the podiatrist I'm very wary about running hills, but the time felt right to start, with a hefty measure of respect. It went fine. I took it slow, focussed on my form and didn't over do to. Hills are back into the training schedule.

And the long runs are not far behind.  I've done my first five miler. I decided to make the most of a cancelled mid week run and save myself for a longer one at the weekend. I love my long run, it's my favourite run of all, it's what running is all about for me.  So it was with a big grin that I donned the gear on a beautiful sunny North Berwick Sunday morning (last weekend!) and hit the road. The aim was to do my 5 mile run, even if I ended up walking half of it.

It was great to get back onto the old route after so long. The field full of rapeseed oil has been harvested and re planted. The recent high tides have removed a lot of sand from the beach and collapsed the sand dunes. But it was a really low tide and the beach was ginormous. Only a few dog walkers were about at this time of day, the only company except for the footprints of the early bird runners. Just me and the sun and the seabirds. Bliss

I just trotted at whatever pace I felt like. Since the marathon, I don't look at pace when I'm running. It's weird I used to be so obsessed with how fast I ran. Now it's all about how long I can run for. I trust myself now that the speed will come in due time and it is.  That's been a big (and painful!) lesson for me to learn.

I'm now ready to start planning ahead and set myself some running goals.  It's taken me a long time to recover from the marathon, much longer than I thought it would. Whether it's age, anatomy or a mixture of the two, doesn't really matter, that's just how it is for me. So I've decided not to do a marathon next year. I want to be fully recovered physically before I start that training regime again, plus I want to put the lessons I learnt into practice without the pressure of a marathon. 

I fancy a couple of half marathons; I know I can manage the distance and I need to know if my debut time was a fluke! If that goes okay, I'll aim at 2015 for my second marathon, hopefully with a good year's running behind me.  I'd really like to do Lochaber again, I had such a wonderful time and they were superbly friendly. But who knows.

Whatever you've been up to I hope you've had a great time. Run strong, stay safe.

Take care