Some Random Acts of Kindness are easy, some are scary, some are emotional and some are just plain difficult. I have to say that this has been one of the most difficult for me. It has been a physical challenge as well as a mental one at times.
I didn’t even own a pair of trainers a month ago. But I have done it. A Marathon in the month of May. 26.2 miles in four weeks. I am sure that many people would find this a walk in the park but for someone who has not done any running since 2007 (except running after small children heading for danger!) it has been a challenge indeed!
I would love to say that I had run every one of those miles, as was my intention, but I have suffered painful ankles and, after doing ten miles in the first week alone, I had to rest my injury and did a couple of short walks the next week instead. My ankles still hurt but I’m hoping that a little bit of a rest this week will sort that out.
Throughout the four weeks I have learned several things:
- I can run. I may not be fast but I can do it.
- The place where I live has a lot of very steep hills.
- I am motivated and determined when I have a set goal. Stubborn some would say! Rain and cold did not faze me.
- I can run 5 km without stopping
- I look young when I run!*
- I actually enjoy it. I enjoy seeing the miles racking up!
Other things that I have noticed:
- My resting heartrate has dropped to 56-60 bpm from the high 60s-70s a month ago
- I can run so much more easily now than a month ago. The 5km parkrun that I did yesterday was actually comfortable! Well, except the last half kilometre – that was brutal!
- I have lost a few pounds in weight completely unintentionally
When I run I think. I thought about mum a lot, what she would make about all this running, what her words of encouragement would be. I thought about the people who I was running for, those with heart problems and how lucky I was to be able to run at all.
I was spurred on by the general public, which surprised me. On one run when I was at my limit (or so I thought) I ran past the church in my town and a frail elderly woman was sitting on the bench outside. She had a Zimmer frame and as I ran past she said with a smile, “I wish I could still run”. How could I stop then?
Another time I ran past a grandmother with her grandson. She spoke to him and asked him to move out of the “young girl’s” way. Young girl!
Finally, at the parkrun yesterday the atmosphere was fantastic. Everyone was so friendly and encouraging, cheering me on, telling me “well done”. I’ve completed my marathon but I am very tempted to continue going to the parkrun! Who would have thought it?!
The most poignant point for me was an older man who was running much faster than me (he beat my time by a lot). I heard him say how he had lost his wife a few days earlier and there he was, running, in his 70s and faster than 30-something me. Wow!
So there you have it: RAK 38 completed and so far £78 raised for the British Heart Foundation.
If you think you won’t be able to run, don’t believe it. This girl can and so can you! Set yourself goals. Being stubborn helps too!
*Whilst running in the parkrun I chatted to people. A lady called Emma was running beside me and we chatted about a small boy completing the race. I commented on how my small boy would be asking for a piggy back and she told me that I didn’t look old enough to have a four year old. She said I looked 19! Ha! When I told her my actual age (let’s just say early 30s) her actual words were too explicit to write here! Running keeps you young!