So, this is probably going to start as a quick post which turns into a long waffle, winding round and round till finally getting to the point. But hey – you start rambling more as you get older. And I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while now.
My poor neglected blog! I’m so behind with writing things up at the moment. I started struggling keeping everything up to date when I was teaching yoga once a week on top of my day job. One whole lesson a week! It doesn’t sound like much, but with planning and practising then actually teaching, I just wasn’t finding the time. But I love my little blog, so I took photos, and kept rough notes knowing that I would, at some point, get round to doing it. I love looking back on our adventures, so I kept on plugging away.
After about a year, the company I did the class for switched things around a bit, so I wasn’t teaching anymore. I was a bit gutted, as I did enjoy it (once I stopped worrying too much about whether the class was ok), and I was just starting to get the hang of everything without spending so much time planning and practising. But every cloud has a silver lining – I could now get my blog up to date. We had done loads of things, and I wanted to get them all down.
But then Coronavirus happened.
I remember, we were off to London for a few days in the February half term. There had been a handful of cases there, and given all we had heard on the news, it was with a slight sense of trepidation that we got on the train. We had an amazing time exploring the capital (blog to follow as I squint into the distance wondering when that might be).
That was the last “normal” adventure we had, as just over a month later, we were all in a global pandemic and I was working from home whilst home schooling Rowan. And while I really enjoyed Rowan’s geography lessons about how mountains are made (the boy – completely embarrassed by my enthusiasm), the last thing I wanted to do at night was switch on a laptop and start writing.
However, one of the things I HAVE managed to do during the various lockdowns is to consistently run. This was helped by the fact that I could go out at lunch time and return to my home office with no one caring about the smell (and I think Rocky and Pebble actually like it going off the mauling and licking I get when I return). I was finding I had little pockets of time that I could squeeze a run into – lunch time, after dropping Rowan at school, just before tea. And I really looked forward to shuffling round our local ex golf course. It was brilliant to get out, especially when not leaving the house for work, or adventures, or anything really.
I was getting out three times a week, which is pretty good for me. That is, unless my back was playing up. I’ve had back problems for such a long time now. It would flare up and I wouldn’t be able to stand straight or walk properly, so running would be much like counting to five whilst holding a holy hand grenade – right out. I do have excessive curve in my lower spine, and always put it down to that. Or maybe it was my “mattress” because that old thing definitely needed replacing. In fact, whilst waiting for our new one to arrive, I spent a few weeks of lockdown sleeping in our campervan on the driveway as the bed in there was more comfortable. It was like a mini holiday every night with the boy joining me at weekends when he didn’t have to be up in the morning. But after getting a new mattress and still having problems, I decided to do what I should have done earlier and ask the doctor about it. After some blood tests and an X ray I found out that I am officially an old biddy and have arthritis in my spine.
Whilst not the news I was necessarily hoping for, it wasn’t all bad. Keeping active, yoga and working on my core, I was told, would definitely help. So I could keep up the running, especially as I had figured out from experience that my back seemed better when I was active. And what’s more, I do love it, though my brain doesn’t always tell my face. Admittedly, sometimes I love it more when it is time to stop, but I very rarely regret going out for a run.
So, I entered a marathon.
I’ve run for years now, to varying degrees and have always fancied a marathon. I think I have one in me. I’m never going to win any races – I’m more of a tortoise (or maybe a sloth) than a hare. I’ve come last, but you know what – that’s a position. And maybe it’s a midlife crisis (though I still feel like a kid most of the time) or the thought that maybe my back won’t let me do it in a few years, but what better way to keep motivated and at it than entering a marathon.
Lakeland Trails put on brilliant events in beautiful places. I’ve completed a few of their races already, including a 23k from Ambleside in the hottest weather, and a race in Keswick where I became very familiar with the floor. So, fingers crossed, lockdowns permitting, Lakeland Trails in Coniston on 6th June, I’ll be plodding round the 26.2 mile course. Because when it comes to doing your first marathon, why not make it a hilly but pretty one, a week before your wedding anniversary, in the place you got married.