Hello, I’m back! I know I haven’t written anything for a while. I was using that common excuse of “When have I got the time?” I say that whilst I’m a solid four episodes into a series on Netflix! But I’ve been inspired again recently to prioritise what’s important to me and to do what makes me happy. So here I am!
But on reflection, I’ve been nonstop since my clots! I started full time work, I’ve been studying for my personal training qualification, learning how to drive (passed second time), training and trying to fit in a social life. It’s been quite a juggling act. One thing that hasn’t changed though, is my love for running. Today, I’m sat here on the sofa drinking a fit cup of tea, a day before my biggest running challenge. I’m so excited to race, I’m struggling to keep myself chilled.
Last year I wanted to give road running a go. I raced a few 10 km and 5 mile races. I even finished third in the east midlands road running league. It was fun and more importantly I got my love for racing again. With my race winnings, I brought some new running kit and some cross country spikes! I thought I might as well give cross country a go again! I had a surprisingly strong run at the first Chiltern league in Oxford, which got me selected for the Milton Keynes A team at the national cross country relays. Unfortunately I didn’t perform well in that race. But it was quite an achievement to be back running in national events when a year ago I wasn’t even walking! I had planned to do the whole cross country season. However, in true Mel fashion, a freak incident put a stop to that! (I should probably invest in some health insurance). At the time it was really painful and scary. But looking back, it is actually quite funny.
It was 3.30 am. I was half asleep. All I can remember is stretching and for some reason I grabbed my head, then suddenly there was a massive crack. From that moment on, I couldn’t move. I screamed, I honestly thought I had paralysed myself. I was screaming because of the pain, and I needed to get the attention of my parents. But they couldn’t hear me. I could only move my arms. Luckily my phone was by my hand, so I phoned the house phone. I could hear my mum saying “Oh no who’s died now”. I screamed, “Please help me!” I was in so much pain, I honestly don’t know how the human body could cope with that amount of pain. Any movement would cause painful spasms shooting into my neck and down my shoulder. The doctors said I had wry neck, and I was put on some very strong pain killers. And after seeing the physio they said that I had damaged ligaments in my neck.
By the time I was able to run and feel better again it was late December. That’s when I decided that I was going to write off my cross country season and set myself a new challenge. With full time work I’ve always struggled to get consistency with my training. I work random shifts which means I have no set routine. I wanted my new running goal to be one where I had to really properly train and not just get to race day and wing it, like I did with some of my 10 kms last year! So I entered the MK Festival of running half marathon. Since the day I entered the race, it was like something had clicked, not my neck this time lol, but figuratively. I was more focused. I knew I had to get the training in, I made no more excuses. I’ve trained smarter not harder. For the first time in years, I’ve actually trained consistently.
I don’t know how tomorrow’s half marathon will go. To be honest I don’t care. It’s served its purpose. I actually feel fit and healthy. Which means I can believe in myself and plan races for this summer. Maybe even race on the track! I don’t think the half marathon will be my distance. But (hopefully) when I cross the finish line tomorrow there will be no better feeling, because it will mean that I have seen a goal through from start to finish. And of course, I’ll have the luck of the Irish tomorrow.