So in the long gap between the last two blog posts, quite a lot has happened. I’ve moved house (not far), my youngest child has started school (he has some additional needs so this been quite tricky) and I have been running lots more.
I started running with a group in 2019, having been increasing the frequency of my parkruns. I could probably do a whole post about parkrun and how amazing I think it is. I first went in 2017 when I was recovering from surgery to try and get more active. When I couldn’t walk or run I volunteered, and found it to be an immensely welcoming community and a very rewarding experience – both physically and mentally. Earlier this year I completed my 50th parkrun, and I would highly recommend checking it out. It operates in many countries around the world, you really can go and walk (it’s 5 kilometres/ 3.2 miles) on a Saturday morning, or you can volunteer.
Pre-COVID I entered an event local to me – The Sodbury Scramble – this was also 5km, so I thought with my parkrun experience I’d be OK, I’d done a few longer club runs with the now defunct Brimsham Bullets. It was a bit of an eye opener, because it was hilly and muddy – I had the wrong shoes, my core strength (or lack of) meant I kept sliding down the hill at points. However, I persevered, and when I repeated the event a year later, although I wasn’t much quicker, it felt much better and more comfortable.
I have done various parkruns in different locations, but have really upped my running in 2022, entering several events including two half marathons. On 13th November, I ran, for the second time, The Sodbury Slog with my new running club Riverside Runners. I managed to take 11 minutes of my time from the year before, which I was very pleased with.
There are a number of reasons why the running is important to me. Firstly, it helps me to be fitter and healthier – physically and mentally. There is a social side, particularly if you a club runner, and at my club we are very supportive of each other. It’s also important because 10 years ago I had to sit down for an hour after I’d walked around the supermarket, and on a day I don’t quite beat my PB, that provides me with a level of reassurance that I am so much better off now than I was. I know not everyone with IBD will be able to run, or even want to. However, if you can, I’d really recommend giving it a go.