Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Can I run in the mountains too?


People write blogs for many reasons.  I used to read so many.  Some write to promote themselves or their products, others write to present a false version of themselves - a skewed version of how they see themselves and not how others see them, others are more honest in what they present - more warts and all stories that can make you laugh or even cry. Others write blogs to share with people what they are learning through their life in the hope that it can help others too. And then there are those who treat a blog like a diary so that they can look back on their posts like a digital scrapbook.   I started writing my blog many years ago because I wanted to document my life in ultra-running, in a diary style that I could look back on, and hopefully learn from. And I loved writing. (I'm not saying I was good at it, just that I enjoyed it.) Then I took a wee break, followed by a bit of a 'clear-out', then along came my kids and time disappeared.  I still love to write, but I struggle to make the time to write new blog posts. I'm too busy parenting, working, and fitting in some running.

I haven't written since August, at least I haven't published anything.  I wrote one piece in November but I haven't had the courage to share the post as it was just too raw, too emotional, perhaps a little too 'honest'. I don't feel ready to share those thoughts.  Recently the very lovely Fionna Ross shared an equally raw, emotional and honest post. I cried when I read it as I realised what strength it must have taken to publish it, knowing full well I did not possess that strength to lay myself bare like that.  Fionna is an incredible athlete and I'm sure she will achieve much more in the coming year.

Will I write more in 2016?  Will I find the time or feel the desire to write? I don't know.   What I do know is that for training and personal reasons I have had to postpone my BGR attempt.  A May/June attempt is now out of the question. I don't feel badly about this as I have to realistic about what life is throwing at me in the coming months.  I am however looking forward to getting some great summer runs out on the route and getting to learn it inside out.  I know those runs will provide me with lots of highs and lows, just as recent runs have, but that's no different to our normal lives.  The ups and downs are what makes life interesting.

Clough Head summit - BGR Leg 2

I have a target race (or two) for 2016 and I really need to pull my finger out and get working on my training plans for these.  I'm a planning kind of girl!  If I don't plan, I don't do! But I have another huge motivation for 2016.  This wee girl:


My mini-me - happy times in the forest.
She loves being outdoors, just like her wee brother.  She loves forests and she loves mountains. She was so excited to receive her Fearless Frosty book at Christmas. "Fearless Frosty is the first book in a collection of original children’s books about fearless women around the world, what we’re now calling the SisuGirls Series." 
         
I got to meet one of my running heroes Anna Frost earlier this year and I knew her story would really appeal to my girl


While the SisuGirls program is aimed at school age girls (from age 5) I don't think we can start teaching our girls too early about becoming strong, brave, resilient young people. 

From SisuGirls: Using outdoor activities as learning opportunities to build character as well as community, our programs are designed to be fun, inclusive, and powerful. We break preconceived physical and mental boundaries to teach girls how to set and attain goals, confront challenges, and believe in themselves.

My daughter told me she wants to go running in the mountains with me, as she sees how happy it makes me. This was so wonderful to hear.  I am glad I can inspire her in any little way that I can.  I don't want to push her into running.  But I do want her to do whatever makes her happy and to have fun  when she can and try her best at whatever she chooses to do. The Fearless Frosty book shows what can happen if you follow your dreams and that's a great story to read to/with young girls. I hope I can help my daughter follow whatever her dreams are as I follow my own.

I also learnt important lessons from another of my running heroes Nicky Spinks.  I attended her training day at the start of November to help with my BGR prep. Her attitude to life post-cancer is really inspiring.












As we come to the end of 2016 I have only 1 more day and 1 more run to have finally, after all these years, completed the Marcothon.  And thank goodness for that because I will not being doing it again.  An entire month of a bad chest, and pouring rain on every run except (miraculously) my run in the Lake District, has left me quite done. This has been one of the wettest ever Decembers!

Dumfries Flooding 30th Dec 2016
I have lost count of the floods here and throughout the country.  Some of the scenes have been shocking but to see the way people have rallied round to help each other has been heart-warming.  It reaffirms your faith in humanity when amidst all the horror we see on the news there are people out there who go out of their way to help those in need.

Best wishes to all.