June 24th 2011…If I could lend my arms and legs to Nick, what would he do with them?

Session Time: 42 minutes
Distance Covered: 3.2 miles

Total Time: 23 Hours 25 minutes
Total Distance Covered: 113.36 miles

Riding high from my experience on Wednesday (albeit with very achy legs…they have certainly been given a wake up call!), I was ready for another fantastic experience this morning.

I’ve been thinking a lot over the last couple of days as to who my next candidate for a run dedication would be.

There are so many people I would love to dedicate a run to, that the decision was not easy…and my chosen person for today’s run in some ways made it a little harder.

Today I wondered if I could lend my legs and arms to Nick Vujicic for a party session, what would he do with them?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Nick, here’s a bit of information about him:

Nick Vujicic

Nick Vujicic

Nicholas James Vujicic (born 4 December 1982) is a preacher and motivational speaker – born with Tetra-amelia, a rare disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs. He struggled as a child, eventually came to terms with his disability and started his own non-profit organization Life Without Limbs – at age seventeen. He is widely known as a motivational speaker, giving talks worldwide on life with a disability, hope, and finding meaning in life.

Bullied at school, Vujicic grew depressed and by the age of 8, contemplated suicide. At age 10, he tried to drown himself in 6 inches of water, but did not go through with it out of love for his parents. After praying to grow arms and legs, Vujicic eventually realized that his accomplishments could inspire others – and became grateful for his life.  A key turning point came when his mother showed him a newspaper article about a man dealing with a severe disability. Vujicic realized he wasn’t unique in his struggles and began to embrace and transcend his disability.

He began to master the daily tasks of life. He learned to write using the two toes on his left foot with a special grip that slid onto his big toe. He learned to use a computer and type using the “heel and toe” method. He learned to throw tennis balls, play drum pedals, get himself a glass of water, comb his hair, brush his teeth, answer the phone and shave.

In grade seven he was elected captain of his school and worked with the student council on fund-raising events for local charities and disability campaigns. When he was seventeen, he started to give talks at his prayer group, and eventually started his non-profit organization, Life Without Limbs.

Vujicic graduated from university at the age of 21 with a double major in Accounting and Financial Planning. Subsequently he became a motivational speaker, travelling internationally and focusing on teen issues. Having addressed over three million people in over 24 countries on five continents, he speaks to corporate audiences, congregations and schools.

Now, choosing Nick for my run this morning was a bit difficult, because from what I know of him, he is very happy with life (watch this video to see what I mean). He has embraced his condition and uses it to inspire others. Would he really WANT someone to dedicate a run to him?

Hmmm…interesting.

Nevertheless, having chosen Nick as my inspiration for today’s run, I decided to go with it. My thought was “Who knows, it could lead to an interesting experience…”

Well, that it did.

Having pulled on Tony and Joe and done my stretches we were ready to hit the streets and start the warm up power walking…with the Black Eyed Peas “I gotta feeling” giving us plenty of cause to wiggle and boogie our way around.

Today was a gorgeous morning. Blue sky, bright sunshine.

As we were bopping along to the music I closed my eyes, felt the sun on my face and just appreciated the moment.

This is definitely something that Nick would do.

I found myself looking around as I went, noticing the buds on the trees, the flowers, even the bees.

Yep…still in the realm of Nick.

However…there was a bit of a struggle when I started to run. As much as I was enjoying it and felt that given this opportunity Nick would make the most of every single moment, it wasn’t enough. From what I know of Nick, he’s not someone who is content with enjoying things just for himself. His life purpose is to inspire and connect with others.

Now, the strange thing about this morning was that although I was out at the same time as usual, I saw nobody. I mean literally nobody (outside of their cars that is) for the first mile and a half at least.

So how do you make the most of an experience from the point of view of someone who lives to inspire others when you don’t see anyone to connect with?

Well, the first thing I decided was that I needed to have some fun…make the most of my arms and legs in a way that I normally don’t. Some serious dance moves were going to be required.

