The last month has been the toughest of my life following the sudden death of my mum. Nothing in life prepares you for the shock of losing someone you love dearly when it happens suddenly and it very quickly takes over everything in your life as you’re left to try to figure out what happened, how it happened and what to do next. Running is very good for helping you deal with many issues and indeed when my dad was going through his journey with cancer, I found running was great for helping me find peace with what was going on but this time it was different. The last thing I wanted to do was go for a run. I couldn’t see a way for me to channel my emotions and process my thoughts so that I would be in the same place as I was with dad. I managed some Sunday runs but that was through necessity as I was training for the Scottish Half Marathon but it merely felt like ticking a box. Things changed though on the day of the race. I decided to change the meaning of the race for me.

Relaxing before the start of the Scottish Half with our favourite view - the chimneys of Cockenzie Power Station that are now demolished!
Relaxing before the start of the Scottish Half with our favourite view – the chimneys of Cockenzie Power Station that are now demolished!

I entered the race as I got a PB there last year and was looking forward to trying to improve my time again but as the race got closer, I knew I wasn’t going to run fast and on the morning of the race, when we were waiting for the start, I decided to change the focus of it and us it as a starting point for my training for Paris. My big goal is to get the qualifying time (sub 3:15) for a Good For Age place in London for 2017 and so I decided to try to run the way I want to run in April. I decided to focus on my form and try to feel comfortable all the way round. If I could get the form right then all I would need to work on after that would be pace and be able to maintain that form for 26.2 miles.

Great medal!
Great medal!

For the most part I felt I was able to do it but I found it hard in the second half and from 8 miles, it was just about getting to the finish. It felt pretty good to run with no pressure and simply to focus on how I was running rather than anything else like pace. I crossed the line in 1:38:54, faster than my pre-race target of 1:40 and happy as I now knew what I wanted to be working on over these next few months.

We’ve reached the stage where everything we’ve needed to do with regards mum – empty the house and hand the keys back to the landlord – and now everything is in the hands of the solicitor, we can begin to move on. I went out yesterday and ran Parkrun, after having the best night’s sleep I’ve had for weeks and running 19:39, a time I would’ve been over the moon with not so long ago but I felt I tired towards the end from the lack of training and knowing I can run faster. I’ve never felt like that before so that’s good! I also went out this morning and ran a pretty decent 10k ahead of the Great Scottish Run 10k next week. It wasn’t fast but I felt that I had made progress with my form.

It feels like I’ve begun a new chapter, both in my life and in my running. I now have the desire back again to become even better as a Personal Trainer in learning more and being able to give more to my clients to help them get better results and also in my running. What would’ve normally seen me approach the end of the season and a break before starting my training for Paris, I feel I’m already starting my training, forming the platform from which I will build my training around and most importantly, I believe I can achieve the goals I have set out and know what I need to do to make them all happen.

Sometimes it takes something huge that turns your world upside down to re-evaluate where you are going, make you realise what is important to you and it’s never too late to change and do things differently in order to create a better future for yourself. It’s up to you though, to get yourself ready for the opportunities that will come your way and embrace them. Life is too short and precious to hang on to the past. Hold onto the memories and use them guide you forwards.

Enjoy the journey!


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