If you’ve been following me on social media for a while, you’ll know that I decided to take-up running during lockdown. To start with, this was no mean feat! In February I couldn’t move due to a back injury, and recovery following some initial treatment had been slow. But I decided to make the most of my daily exercise quota, and was determined to turn-around my fitness and work to gain strength and hopefully prevent a similar injury reoccurring in the future. I decided to follow the ‘Couch to 5K’ programme, and off I went for my first little shuffle.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think after my first few ‘runs’ I’d ever manage 5k. It was awful, painful and slow. Ahead of each session I needed to do around half an hour of Yoga just to warm-up enough to feel I was safe to run, and even then, it was painful. I appreciate this probably wasn’t technically the best approach but I knew that I needed to build strength, and the pain did seem to ease the further I ran. For the first couple of weeks, I’d do a yoga cool-down followed by an epsom salt bath and it seemed to be a magical formula that kept me going.
Slowly but surely I built up the distance and in 7 weeks, I managed to build-up to 5K! In my usual way, I moved on to the next challenge which was to now improve my time and as it stands, I’m a couple of minutes away from achieving my sub-30 minute goal, but I’m already so proud of myself for getting to this point. I’m now able to run 5k 2-3 times a week: I prepare with some stretches, a brisk walk, then cool down with a walk. I was happily focussing on the sub-30 target when I became aware of a challenge taking place in September which piqued my interest!
I’d recently connected with Lucy, founder of the Rainbow Running Club and when I saw her challenge I immediately felt compelled to get involved. I experienced a miscarriage of my son’s twin at 9 weeks, the year after a very early loss following a round of IVF, so the whole concept really resonated with me. Lucy founded the Club last year as a way of bringing women together with a shared passion (or willingness!) to walk or run, as well as experience of baby loss and infertility and it’s since expanded into a fabulous blend of online yoga and mindfulness sessions alongside the regular runs (boy how I wish this was around when I was on my own fertility journey). To mark 12 months since the first organised run, Lucy has organised this 12k event to celebrate and is encouraging anyone who wants to get involved to register and then walk and/or run 12K on the 12th September at 10am. The registration fee (£12) plus a % of limited edition running vest sales will be donated to Tommy’s baby loss charity, a fabulous cause.
So on 12th September if you’re in the vicinity of Wicksteed Park and the surrounding area, you may well see me running/walking/crawling to complete this challenge!! If you’d like to make a donation, please do visit Lucy’s just giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lucy-slimmonrrc
To find out more about Lucy’s work, head over to _mother_of_one_ on Instagram, or Rainbow Running Club on Facebook.