This week I can feel London Marathon fever setting in. I'm not running yet I'm still excited by it. I have several friends who are running, Daddy is working at the Marathon Expo and there's loads of stuff on TV this week, interviewing those running for charity.
I used to run. I've done several marathons, including London three times, plus many half marathons, 10ks and 5ks. I started running when I was 35 and could barely run 100m at first without collapsing in a heap, gasping for breath, but I gradually got better, got the right trainers, became part of a brilliant supportive online running community (which is how I met Daddy) and a year later I ran my first marathon. London Marathon is a fantastic event. The atmosphere at the start is electric and each time I've crossed the starting line, I've burst into tears. My name is on my running vest and it's such a pick-me-up to have complete strangers called out your name along the route. Children stand by the side of the road with hands stretched out, waiting for you to give them a high five. The noise is incredible all along the route, people cheering, bands playing and I've got goose-pimples now thinking about the last 500m. Lots of people run in fancy dress and I remember being passed by a Cornish pasty and a bottle of beer at mile 17.
I haven't run properly for nearly 2 years and I miss it.
Many of the runners I know have been stressed or depressed and have found running as a form of therapy. Running in the fresh air, alone, gives you plenty of thinking time. Being outside increases your vitamin D levels, which help with the production of serotonin, the feel good hormone, whilst the sense of achievement after you've done a run, be it 2 miles or 13 miles, is a great drug.
I need to go running again. I need to focus on something, something I know I can do and enjoy. Whilst I'm feeling brighter, I'm still feeling low at times. Some days I feel like a mummy, other days I feel like a babysitter. Daddy has been out the house at 6.15am this week and getting back at 10pm so the parenting has been entirely up to me. I'm mentally exhausted. In fact I've been referred by the LA for some counselling for adopters (I'll blog more about this soon).
At the moment though I can't run due to an issue with my back but I'm having some therapy and hope to get out running again in the next month. Once I get going, however, I'll be a complete beginner again. One minute run, one minute walk then I'll build up gradually. Having a goal is good, so I'm going to aim to do a 5k in the summer and maybe, just maybe, a 10k by the end of the year.
The three of us are going up to London on Sunday to cheer on the runners. We think Missy will enjoy it - she's been to London with us before, is ok in crowds, and loves running. She went out with Daddy last weekend and ran over half a mile without stopping. She's been trotting around the house this week, pretending to run a marathon and wearing my marathon medals around her neck. The next Paula Radcliffe mabye?
If you're running, good luck. Start off slowly, don't worry what everyone else is doing. Look up, take it all in. Enjoy it. We'll be there to cheer you on.