Then I realised, if I can’t connect with people directly…maybe I can connect with the people in their cars? How would Nick do this?

Well, given he would have the use of my arms and legs, I’m guessing he would make the most of them…and just try and make people smile.

Cue Claire power walking, dancing and running along the street as big and crazy as she can using her arms and legs to the fullest extent…I mean waving them around…jazz hands…boogying up and down…punching the air…you name it.

I figured if nothing else, it might make them laugh…and I honestly didn’t care if they were laughing with me or at me…as long as they were laughing, that was all that mattered! 😀

I also had a stint in the middle where I really powered forward….I locked my eyes ahead and just enjoyed the fact that I could run as fast as I could…AWESOME!

So, big grin on my very red face, we approach the car weaving section of the run.

When something occurred to me.

Living his whole life without limbs, there are a couple of things that Nick wouldn’t have been able to experience the same way as others…until now: 1) Play airplanes (you know, running around with your arms outstretched, leaning from side to side) and 2) skipping.

Well, given the opportunity I reckon he’d be up for giving them a go!

So I did my car weaving today skipping along, playing airplanes as I went.

I loved it (it’s actually making me laugh just thinking about it!)

…and as much as I got the “back away from the crazy girl slowly, avoiding eye contact” look from the guy who came out of his house just as I was skipping past playing airplanes…I’m sure he loved it too…ish. 😉

I did have to laugh when the theme tune from legally blonde came on my ipod and moments later I had the lyrics “They tell me to act my age…well I am” and “I’m in the race but I’ve already run, cause getting there can be half the fun” blasting in my ears…perfect timing.

So I carried on…smelling roses, lavender and an assortment of other flowers as I went…feeling the dew from the trees on my fingers as I ran passed and high fived them…enjoying the sunshine (at one point I even ran backwards along the road so I could still keep the sun on my face!) and making full use of my arms and legs as I jazz hands and bum wiggled my way along…

What a fantastic morning!

I’ll be honest, after the session on Wednesday, my legs had been very sore, and towards the end they were really starting to hurt…but doing this run from Nick’s point of view completely flipped my view of this on it’s head. I embraced the pain…I would almost go so far as to say I enjoyed it…because feeling the pain meant I could feel my legs. Feeling the pain meant that I must be really working them. Feeling the pain meant I was making the most of them and not taking them for granted.

I used that to power me forward and take the turn to do the longer route.

When…the highlight of my morning!

I saw an elderly lady walking her dog along…having thrown her a winning MCGC (Morning! Colgate grin combo) and stopped to pet her dog briefly she said to me (half joking I think) “would you like to run with him?”

Well…people should know better than to joke about things like that around me…and I’m sure that Nick would have grabbed the opportunity with both of his borrowed hands.

So we did.

The next thing Blue (the dog) and I were running full pelt down the road…with a quick round turn…and then straight back to a beaming Joy (the lady in question).

“Well that certainly woke you up!” she joked to her panting pup, before looking at me and commenting “I wish that I could run like that”.

Noted.

I wished them both a fabulous day and went on to feed the horses again…something I’m sure Nick would have been more than up for…feeling the slobber on your palms as they lap up the grass and the warmth of their coats as you pat their necks and wish them a good morning.

It’s amazing the things that we take for granted.

With a bit of Katy Perry’s firework to get me going again we were nearly home…but there was still time for a couple of great connections on the way.

We passed a girl doing her paper round who up until now I’ve only been able to wave to as we haven’t crossed each other’s paths…well today was different…as I ran passed her I paused and asked for a high five…to which she obliged with a fantastic enthusiasm. She patted me on the back and wished me a fabulous day with a great smile…which I returned with equal gusto 🙂

Our final connection of the day was a rather amusing one.

We ran past a young boy on his paper round who looked distinctly miserable (the “I wish I was still in bed” look)…so as I went by I turned and wished him a good morning, which he returned to me…albeit in a slightly befuzzled manner…the amusement came when (by not looking where I was going) I tripped over a flowerbed in front of me causing me to stumble all over the place…which I’m sure gave him something to laugh about…it certainly did for us!!

