I wanted to share my story about becoming a ‘runner’ (it still sounds crazy to call myself that!) – to tell you how it all started with a health check at the doctors, my motivations, and the exciting challenge I have coming up next week.
How did it all start?
In 2017 at the age of 41 I finally plucked up the courage to accept the doctor’s invite for a ‘well man’ blood test (you’re in their sights over the age of 40!). Not living the healthiest of lifestyles, I was still surprised to hear that I had raised blood sugar and cholesterol levels. The news drove me to dig out my 90’s retro exercise kit and attempt a plod around the local block!! Not even a mile in and I was done, shattered, breathless and demoralised!
I committed to eating better, cutting sugars out of my diet, and slowing the running down to almost walking pace to make it somewhere near pleasant! Over the next 12 weeks I’d lost weight, lowered my blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and become ‘a runner’ – definitely not a fast runner but none the less a regular runner.
The London Marathon
After building up slowly to a few 10k runs and a half marathon in 2018, I entered the charity ballot for the 2019 London Marathon. I was accepted to run for Dementia Revolution (my Dad passed away with Dementia in 2009). The training was tough both mentally and physically, but the occasion was worth it. The number of times I wanted to stop but somehow, I found the motivation to keep going.
The sense of achievement and pride in fund raising for a charity that is so close to my heart was incredible not to mention the ability to run 26.2 miles in just over 4 hours, particularly given I couldn’t run half a mile 18 months earlier. It’s also highly likely that I too will suffer from dementia, and I’d like to think in some small way I have contributed to the hope that there is treatment that will negate most if the symptoms when my time comes.