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

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Brum Run

Arriving in a wind and rain swept Birmingham the other day, I had one eye on finding the hotel and the other on sussing out the next morning's run route. As I squelched through the streets, I got a glimpse of the history of the town, its scale and its friendliness - despite the rain people were happy to help me find my way. Yes, this was going to be an interesting run and I was looking forward to exploring a bit more.

I was there for the British Psychological Society's Annual Conference and staying at the Premier Inn Canalside, a very short walk to the conference centre and the city centre.  And right next to the canal. That run got even more interesting!

6am and I'm up and ready to run. It's overcast but dry and I'd forgotten how the wind can get lost in big cities.  My feet took me to the canal path, I've not run along a canal before and being beside a different kind of water made a very interesting contrast with those North Berwick beach runs.

It was quiet - just how I like it. I'd seen quite a few runners out the night before, but I saw no one in the morning until I'd been running for quite a while - bliss. The ones I saw mostly said 'hello', a good sign. The cyclists however were not quite as courteous, coming up behind not thinking that I might not be able to hear them (I wasn't wearing headphones) and one cyclist who didn't say 'thank you' when I stopped to let him through a narrow bit of canal path. I'm a cyclist too - but like to think I'm a polite cyclist!

Running along the canals you get up close and personal with the city's past and its future. At one end, was the Mail Box, quite modern with bars and restaurants galore - all familiar names and menus.  Down past the back of the conference centre, over the little bridges, up and down the steps, the run was definitely not flat. It was a real treat, that's something I don't often get the chance to do at home.

Down to the Sealife Centre and a massive construction site and then past flats, flats and more flats - there's a lot of people living canal side in Brum, and I can see why.

I ran to the end of the paved path and decided not to run down the muddy track. I was intrigued to see where it went but the thought of a slip into those dark murky waters was sufficient to put me off.  I was going to run back to the hotel but there were so many interesting twists and turns that I just went where I fancied.

As the run went on, smells of frying bacon and woodsmoke arose from the houseboats knotted along the canals and the thought of a couple of rashers myself later spurred me on.  I realised I'd have to come off the canal path or retrace my steps. The path took me to the back of Centenary Square and the new library in a maze of roads and junctions. Here was a Birmingham of concrete ramps, dirty windows, traffic and dereliction, a stone's throw from the conference.

I headed back into the main square and down to Victoria Square with its beautiful sphinxes (I think!) and statues and more steps. Round that area the range of buildings is quite remarkable - the city wears its history on the sleeve.

Then back to the canal to see how far I could go in the other direction. Past more flats and businesses and things began to look a bit industrial. I decided it was time to head back. I knew I was a couple of canals over from where I started and without too much hassle, found my way back.   

A most enjoyable run and it gave me a real taste of Birmingham. Four and a bit miles, lots of steps and mini hills up and over the canal bridges, a good workout. As I reached the home strait, I contemplated a rasher or two as reward for my endeavours. By the time I hit the hotel dining room the skies and opened and the rain was back. My porridge tasked even better. And the conference was great too - psychology and running just go together perfectly!

Have a great week running, I'm looking forward to my first run with an informal running club in Longniddry - watch this space!

Take care


1 comment:

  1. Well done Sue, it sounds an interesting run, not at all what I'd expect in a big city. Longniddry sounds intriguing, I can't wait for your next update! :-)