The final song on my ipod today could not have been more apt.

Lady Gaga’s Born this way…I couldn’t imagine a song which more accurately sums up Nick and his approach to life “I’m beautiful in my way, ’cause God makes no mistakes, I’m on the right track baby, I was born this way”…that one was definitely for you Nick.

…and Nick’s words were echoing in my head on the last stretch…”It’s how you finish….are you going to finish strong?”

I probably finished stronger than I ever have before…and my happy dance was totally dedicated to Nick and the inspiration he brought to me and the others who we encountered this morning. Thank you.

Another step closer x

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June 22nd 2011…This one’s for Brenden

Session Time: 45 minutes
Distance Covered: 3.32 miles

Total Time: 22 Hours 43 minutes
Total Distance Covered: 110.16 miles

Wow.

Wow, wow, wow.

What an incredible morning.

With the idea of doing my run for someone else still firmly in my head from Monday, I decided today that half a mile really wasn’t enough to do Brenden Foster justice. So today I decided to dedicate my run to him.

For those of you who have not been able to view the video I posted in my last update, here is a quick summary of this amazing young man:

Brenden Foster

Brenden Foster

Brenden Stephen Foster (October 4, 1997 – November 21, 2008) was a boy from Bothell, Washington, diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2005. KOMO, a local broadcasting station, reported the story of Brenden’s last wish, which was to feed the homeless, on 7 November 2008. The story inspired many, and prompted attention from national media, even drawing international attention. The Seattle Seahawks NFL franchise paid for Brenden’s funeral; he was buried in Evergreen Washelli Cemetery in Seattle, Washington.

The Brenden Foster Food Drive was created by the broadcasting station in his honor. In Seattle, volunteers from the Emerald City Lights Bike Ride passed out over 200 sandwiches to the homeless. Inspired viewers took part in the “Stuff the Truck” food drive in Brenden’s honor, filling seven trucks of groceries and $95,000 in cash to benefit the Northwest Harvest and Food Lifeline.

Brenden’s story also reached KOMO’s sister station in Portland, Oregon, KATU, which reported actions inspired by Brenden in Los Angeles, Ohio, and Pensacola, Florida. At the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles, for instance, over 2,500 meals have been served in Brenden’s name. His advocacy for the homeless housed in tent cities continues to be remembered. A Vietnam War veteran from Kentucky who lost his leg in the war was so touched by the story, he gave Brenden his purple heart.

You can see now why half a mile was not enough to do his memory justice in my eyes.

So, when I jumped out of bed today, Brenden was the only thing on my mind.

As I put Tony and Joe on my feet and grabbed Bubba (training buddy was still unwell), I imagined Brenden doing the same.

My tunes pumping in my ears, I began doing my stretches…imagining Brenden laughing and stretching with me. 😀

I hit the streets with a vigour that I’ve never experienced before….with Brenden as part of my virtual training team.

While doing my starting power walk, I bopped and danced along to the music, with a beaming grin on my face.

The single thought which kept repeating in my mind was “if Brenden was here and able to do this…what would HE be doing?”

Now, obviously, I never met Brenden…but knowing he was bedridden for the last part of his life, I’m damn sure he would make the most of every second.

So on I went.

I broke into a run just as Katy Perry’s “Firework” exploded in my ears. 😀

Perfection.

For some reason I saw even more people than usual today – even though I was still out very early – but today was very different.

Every single one of them wished me a good morning. Every single one (except for one slightly confused chap) gave me a beaming smile in return. One guy even commented “You’ve got a spring in your step this morning!!”…if only he knew.

I danced my way along…running, boogying, throwing my hands up in the air….grinning like a Cheshire cat every step of the way….and imagining Brenden with me doing the same…laughing as we went.

A bit of Glee’s rendition of “Born this Way” led to more dancing and bum wiggling.

I had not enjoyed a run like this…ever. 😀

I found myself appreciating things that otherwise I would have taken for granted – the breeze on my face, the birds, the flowers.

My thoughts kept returning to “How would Brenden experience this?”

