Monday, 24 February 2014

A year in the life of a Fitmum!

Although I started my healthy eating lifestyle in 2009 after losing my Dad, my running only really stepped up a notch last year. Previous to 2013 I had done 10k, 5k's and half marathons but never ran 'all the way'  instead opting to run/walk interval them to the finish line.

My training then took a huge dip for about 18 months in 2011 when I had to undergo surgery on not one but both my shoulders (the last one being early Feb 2013) 

My fitness along with my motivation and self esteem were at an all time low. That was until Easter last year when I heard about a new branch of Fitmums and Friends ( that was opening near my home and decided to go along. 

The group has 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 mile lead runs with the promise that using their shepherding system, nobody would get left behind. I was so nervous of going but I did and I remember crying as I completed my first 1 mile run  without stopping in over 2 years. 

I went the next week and have never looked back. 

The leaders at fitmums are so enthusiastic and motivational.  My fitness and confidence in running soon blossomed and I soon realised that not only did I  thrive on my run sessions with Fitmums but I actually started to enjoy running. 

My life took another dip when in June of 2013 we found out my husband had an aortic aneurism which at 6.2cm needed urgent repair. We found out 2 days before we were heading up to Edinburgh to complete the Edinburgh Moonwalk (a 26.2 mile walking marathon). 

We had health and well being on our side and Ray underwent surgery on 13th July 2013, the day after his 65th birthday. He has made a full recovery from the op and is now gaining back his own fitness. He is doing so amazingly well and has also joined Fitmums and Friends and runs the 2 mile route every Tuesday. I'm so immensely proud of him. 

Whilst he was in hospital I set myself the challenge of running 300k in 6 weeks leading up to and including GNR raising money for BHF along the way. I smashed my target both in mileage and sponsorship running over 312k and raising £2000. It wasn't the only thing I smashed - my finish time for GNR was 2:30:08 which is over 10 minutes off my PB. Again my running buddies were by my side whenever they could be, clocking up the miles with me and encouraging me every step of the way. 

Fitmums has given me the confidence to step up yet another gear in 2014 and I am now training to run my first marathon. On May 24th I will be heading up north to run the Edinburgh marathon.  Mike one of the clubs coaches set up a training plan for me and the miles are clocking up. My Fitmums sessions help enormously as I use them as sprint sessions and faster run sessions as mapped on my training plan and once again my running buddies from the club encourage me and  come out and keep me company on my longer runs whenever they can. 

I adore being part of such a fantastic group of people who motivate and help each other so enormously and not just  on club nights. We often meet at various times of the week for ad hoc runs, helping and encouraging each other along the way.  I have met some truly amazing people and made some fantastic friends . . . . So much so I've taken a run leaders course with England athletics and look forward to working with the rest of the Fitmums team motivating and inspiring members as I've been inspired. 

It's amazing what difference a year makes!