I’m 46. I’m overweight. I’ve got Diabetes. I’ve got Arthritis in my toes. I’ve got Lymphoedema and Cellulitis in my legs.
I shouldn’t really be running.
I’m also on meds for High Blood Pressure, an Under-Active Thyroid, high cholesterol and other things I’ve probably forgotten about by now.
During the summer of 2012 I spent eight days in hospital because of a really serious infection that, apparently, could have ended up with me losing my right leg.
Again, I shouldn’t really be running.
I also, according to the nurse in A&E when I was admitted, displayed all the symptoms of someone who should have had a stroke, right there and then.
At the time I was 21 stone or thereabouts. After being released I worked at losing some weight and perhaps overdid it a tad because I ended up being admitted to hospital again in December – in London of all places.
I was over there for a series of gigs and passed out at one of them, but managed to wiggle my way out of hospital to attend another one the very next night!
Then, in early 2014, I really got into walking. I mean, we’re all pretty fond of walking (!) but around then I *really* got into it.
I entered the 8-mile walk in the Belfast Marathon that year and again 12 months later. During that time I walked a lot, for miles and miles, before settling on 10k and then trying to beat my time every time I went out.
I’ve always longed to be able to run but I didn’t think I could. I was still overweight, my toes hurt with every step, my legs are swollen with fluid …. surely there’s no way I could run.
But sometime in late Spring 2015 I decided to give running a try. It didn’t go too badly, I started C25K, joined a gym, did my first parkrun and, little did I suspect, within a year I’d done the ruddy London Marathon!
I’m slow. I’ve very rarely gone quicker than 10 minutes per mile. I finish towards the back of every race I’ve ever competed in.
I hate running. I hate the pain, the burn in my legs. I hate psyching myself up beforehand. I prefer to run in the dark and in the rain because I hate people seeing me.
But, equally, I love it. I love the buzz afterwards. I love the sense of achievement. I love entering events. I love going through my stats. I love how my body forgets the hurt. I love the call to get back out there and do it all over again.
This blog is for people like me and you.