I have NEVER been into sport AT ALL. I hated it at school, (hockey, lacrosse) and have avoided it strenuously since.
I have flirted with the idea of fitness, and actually had a personal trainer for a while, but it didn't last.
I've purchased fitness equipment feeling sure that the very act of doing so would keep me fit. Hahahahaha!
However, what made me take up running was the worst thing that had ever happened in my life.
My best friend died.
Sarah and I had known each other for over 40 years since we first started school, we used to speak, or latterly email nearly every day, we knew each other inside out, then, in March 2008 she was diagnosed with Lymphoma.
Less than 10 months later it was all over, she died on January 1st 2009.
During those months, I took my turns along with other good friends and family, in driving her to Addenbrookes for chemo etc. and we spent a lot of the time laughing ourselves silly in the hospital. (Mainly cruel private jokes at the expense of other people, but we found it funny, gallows humor I think).
She wasn't supposed to die, she was in remission for a stem cell transplant, then after the treatment began she caught Norovirus when her immune system was completely vulnerable, and it killed her.
A couple of months later someone suggested that us girlies did the Race for Life in Bedford which was going to happen in July. It was going to be a walk, but when I found out it was only 3miles (5k) I announced that I couldn't in all conscience ask people to sponsor me to walk 3 miles, I do more than that on a good shopping day.........I'D RUN IT!
I thought I heard a roar of tinkling laughter coming from up on a cloud somewhere, but I ignored it!
Realising that I'd probably have to practice a bit, in March 2009, at the age of 48½, I got onto one of the bits of fitness equipment I'd previously purchased - a treadmill - and started running.
30 seconds later, I was off it again, bent over double and trying not to be sick! Yes I was THAT unfit.
I began to follow a really easy beginner’s programme and gradually actually began to run!!
So, on July 26th 2009 (the day after what would have been Sarah's 50th birthday), we all set off for Bedford, and I, and another good friend Bernadette ran the whole thing in 29 minutes. I've never done 5k that fast since!
I didn't know that you should be aiming for a particular time and before we started someone said to me what time are you aiming for, and I hadn't a clue, I just wanted to get all the way round running the whole thing, so I had no idea that 29 mins was pretty good for a first-timer. I raised about £600 and thank you again if you sponsored me that time.
So that should have been the end of it, BUT, I'd never been that fit before and I thought that maybe I should try to keep it up for a while, so I did, I kept on with the programme, and improved bit by bit, but by the winter I was getting bored and demotivated, so I entered another race, The Flitwick 10k the following April.
Trained up and did it finished in 66.50 and as I approached the finish the only thought that was going through my mind was I WILL NEVER NEVER DO THIS AGAIN!
New Year 2011, had put weight back on and was lazy, so took a deep breath and decided to aim for a half-marathon this year. Did some half-hearted training early in the year, but it was too early really and I didn't want to peak too soon! Although I entered and paid for the race, I still did not commit myself to be doing it, just kept saying I'll see later in the year.
So, I picked my self up at the beginning of June and have started training
The race is Run to the Beat, which is perfect because it's for Lymphoma research.
Someone on her cloud will be laughing on the other side of her face in September!
But believe me, when we next meet, she has got a LOT to answer for!So please dig deep and donate now.