Feet sailing off the ground, wind whipping through your hair as you glide through the air, not even out of breath as you complete your 5 mile run? Me too.
In my mind.
I’ve always been a runner; 4 times a week since the age of 11, I would pound the pavements, charge up hills and still be able to complete a victory sprint at the end. But since having my son, who was 4 recently, I’ve been plagued by illness after illness. I’ve suffered terribly with my asthma. I’ve had it since childhood but the last few years have found me wheezing and breathless, sometimes struggling to function day-to-day. I’ve had repeated chest infections, pneumonia and several miscarriages. In short, it’s been a nightmare. As you can probably imagine, running has been the last thing on my mind.
Until recently. I loved the thrill of completing a long run, the rush of endorphins, even the aching muscles and was desperate to get that back. I was so fed up of feeling sluggish and was ready for some exhilaration.
At least I thought I was. I decided to give myself a goal and eagerly signed up for a charity place in the Great North Run on 7th September 2014. With just over 6 months to go, I was convinced training would be a breeze and I’d be at race standard in no time.
I made a playlist of motivating tunes on my iPod, squeezed into my favourite yet almost forgotten running tights, laced up my trainers and bounded out of the door.
Not five minutes later, the bounding had been replaced by a feeling of impending doom. My heart felt as though as was about to burst through my eye-balls and pain surged through my weak muscles. I’ve never experienced pain like it (except for childbirth and perhaps stubbing my toe of course!) and couldn’t imagine ever claiming to adore the feeling of aching muscles again.
I arrived home, panting and sweating, my entire body contorting in agony.
“Good run then?” My husband asked with barely concealed sarcasm.
If I had the strength, I’d have pushed him over but then I stopped to think. Actually, it was a good run. It was hard, much harder than I expected and I didn’t feel an ounce of the exhilaration I was expecting to feel, but I was doing it. I was back out there, one foot in front of the other, determined to get fit, feel better and achieve my goal.
A few weeks later and it’s getting slightly easier. My fitness is still way below par, but I’m making progress. I’m trying to get fit and improve my health. And do you know what? It doesn’t half feel good!
– Guest post by Katie over at Happiness in Learning.