I haven't always been a runner. It wasn't until I met Graham that I started running 15 years ago (aged 28) He was one of those crazy people who enter running races, triathlons, half-marathons, etc, etc. And one morning he asked me to go on a run with him. I laughed and laughed and laughed. I stuck the kettle on, lit a cigarette and said 'See you in an hour.' After that, he left it for a while but every so often would ask if I fancied going. And then one crisp, frosty, sunny, winter morning he asked me and I said: 'Why not?'
Despite all my efforts to leg it so I could get home for a cuppa, he forced me to go slow. Real slow. In fact, we weren't really running much faster than walking pace. But Gray knew what he was doing. I was hooked. Two years later, I gave up smoking (getting fitter makes you do healthier stuff, I swear) And when I had my two daughters and put on a lot of weight – 15kg! - and the running stopped for a while, I knew I would get my running shoes on again and I now have. And with the running, came the desire to be healthier and lose that weight once and for all.
And as the years have gone by, I have grown to appreciate more and more what an amazingly finely tuned, quality instrument we have been blessed with (our bodies) and I have realised that - as with any vintage bit of kit - it takes more maintenance as it grows older.
So I have stopped eating the leftovers, I have stopped cutting another few slices of cheese for me to nibble on when I do my daughters' sandwiches, I don't have to have pudding or an ice cream when they do. I have stopped all snacking and cut the wine down to a couple of glasses at the weekend. And now I have just 1 stone left to lose - and I've decided this will be the year.
Now, when the children go off to school I don't think about it – if I did, I would probably decide there is a host of other stuff I need to do more urgently – I pull on my trainers and go out the door. And I never, ever regret going for a run. I'm nowhere near Graham's type of runner – I do a relatively slow 30 – 40 minute run 3 or 4 times per week - and that's it. But how I love to run. And even more, how I love to see that weight going down when I step on the scales :)