How Running Became the Friend I Needed

Friendship

I have just completed my first half marathon since having my son. After a traumatic birth, not having slept for over 12 months, and a hip injury, all I can say is it took me a long time to fall back in love with running.

I know that pregnancy and motherhood have changed a lot of things in my life, but I really want my old friend back.

Running

Running and I have been through so much together. We first met when I was training to get into the Air Force Reserves. I knew absolutely nothing about Running. I went for a jog full sprint, threw up and limped back. I slowed down a bit, kept at it and started to run a few kms a night. Running really gave me something to concentrate on as a naive 20 year old!

From then, running and I progressed further. I remember my first 10km. I was using an old GPS and it kept losing signal so I had to keep running laps of the street even though all I wanted to do was collapse! I bought various running items from eBay, I remember my first Nike stopwatch and purchasing my First Runners World Magazine. Running gave me a purpose.

Running was always there for me particularly after idiot boys hurt me and friends disappeared. Running is what helped me get through. I plodded the streets of Oldbury in Birmingham. Not very quickly but I did run some distance. I then started to run home from work. Running really helped my anxiety, increased my self-esteem along AND gave me the added bonus of bypassing the traffic at peak time. 

Races

After that, running and I went on a new journey; We joined a running club. Everyone was lovely but I was placed in the slow pace group. Reality hit me here how slow I was compared to other people. I lost confidence; I didn’t think I could be a runner.

 

I guess I gave up.

We fell out for over a year.

Running and I rectified things when I first moved to Melbourne, Australia. My anxiety was so high. I was unhappy so I tied up my trainers and ran slowly but surely. I had put on so much weight, as I was comfort eating and drinking, that running really struggled with me, however, I ran my first half marathon. Yes, it was super hard but I did it.

I then decided to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Running helped me realize what food I should eat and what I shouldn’t. If I woke up hung-over, running didn’t like it and made it so much more difficult!

I decided to run another half marathon with this new view of healthy living. I wiped 25 minutes off my half marathon time. Running made me feel wanted, happy and for once in my life proud of myself!!

Cancer

Even in bad times, running has been there. When my Dad was sick and got diagnosed with Bowel Cancer, I ran to forget, I ran to think, and in all honesty, when in the UK to visit my sick Dad, I ran to be free. To get away from the Cancer that had possessed my Dad.

One day, running and I went out when my Dad was napping. Suddenly, I heard my Dad call me. He had woken up and crawled outside to see where I was running to and if I was safe. Running gave me the opportunity to see my Dad perform his Dad duties for one of the last times.

When I got back from the UK after my Dad died, I had to put my energy into something. My mind was crazy. Running and I decided to enter a Marathon. We trained and trained and you know what? I flipping ran the Melbourne Marathon. I was badly injured after, I couldn’t do much with my hip, so running and I fell out for a few months. 

Injury

My hip injury messed things up for a while. After seeing several specialists, I was told I should never run again. I was basically told to break up with running because it was bad for me.

I cried. I got into my car and sobbed. I didn’t want to lose this friend of many years.

So what did I do? I didn’t!! I decided I would train for a triathlon and give my hip a rest for a while. Running was still there, I just didn’t see it as much. However, after a while…We started our friendship again. I did a 10km and a half marathon, and once again running was there for me!! 

Friends Again

I know you will be there whenever I need you.

Running and Bec – Friends Forever

**For more from Bec, you can follow her on Instagram.**