I started walking with hubby to build up some fitness after a very sedentary pregnancy. It was a lovely way to enjoy time together with our new arrival as we took him out in a sling. I'd ran a bit prior to pregnancy so knew it was something I wanted to get back in to. I started running little sections of our walks to see how my legs felt and was surprised that they took to it very well, almost like I hadn't been pregnant at all. However, I was very aware of how much stress my body had recently gone through so I took it easy, gradually testing the water with more walks. When I ran previously I'd started with the C25K program so I decided to give that a go again. I jumped in at a further point than the start as I already felt fit enough and didn't want to waste any time as race ambitions were already building. With the support of my husband and friends I built myself up to running a couple of miles without a break on the lovely hills near where I live within a few short weeks. I went to parkrun on the day I was due to run for 28 minutes and with the support of Deb Lowe, I was able to run the whole thing. This was a huge achievement to me and at one point it seemed so very far away. It made me realise that if you want something enough, anything is within reach. I was introduced to the trails by some friends in the running club and I discovered a real passion for them. As a city girl I loved being out with nature and feeling free.
Once I got to 10K I was itching to enter a race and as I love running off road, I decided to enter the Cannock Chase 10k. I knew it was going to be a challenge as I'd only just reached 10K and it was a difficult race, but my time wasn't important - having fun was. The race was tough but the one thing I wasn't expecting was the heat which brought its own challenge. I just kept going and made sure I dropped my pace and kept hydrated. The first 5K was tough with some serious inclines, but I seemed to really ease into it after the halfway point. I got to the finish line and was greeted by my wonderful supportive husband and our 4 month old baby. It was very emotional and it really made me realise that I can do anything; this is something I want my son to grow up knowing.
My journey from non runner to a fully fledged running new mum has taught me some wonderful things and allowed me to experience some peace during a very hectic period of my life. Running has helped me cope with tremendous adversity and taught me just how important for everyone, new mums especially, to find that piece of time they can call their own.