|Pictures from a snowy training run 30/01/15|
I ran my first 10k in 2007, did another a year later, my first Half Marathon in 2010 and the 13.1 mile distance became an annual training event for a few years until 2013 when I discovered a friend and had been diagnosed with cancer. After my initial reaction ('You're joking?') I looked for positives to take from this (it gave perspective to routine work nuisances) and I spotted an advert for the Loch Ness Marathon, which was about 14 weeks away, just enough time to get trained up and raise some money for MacMillan Cancer Support. I never explicitly said to my friend why I was raising money, perhaps I should, as I hoped as my friend went through his treatment, the effort I put into my training, and all the people that sponsored me would be a tacit sign of support and let him know he was in peoples' thoughts.
|The trail I followed went near the summit of the hill in the centre.|
Once I'd recovered, running once again became means and a reason to keep fit- a way to enjoy the outdoors and clear my head. Many of my best ideas have come while I'm running, some of the things you are reading now came to me when I've been out on the trails and doubtless more in the future will too.
About a year ago, the possibility of doing an overseas placement in summer 2015 (a long way away, I thought) which piqued my interest, and as I investigated the prospect it became apparent it was going to cost a lot of money, which meant one thing: fundraising. We've been planning a great number of things to make this work, but my first thought was to what I can do to raise money- I'd already run a marathon to raise money so in the spirit of continuous development I signed up for an Ultramarathon (i.e. any race longer than 26.2 miles).
|Was coming all this way on my own really so clever?|
The hardest part of following the training plan has been getting out for a run when I've had essays due and exams to study for: after working in a unit for 12 hours, it really is refreshing to go for a run to wind down and de-stress, especially when the alternative is an icy bike ride home or a trip on a cold, damp bus. However, when the choice to go out in the icy cold and darkness when there is work you know needs doing... In the warmth of a well lit library. With easy access to coffee and chocolate, well...
As a result I'm feeling slightly less sharper than I should, possibly carrying a bit more weight than necessary (thank you, coffee and chocolate) and it's not helped by a niggling injury I picked up on a 21 mile run a couple of weeks ago. However this Saturday (7th Feb) after I finish work in Edinburgh, I'm driving a hire car down to the Lake District, for the first of my 2 big races to prepare for the Highland Fling, something called the Grizedale Trail 26. This will be my third marathon, my first run on trails and easily the hilliest run I've ever done. And although I'll not be attempting to run it fast it's hard to believe I'm going into this as a 'training run'.
But first there's an assignment due for Friday, an LD Nurses Society to get off the ground (to help with publicity and to raise funds), a presentation to work on, a class debate to research for, self directed study and paid employment - I probably should stop blogging now!
|Most of the reasons why I go running. Medwyn Valley, South Lanarkshire. 30/01/15|