I only started writing this blog in March this year and I’ve only been documenting the running that I’ve been doing in London, where I’ve actually only lived for a year. I grew up in a teensy tiny village in the Scottish Borders and for the first 18 years of my life the rural way of living was the only thing I knew. I moved to St Andrews for university, a small town that was a big shock to the system and then Edinburgh, an even bigger city, but one that I now call my home city. London – well, as a true country bumpkin it’s somewhere I never thought I’d live, but for now I’m embracing it and getting the most out of it while I’m here.
|Mum and Dad post-London marathon 1983, running is in my blood|
|Sister and I pre-race with compulsory bin bag wind and rain shields|
|Taking part in various Edinburgh races|
When I moved to Edinburgh I got my running mojo back and started using it as a way to explore the city. I found parks, trails, the canal, the beaches, Arthur’s Seat and quickly learnt that Edinburgh had everything to offer for my running needs. I entered races, mostly charity ones like the Race for Life, and began taking running a bit more seriously, seeing how far I could push myself.
|Completing the 96 miles of the West Highland Way (mostly walking, less running)|
I met my boyfriend Nige nearly two and a half years ago in Edinburgh and although I was already well into my running phase, things changed up a gear. Two runners in a relationship means time spent together can also mean time spent running. The more you run, the more you want to run. At first, I didn’t want to run with him, even on training runs, scared that I’d hold him back or that he’d realise how bad a runner I was. It took a long time for me to be comfortable just stepping out for a run together but now I forget about the pace or distance and we just run.
I remember one of the first races we signed up together for was the popular Black Rock 5, a five miler along the Fife coastline and a wet one if you get the tide timing wrong! I said to him as we stood at the start line ‘Remind me never to sign up to any race again,’ and sometimes that’s still how I feel at the beginning of races, ‘why am I here?’ ‘what is the point of this race?’ Usually when I finish I’m in a different state of mind, glad that I signed up and ran, but sometimes I don’t run well or just have a bad race and it puts me off running races and running in general.
For me running has always been, and I think will continue to be, a way leaving everything at the front door and clearing my head space. I have time to myself to just think things through, anything I’m struggling with at work, with friends or life admin in general. I think that’s why sometimes I question the purpose of races, because for me there doesn’t have to be a reason to run, you just get out there and do it. For yourself.
|Collection of race numbers from my short time in London|
Now living in London, running has introduced me to areas I would’ve never explored otherwise and helped me feel like part of a community in a city that at first felt quite overwhelming. I’m signing up to races as a chance to meet other runners and have made friends through running that I could never have met if I didn’t run. For the first time in my life I have a training schedule and a goal of a marathon to work towards. I go out to run to not only clear my head but to build my fitness and strength in order to cross that 26.2 mile finish line with a smile on my face. I wonder where my running journey will take me next?
What is your running journey? Why do you run? Share your thoughts in the comments and happy running!