The Method To The Madness

Over the past week I have been asked this question several times
“Why are you running a half marathon if you hate to run”

My response has been “I have no idea”

I took the time out to sit and actually think why am I doing something I really hate? Why could I not have raised money doing something I enjoyed?

I have always been a very active person. In school I would play netball, football, tennis, looked forward to sports days and what with being a hyperactive person, I was always on the move. University came and though I was never on any teams, I was studying acting and so was on a very physical course.

I love to be active.
Colitis slowly stopped me from being as active as I liked. I couldn’t exercise for long periods of time because I was tired constantly. When things were really bad I couldn’t even go for walks for fear of having some sort of accident. (Yes people, I do mean of the pant soiling kind)

When I had my operation, it took me three months to recover and be able to do a few shifts at work, let alone start any exercise.

The moment where I decided to run was after my second operation. It was partly inspiration from a friend of mine, Candice. I had seen her journey unfold, which by the way you should all check out here
and read the amazing journey about a girl who is running the world for Avert(ing) HIVand AIDS

And partly because I had been so sick of not being able to move. I wanted to make my body stronger. It had been through much and still had another operation to go. I wanted to take care of it.
I had no money to spare to go swimming or buy any work out dvds so I started to run.
I hated it (as you are all aware from my previous post) but I would get better with every run that I did and I slowly got addicted to the feeling of adrenalin kicking in when I realised I’d beat my PB. Addicted to the might rush of those feel good hormones rushing around my brain, making me love life and anyone I came across! Addicted to the fact that after a good, hard, long run, I would sleep like a baby.

I chose to run for my charity because doing a sky dive or bungy jump is something I really want to do. Its not a challenge for me and therefore not an achievement.
I won’t grow as a person from doing a sky dive, I mean sure I’ll have an awesome memory of it but I intend to do it when I go travelling.
Running is an epic challenge for me, it teaches me things I didn’t know about myself and it will continue to teach me because this mind of mine is going to have to be shown who’s boss at some point.

When I run this race in September I won’t be the same person who is writing this blog. I have a lot of learning to do, a lot of hard graft to get through and some revelations to share.
With this run I know that I will have put my everything into this. Raising awareness for Crohns and Colitis is something that means a lot to me. I want to reach as many people as possible with this fundraising so that those suffering know that they are not alone. Most importantly they don’t have to go through this disease alone.

Sure, I’m a little bit crazy for deciding to do something I hate, where I will spend hours every week clocking up miles, where I will have to most probably cancel dinner dates and catch up sessions in favour of training. But this run will just highlight the fact that I can do anything I set my mind to regardless of what I have been though. I hope that people with IBD can take something away from my journey and feel just a little bit better about their own. I can’t inspire people by just doing a sky dive.
I have to earn the right to be inspirational.

I came. I ran. I died.

Can I make one thing clear?
I do not like to run. I am not one of those people who run for fun, or run because they enjoy it.
I do not get home and lace my trainers up thinking “Whoo! Running time! Let’s go”
Running fills me with dread.
I lace my my trainers and I’m sure every step I take my feet are saying “Fuck this! Why are we doing this again?”

Running does not come easily for me. I am not a graceful runner by any means. Every run is an effort. Every run I feel like I’m dying.
I am constantly battling my mind, there is no inner peace when I run, there is no getting away from the stress of life, to let loose on the pavements because running is a stress for me.

The beauty of hating running though, is every run is an achievement. Every mile I clock I am always ecstatic that I’ve done it because I can’t believe that I managed to get out the door to do it let alone run it!

I’m a lazy runner. My pace is slow. The moment I don’t want to run my feet start dragging, my mind starts to battle with me. “I want to stop, I don’t want to do this any more”
I know, I know but lets just keep on going
“But I don’t want to, lets just stop, its so much easier”
“I can’t do this, I need to stop”
You can do this, stop saying I can’t, just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

If I get this conversation 20minutes into any run, how am I meant to run a half marathon when I can’t even run 20minutes without battling with my brain?

It’s hard.

But that’s what’s going to make this half even more amazing, the fact that I can’t do it, the fact that I find this running thing so difficult, it is going to be so much more of an achievement.