Printed on Runners World website in Aug 2010
I have done just a (very) little running on and off over the years but not seriously. However, last year I started running again with a goal in mind – to lose about 8kgs so that I look good for my daughter’s and step-daughter’s weddings in September this year. Also, moving to a very quiet village seaside location in South Africa from a highly pressurised job in a town in England, I needed something to take away the “stress” of such a quiet lifestyle here, and I have discovered that running fits this beautifully.
I started a “couch to 5k” plan, which I found really difficult at first. I persevered for a few weeks, always hoping that the weather would be so bad that I couldn’t go out! Then, everything started to flow a bit better and I ran my first 5km in April this year, followed by a 10km a month later. I am now training for my first half marathon in September, and have managed to run nearly 18km so far – my biggest distance ever, and am really looking forward to the race.
Well, I have successfully reached my goal weight, and am looking forward to the weddings, so now have another goal – an even bigger one. I have applied for a ballot entry into the Virgin London Marathon next year and am waiting on the results of that, but would really like to run for charity. If I am unable to run in the VLM, I will try for entry to another marathon but will still raise money for the charity close to my heart – Alzheimer’s. My mother and my stepdaughter’s mother are both victims of forms of this disease and I know that thinking of them, I will be able to complete the marathon.
Running has made a tremendous difference to my life, and it doesn’t matter how old you are to do it. I am 55. You have no-one else to compete against, and you can do it at your own pace – literally! The high you feel after a run is the most wonderful feeling and it stays with you for hours afterwards. I am a much happier person now with far more energy and confidence, so my husband benefits as well! Sometimes I can’t believe that I have come as far as I have in less than a year – a year ago I would never have thought I would ever run 18km!