PARENTAL ADVISORY ( It seems I like the odd swear word when I write)
This past weekend me and my boyfriend went along to Kendal mountain festival in the Lake District. We had booked in to see many film collections, a book signing, a talk, meeting up with a few friends and me taking along my taking it easy intentions.............
I'm great at sitting at the front of classes and dishing out advice to friends such as " listen to your body", "remember to take time to relax" and my personal favourite "make sure you don't push yourself, give your body time to recover" it turns out I'm shit at following my own advice.
We arrived at a healthy 2:15 am and had to be up for our first screening at 9:30 am: winner.
I am not going to review any films but rather talk about my experience of the weekend.
For the first time in my life, I felt like I "belonged", that at some point I had validated myself as an "outdoor person", at what point who knows. Here I was stood amongst these baffled coat wearing people feeling like I'd arrived at some sort of mecca.
We watched Film collection C, Run and women lead on the Friday, with very little time in between and some pretty hasty van dinners to get through the day!
So many inspiring adventures , the one film that has stuck with me from that day though is Bob and Mary, a couple who are now in their late 70's / 80's still running together through the hills after a lifetime of running races together. I found this not only romantic, but oh so poignant , having started my passion for running in much the same way that she did; encouraged my my boyfriend.
Looking over at Chris and saying out loud, "that'll be us in the future".
The reason it has stuck with me so much though, is that I really want to be an advocate that no matter your age, or your back ground, there's nothing stopping you from running, adventuring, hiking, yoga-ing or anything else that gets you moving.
So after all of those films we caught up with my very talented and very sweet friend Amber Brown; who if you didn't know just set the mixed team record for the cycle three peaks challenge (link here to her Rab interview: https://rab.equipment/uk/basecamp/three-peaks-cycling-challenge/ )
Chatting the night away on all things adventure and health, an evening well spent.
We had decided to run the Fairfield horseshoe and approx. 11 mile run from Rydal up the Fairfield mountains ridge and back......
8am Saturday morning, the alarm goes off, it shortly gets snoozed....8:15 am the alarm goes off again and promptly gets snoozed. This pattern lasts for quite some time. Once we were up and ready to go it had passed 10:30am.
Off we shuffled, at my road runner pace (insert sarcastic emoji here).
Before I go any further I feel that a rather important bit of information needs to be imparted, I am still recovering from quite severe B12 anaemia and have been told that I won't feel back to normal for another 5-7 weeks. If you read my previous blog post you will know that on top of sliding down the slippery slope of anaemia, there's been quite a bit of stress in the past few months, adding to the onslaught on my body.
Back to the run.
The side of the first peak came into view forcing the words " Oh for fuck sake", energy was already low, and with every step up the steep ascent my body was feeling worse. Having an out loud debate with myself as to whether this was a good idea. I checked in with my body several times before deciding that in fact it was, this decision may have been made after my first gel (insert devil emoji here).
As soon as our feet reached the first summit, and we reached runnable sections, wow, the feeling of euphoria, or maybe the gels hit me. I started singing runnnnnnning, runnnnnnning operatic style whilst bimbling along the rocks and bogs. I am sure that there are many times a day that Chris regrets telling me he loves listening to me.
My body was soaring, I felt amazing, every step felt like an accomplishment of something I never thought I'd be able to do. Here's a little snap shot of the top.
We had to face facts, we didn't have enough time to finish the next half as we had to be back in kendal for our next event, so had to cut it short and bail out down and back long the flats. I felt a little deflated, and reacted pretty badly to this news, as I had blamed it on my slow ascent at the start.
This is why I wanted to write about it, because when you're meant to be taking it easy, its not always easy to do. Even though I had told myself not to push it, and had listened to my body and slowed and stopped all the way up, I had still tried to claw back time on the tops and got attached to this goal, a goal I knew I really shouldn't be attached to in my current state.
We made it down and back in plenty of time, as down hills are much easier for me, being more, my jam, if you will. But boy did it take time for me to be happy about it.
We had walked the whole ascent, and I had to stop many times, which in itself is frustrating as I know my usual fitness is far above that. So there I was, beating myself up about being unwell, being mad at myself for not being able to be fit again straight away.
Once we reached the van, I looked back at hat we had just done, and somehow I managed to look at it and feel a sense of achievement, that even though my body was nowhere near its fittest I had still managed to run 11 miles with a lot of elevation and boggy conditions. Suddenly asking myself: " How did this become me taking it easy? "
We then had another evening of constant talks and films to get through, a silly move on my part? yes? Do I regret it ? No.
Sunday morning I woke up feeling absolutely done in, so a lie in and a very short and flat ramble with friends to allow my legs to move and not stiffen was in order.
Sometimes there's nothing quite like a walk with friends, little effort and just good company.
My body definitely appreciated the break from being pushed and my spirits were lifted.
I should say that eating is an absolute priority for me, I always take more food than I need and make stopping in between things to eat a neccessity. Anyone who knows me well, knows that food is the way to my heart and its what drives me through life.
We ended the weekend with a pretty inspiring book singing with Deidre Wolownick ( Alex Honolds mum) and even got one of her books signed which is pretty darn cool.
Second to running along the mountain tops a highlight for me was walking back down hill with Chris singing a song that we came up with called "bum face" inspired by my unintentional nickname for him.
So if there is any message to read here it would be to listen to your body and if you know that you've pushed it allow yourself time to recover. I am writing this after a day where I allowed myself to stay in bed until 10:30 am, and following that only went food shopping and got my hair done.
I haven't learned not to push it at all, but I feel I am at a point that when I have done, I am now giving myself time to let my body recover. Next step: Stop beating myself up with unrealistic expectations and remember why I run. Which if you're wondering is to be outside, to move and to smile.