Monday, 13 February 2012

Running addiction

When I first took up running it was with the vague aim of getting fit and losing a bit of weight. Little did I know that within the year I would become an addict. Perhaps it is due to my obsessive personality, or perhaps it is just because I haven't had a hobby I was truly passionate about since the long off days when I was a pony mad pre-teen.

Either way I swiftly morphed from a weekend jogger happy to shuffle around the park, water bottle swinging in my hand and sweat dripping off my brow, into some kind of nutter who is never happier than when contemplating their next running-based challenge.

This morning I reeled off the list of races I have signed up to this year - one marathon, two half marathons, a 15K race, an 8.2 mile race and a 10K trail run, I am also registered for another half marathon and am contemplating doing a 5K Race for Life with my sister in the summer. I think the time has come to admit that this is about a whole lot more than just keeping fit.

During the two weeks I had off running thanks to my calf strain I felt a dark depression begin to take hold. At the time I put it down to fears about my training schedule going to pot and ruining my chances of making it round the marathon. Now I rather suspect that it was simply withdrawal symptoms.

Nothing seems to put me off running. I have been out in all weather - snow, rain, ice cold wind. Going on holiday doesn't call a halt to proceedings - I ran on a boiling hot beach in Florida, along the beautiful Northumberland coastline and in Central Park in New York. Sickness and injury does put me out of action, but a mere hangover will not stop me in my tracks and yesterday I rather queasily sweated my way through a four-mile run with a pounding head and rolling stomach.

Those who don't run, simply do not get it. But for me running has woven it's way into who I am. It has made me proud of myself in a way I had not felt for a long time, it's made me braver and more confident, it has taught me how to dig deep and keep going and the value of constantly challenging yourself. So an addict I may be, but this is one habit I do not intend to break.

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