As each year comes galloping to its conclusion, I always find myself looking back at the year that’s gone and looking forward to the New Year. I look back at 2012 with mixed feelings. It started on a high with a new Half Marathon PB at Haweswater and fizzled out towards the end as the sub 2 hour half continued to elude me. My running seemed to take a huge step backwards and my final run of the year, the Brampton to Carlisle 10 miler, saw me running over 1 minute slower than last year. I also seemed to have one niggling injury after another and the release that running gave me was proving very evasive. So frustrating!
However, I’ve had a couple of very easy weeks and got back to basics with the simple pleasure of getting out the door and hitting the trails. Time has been unimportant and I’ve just enjoyed heading out and appreciating the scenery at a relaxed pace. This has proven cathartic.
Running has been my stress reliever. It’s the time where I can just be me and focus entirely on myself. It’s not something I do too often as a busy working mum of three young girls. After a long day at work or a particularly stressful day, running is there for me and I can use the time as thinking space or I can just clear my head and focus on putting one foot in front of the other and enjoy the surrounding natural beauty that’s on my doorstep.
This year has proven particularly stressful and running has enabled me to keep plodding on by continuing to give me the release from everyday stresses that I so desperately need in order to preserve what sanity I currently have. Witnessing my clever, funny, smart dad deteriorate so dramatically through the stages of Dementia, running now, more than ever before, is providing me with the lifeline that I need to keep on going and continue being able to offer support to those around me.
Therefore, I need to keep things in perspective and realise that I don’t always have to chase times. It feels blooming good when you do achieve a personal best time but it also feels amazing when you can slow down and enjoy running in all its pure simplicity. Through the good times, and the tough times, as long as I know I can lace up my trainers and head out the door, I know I’ll be able to cope with whatever life may throw at me.