17 dozen eggs

This week has been quite an eventful one, full of challenges. After completing the London Winter Run on Sunday, my usual hip pain was surprisingly mild following the 10k. However, I’d already booked in to have ultrasound guided injections on Monday. It wasn’t as painful as I anticipated, however I did have to jump on the treadmill for 10 minutes to check whether it had worked. I don’t think my legs were quite ready for exercise again so soon.

Wednesday was an early start to get the first bus to the train station to get in to London. The company I work for sends a couple of volunteers over to Whitechapel Mission once a week to help cook and serve breakfasts to the homeless. This is the second time I’d signed up for the rota, and on this occasion I was on egg duties. By 9:30am I’d fried approximately 200 eggs to varying specifications.

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Running with polar bears and penguins

Last year I signed up to do the 10k London Winter Run for Cancer Research UK. At the time I’d run the 5k Race for Life with Millie, and several Park Runs. This seemed like an achievable next step, but my hip had other plans.

A few months ago I started suffering with hip pain and began some physiotherapy in November to get it sorted before the Winter Run. What I thought would be a few weeks of physio turned into months and an MRI scan.

Despite not getting the bottom of the hip issue, and doing virtually no running in 3 months (and I’ve only ever run as far as 7k), I felt determined to do the race. It was never going to be a record breaking time, but if I could just complete the course…

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Race for life, race for love

I’ve been training hard for the Chelmsford Race for Life, I’m out 3 times a week and really enjoying the challenge. I’m not sure I’ll be able to run 5k in 30 minutes by 10 July (in hindsight, a bit of a tall order for a newbie!) but I’ve definitely made improvements on my pace over the past few weeks.

I entered my first Park Run this Saturday. What an amazing group of volunteers who put this event on every week, come rain or shine. Despite the humidity, I managed a time of 34 mins 36 sec. Running with others really changes your mindset. I’m usually quite good at pacing myself, but I was swept away with everyone and found the last kilometre quite an effort. I was really pleased with the outcome, despite the young girl who sprinted the last 100 metres to pip me on the finish line!

James and the kids came to cheer me on; it was great to have their support, especially for my first Park Run. Definitely the first of many.

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But as I’ve been training, a different, unexpected challenge has arisen.

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Fitness, faith and freedom

I can’t really remember what the catalyst was, but I had an underlying sense that I wasn’t getting any younger, and my fitness would only get worse if I didn’t actively do something about it. So in October I started running. I downloaded Runkeeper app on my phone to get me started and dug out my trainers (which hadn’t really seen the light of day since I had a gym membership in the run up to my wedding).

The app is very helpful. It gives you a summary of your run, where you’ve been, how fast you were, the distance you covered and even your elevation and heart rate. Over time I could see how my speed and stamina was improving. It gives you a little nudge when you haven’t been out for a while, and words of encouragement when you do.

But there was something thing that I hadn’t expected from my new found exercise routine. Faith and freedom. My life is full of routine; each week roughly the same with the daily commute, kids activities, church. But when I run I can go anywhere, wherever my feet take me. The options are endless and no two runs were the same. I love the spontaneity.

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