Running makes us happy

The beginning of this year has been ‘happy’, as would one of my friends say. He had a theory that for me to be happy, I’d need to be subjected to emotional turmoil, no matter whether it was positive or negative. The emotions just need to be intense. So that’s what it’s been like. Intense.

I started to volunteer at junior parkrun a few months ago, trying to give something back, to make it possible for the small people to have their dose of physical activity. I love cheering them on, watching them walk and then start running again when they see me frantically shouting and waving my arm. They are strong, amazing kids. Last weekend it was pouring down and there were still 16 of them that turned up at 9 am on a Sunday morning to run the 2km. Vesper has been telling everyone about her virtual challenge – she needs to run 10km in January to get a unicorn medal. She loves the social aspect of the runs more than running itself now I think. I wish she’d do more running than walking (because I know she can! She did 2km within 15 minutes, now it’s taking her nearly 30!) but I am still happy that she wants to get dressed and go out of the door.

I closed my eye to the fact that the medal is a reward for something that should be done for the greater good that is a healthy and strong body. Screw it, I’d LOVE a unicorn medal! I could have chosen some bling for a single run, but instead, I thought it may be good to start a habit of the weekly parkruns and to deter the gratification once the whole month’s goal (10km) is achieved. Vesper is becoming more independent each week. We started a few months ago with holding mummy’s hand, then progressed to bursts of sprint on her own, and now she is happy running under the tail walkers’ care. She got quite upset when I said that all of us were going – ‘but I don’t want daddy to run with me!’ I had to explain that both her parents were going to volunteer and she was free to go on her own. I also suggested that she asks some of her school friends if they’d like to run the parkruns with her.

I also realised that the runs keep me sane(r). I try to do 3 a week with a gym visit here and there. I have just joined one next to my work and I get excited every time I go there. I noticed that my legs are getting a bit stronger – this morning I nearly crashed into a car (which either stopped suddenly or I misjudged the distance between us), so I had to brake hard, which nearly put the bike on its side, but this time my legs withstood the weight of it and I could keep it upright. A vast improvement from a comparable situation from 3.5 years ago when I needed help picking the motorbike up from the floor. Saying that, I am sure I can test my strength in other, more enjoyable ways! I registered to run Hastings half marathon in March! Hills! Hills galore! Have I mentioned that I_DO_NOT_DO_HILLS?!

I need to up my distances and do some (more) leg strength training. That’s where the gyms come into play. I had a session with a personal trainer, who showed me what to do- my legs are like jelly afterwards, but let’s hope it’s going to be worth it! When I mentioned I’m doing the Hastings half with my sister in law, he was positive I could outrun her. I laughed and kept the information about her times during the previous races to myself -Jo is mega quick and no amount of training will get me to her speed, but then that’s not important here! I just need to finish the race and enjoy it!

And then do 2 more half marathons, a Tough Mudder and a few 10ks…

running events



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