In it for the long run…

I know I’ve been quiet here for too long. Those of you that know me, either in person or via social media, know that I’m never short of words. The truth is I love words. I am happiest when I am talking, writing or reading.

So this blog makes me happy. For so many reasons. I am in my happy place when I am planning my posts; finding a quiet corner with a coffee and my latest notebook to chew on the top of my pen and to start the process of moving the words from between my ears onto the paper. It makes me incredibly happy when it comes together and I see the words start to appear on the screen.

But the absolute best thing about this blog is the connections I make and the conversations I get to have as a result of writing it.

My very first blog post. I’ve always liked the idea of love at first sight. But, whilst I’m a romantic at heart, in reality I believe that true love starts with an initial attraction; a spark, which can turn into a roaring fire if it’s given the right encouragement…

To be honest I still feel like a relative beginner to blogging. I wrote that first post about 18 months ago and, whilst I really hoped people would enjoy it and want to read more, I enjoyed the writing process so much, I knew it wouldn’t really matter if only my friends ever read it.

But it turns out that quite a lot of people do want to read my words. I started to get emails and messages from people with whom my words resonated. People began to subscribe to the blog and make requests for particular topics and, I was so delighted when my blog was shortlisted for best professional blog by The Running Awards.

2020 was going to be a huge year for me. By now there should be blog posts about my first ultra marathon, the running awards, my graduation as a certified nutritionist, the preparations for my first attempt at 100km and about the joy of a weekend spent in the company of wonderful friends, running and laughing our way through Endure 24.

2020 looks so very different to how we all expected it to look – and consequently, so does my blog! I know I’ll be able to write all of those exciting, much anticipated posts in due course but it doesn’t stop me feeling a bit sad and sorry for myself from time to time.

However, I’ve often described my relationship with running as true love and we all know the path of true love doesn’t always run smooth. Coronavirus and the resulting lockdown have been challenging for many partnerships and my relationships with running and with blogging have been no exception. Don’t worry, there’s no question we’ll make it through – running and I are definitely in it for the long run. But we will certainly not be emerging from this pandemic unscathed.

I will always look for the positives in any situation and this one is no different. Initially the disappointment of cancelled races meant that I couldn’t find the incentive I needed to train hard. It was so difficult to find time to get out for a run due to the restrictions on exercise and having the children at home – if I did get the opportunity the very last thing I felt like doing was being uncomfortable. For most of April and May all I could convince myself to do was to run easy miles. Turns out it wasn’t a bad thing. It gave my legs a break and last month when I did force myself to include some sessions, they felt really good and I’ve enjoyed seeing those fabulous gains you make when you first start incorporating speed work. It’s reminded me of the value of including some quality sessions, so thank you lockdown.

And, not entirely running related but really important. Lockdown has made me realise how much I rely on my friends. I’m grateful that we had the technology to keep in touch but there is no substitute for actually running with friends… or for having a friend put their arms around you when you need it most.

Delighted to be back with my friends!

I now know categorically that even if there were no events, no races and no medals… I would still run. It has become an intrinsic part of who I am and I can no longer imagine my life without running. And I am sorry for the silence on the blog… normal service will henceforth be resumed.

Lots of love to you all. Whatever you’re facing right now, you’re amazing. We might not all be in the same boat… but we are all navigating a path through the same storm. Look after one another.

Laura xx

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