25.06.2016. A date that’s probably insignificant to the most of you. But for me, this was the date that marked my return to running.
Baby number two had just turned 14 weeks old, and I desperately needed something that was just for me. Something to give me a little release from the impact of a toddler, combined with a clingy baby and with reflux and colic, and something which could help me heal. Heal, both mentally and physically. I’d had (another) horrible birth experience, and had been left with a body which no longer felt like it was own. I needed to change that.
I had run during my time at secondary school. Both cross country during the winter months, and 1500m during the summer track season. But by the time that A-Levels, and then university rolled around, I had stopped. But the spark was re-ignited when my husband re-joined the running club of his youth during my pregnancy. Then we found out about the existence of parkrun. I was a frustrated spectator for a while, but my time finally arrived.
That date is particularly significant because it was the start of things to come. It was the first time that I managed to actually COMPLETE parkrun. After two failed attempts before, I was found on the course by one of my now clubmates, Diane. Who, along with her co-pilot got me around that 5k, running every step. I was elated at that finish line, but also in total awe of that fellow Mumma. I’d found it immensely difficult, and it was just me and my two feet. Diane had got round pushing along a whole another person- AND had made it look easy too.
Ultimately, that first run around a local park led me to where I am now. It’s been almost two years of running. Club runs, parkruns, races, and now nearly as many of my runs (if not more) are done with my trusty running buggy (found at a boot sale no less) than without. I’ve both a single and a double, though it’s only the double which has completed many a parkrun, including all of the tourist runs. And it’s running with this buggy which inspired me to include my own range of running t-shirts alongside my small business. There was a comment made on a photograph about how slow someone must have been to finish behind me with the double buggy. At the time I was hurt by it. It had been such a great run for me, but it was tainted by the words of two grown men trying to be funny. But I decided to turn the hurt into something empowering, and ‘I run with a buggy, what’s your super power?’ was created.
Buggy running has also been a way to encourage my children’s love of being outdoors and is nurturing their own want to run. We often run through our green wheel, so there is plenty for them to spot along the way, and new things for them to learn about as we go.
It’s also the best way I know to really clear your mind. Having to concentrate on pushing with one arm, of where to plant your feet, and on trying to find a route without lots of potholes or curbs stops me from being consumed by the day to day. It’s in those moments of clarity that I get some of my best business ideas too like my new range of tongue in cheek running tees.
So if you find yourself now, in the position I was in then, then go for it. A journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step. And though I’m not at 1000 running miles just yet, I am definitely enjoying the journey, and I am well kitted out whilst I do it too!