Wednesday 20 March 2024

Putting One Foot in Front of the Other

I'm still here!

Once again, I have been absent from this space for longer than I would have liked. I have still enjoyed keeping up with everyone else's news, but I haven't had much opportunity to post anything myself.  You see, most of my spare time has been spent putting one foot in front of the other. Quite literally. I've been running. 

Many (many) years ago, when I was a child, I used to listen to a friend's dad talk about having completed the Great North Run. I had no idea what it was, but what I did know is that he spoke so passionately about it. Then, as I grew older, quite randomly one day, I thought that I might just like to 'give it a try'. One application form later, I still wasn't entirely sure what it involved, but as I began training towards my goal of simply completing the course, it all became perfectly clear. 13 miles is a long way to run. 

I remember the first time I went out running. It was only half a mile, and all downhill, but even then I was struggling to breathe :) Not the best start, but I persevered, gradually increasing the distance each time I went out. I even entered some local races too, just to get an idea as to what I should expect. When the actual race day arrived, I loved it. Yes, I was slow, yes, I was exhausted, but the atmosphere was fantastic and the sense of achievement was huge. Running across the Tyne Bridge as the Red Arrows flew overhead will always be a special memory. So much so, that I went  on to run it four more times. 

After running regularly for quite some time, life, as it often does, got in the way. My running became sporadic and then almost non existent. With good intentions, I would set off again, but it simply wasn't a priority any more. I entered a marathon in the hope it would give me something to aim for, but then I injured my back, which meant that any training was impossible. So I deferred my entry and put it to the back of my mind. With an additional (and rather painful) problem with my feet, I wasn't even sure that running was an option for me, especially as walking is also uncomfortable from time to time.

Then a few months ago a friend suggested running a local half-marathon, and in a moment of madness I agreed. So I picked up where I left off and made this my target. If I could just manage to complete this, I might then be able to achieve my goal. On the day itself, I was incredibly nervous, but very excited, and taking things VERY slowly and steadily, I did it! After struggling for such a long time, it felt amazing and I was still able to walk the next day. I'm sure the stunning scenery helped as a distraction - snow capped fells with a backdrop of blue sky. The conditions were perfect. And did I mention the mug of tea and flapjack at the finish line :)

Since then, I have treated myself to a fancy new pair of running shoes, as over the coming weeks I will need to increase my training. So far, my body hasn't complained too much, but I'm very aware that I am not getting any younger, so I'm still taking things very, very slowly.  

With running taking up most of my free time just now, I haven't really been up to much else. Although we did go for a walk through the woods on Sunday. The weather was damp and misty, but we managed to enjoy a wander beneath the trees without getting too wet. There was even a glimpse of a deer running off up the hill, but we could barely see the lake down below.

In the next few weeks I am also hoping to get out into the garden. I've already given the grass it's first cut, but I could do with tidying things up a little more, before I get some potatoes and beetroot planted in the raised bed. The spring flowers are adding a much needed touch of colour, while I wait for the remaining plants to awaken from their winter sleep. 

Back soon.

J. X