My Not So Secret Diary

Freedom Racing

Freedom Racing
What a beautiful sunset!

Last night was the end of the summer. Well, the end of the summer as far as Freedom Racing's Summer Sessions go. Set from May to September these 10k races are set in stunning locations all over Cornwall, from North Coast to South Coast and in between. I didn't run all of them, but I will next year, I've already promised myself that. Mainly set on Friday nights these races are breathtaking. There is something very primal about trail running in a race. It's more than just a group running together. It feels like you are part of the pack, and with the wind blowing and the sun setting as we tore up and down the cliffs, over St Agnes Beacon and back across the beach in Porthtowan I felt so alive.

To be honest, I wish I was faster, last night was possibly my slowest 10k (it was very hilly!) But, it was stunning so maybe I didn't push myself as I would normally try to. It was only really the super fit runners at the front of the pack that could run most of the big hills which was fine with me as it gave me a chance to catch my breath. The only problem was, as I was coming back along the cliffs it started to get dark, and that, combined with being on a very uneven cliff path only slowed me down more. Coming down the last hill and across the beach to the finish line was such a relief, mainly because it meant I could see again.

What a great way to spend a Friday night. SO looking forward to next year!

The Start of Running

The Start of Running
That's me at the back in the pink and black leggings!

I started running in June 2018. I’m not really sure why, it just seemed like a good idea at the time. I wanted to lose the dreaded ‘baby weight’ from baby number 4 and I wanted something to help my anxiety. To be honest though, I think that came afterwards and I certainly didn’t realise how much of a difference it made to my state of mind at the start. I just decided I’d do it, downloaded the C25k app and went out. At the time I was not the sort of person who felt comfortable in lycra, so I'm not quite sure how I managed it. I couldn’t even run for 1 minute back then, I mean probably not even 30 seconds and I was mortified. I knew I wasn’t super fit but until I’d had number 4 I thought I was doing okay. I was so wrong! Sweating and out of breath I managed the first few sessions, unable to do more even if I had wanted to. My husband and older kids encouraged me but I’m not sure if I let on how hard I was finding it. Other runners galloped along making it look so effortless, their hair was always great and they certainly didn't glow like I did!

Around week 5 I hurt my knee. It wasn't too bad and so I tried to push through. I thought running through it would help make me a better runner or something. What a mistake that was! It got worse and worse until I could barely climb the stairs at work! I had signed up for a 5K race as my first ever event for The Cornwall Air Ambulance. It was supposed to give me the incentive I needed to keep me going but instead I felt like I had a lot of pressure on me to achieve it and to raise the money I had promised the charity. I wasn't even sure if I would be able to run 5k, that target seemed almost unreachable to me. Eventually I gave in and repeated the week of training, twice I think in the end but suddenly something started to click. Suddenly I could do it and I began to enjoy it!

The first time I ran for 5 minutes was huge for me, and the first time I did a longer run I remember thinking it is okay, only another 8 minutes. Suddenly I realised that I had thought 8 minutes wasn't long! Such a huge difference and a milestone for me. I began to think maybe I could run longer distances, maybe, just maybe I'd be able to class myself as a runner!