I was incredibly grateful for being able to be there…and at times when I would have normally slowed to a walk, I imagined Brenden with me shouting “Come on, we can go a bit faster!!” and on we ran.

My ipod headphones even tried to pack up part way around…and when the normal connection wiggling didn’t work…I had the instinct to wallop it…and it sprung back into action. Nothing was going to take the edge of today’s run. 😀

I found that where previously I had regularly fixated on what was coming up, what was happening next, what was the next bit I had to do…today I allowed myself to stop and appreciate the moment I was in.

About 2.5 miles in I passed a beautiful garden with some gorgeous rose bushes…and I literally stopped and smelled the roses. There’s nothing like taking a cliché and making it literal to drive the message home!! 🙂

Today there was no doubt in my mind that I was doing the longer route…as Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best” started…not for me, for Brenden.

As I came to the horses, enjoying the breeze on my face, I realised that if Brenden had been with me, he probably wouldn’t have just run past them, he’d have stopped to feed them.

So that’s what I did.

What’s an extra couple of minutes on my session time compared with really enjoying it?

All four horses fed, petted and a couple of pictures taken to capture the moment, I was back on my way.

Feeding the Horses for Brenden

Feeding the Horses for Brenden

My legs’ instinct to walk was regularly overruled by the little voice in my head going “Come on, we can run a bit further, we can run a bit faster”…Brenden is the best training buddy I’ve ever had!

…and although my legs were screaming at me towards the end I was not going to slow down.

I was determined to run down the last hill like a kid. Arms out, head back shouting “weeeeeeeeeeeee” as I went. 😀

…and there I was on the doorstep. Exhausted but Exhilarated.

Now it was time for the happy dance….and this really was. My usual jumping around had a different feeling. Gratitude like I’d never really experienced before….and the bum wiggling conveyed it pretty well I’m sure! 😀

Even when doing my cool down stretches in the back garden, my little ball of inspiration was with me.

When I placed my hands on the ground and felt the dew, I ignored my instinct to pull them up and just enjoyed the sensation.

I finally went and stood in the little shaft of sunlight in the back garden and just enjoyed the feeling of the sun on my face…eyes closed, arms in the air.

Wonderful. 😀

I’ve never had an experience like it. I felt so grateful to be able to experience this through someone else’s eyes…and to therefore appreciate elements that I otherwise might not have even noticed.

At times it was truly emotional.

So, from me to you Brenden, wherever you are, I thank you for the inspiration you brought to me this morning…I hope I did you proud! 😀

…and this new technique is definitely one I’m sticking with…so it’s over to you guys…who would YOU like me to do a run for?

Another, very grateful, step closer x

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June 20th 2011…The Lightening bolt of inspiration…

Session Time: 33 minutes
Distance Covered: 2.81 miles

Total Time: 21 Hours 58 minutes
Total Distance Covered: 106.84 miles

Monday morning.

New week.

New motivation.

After a day of drinking bubbles on Thursday of last week with my lovely friend Melanie at Royal Ascot’s ladies day, come Friday morning a party session was not seeming like the best of ideas.

So I took the decision to enjoy the weekend and get back out this morning.

Unfortunately training buddy seemed to have finally fallen foul of the food poisoning that I’d experienced in wee hours of Sunday morning (and no, it wasn’t as a consequence of Thursday’s bubbles!) so it was down to Bubba and I to party on in his absence.

We started off slowly today with a power walk to get our muscles moving before picking up the pace about 5 minutes in.

This morning was one of those odd mornings, it was raining…but not really raining…it was more like I was being followed along by someone with one of those spray bottles – which while running is actually quite refreshing! 🙂

Today was a very mixed party session day.

There was a little bit of running, a little bit of walking…a lot of boogie moves and a lot of smiles.

I saw several people in order to break out the MCGC (morning colgate grin combo…oh how I’ve missed you!) which spurred me on at every point. 😀

I was enjoying the morning so much that I nearly forgot to do my car weaving manoeuvres half way around…but remembered just in time to get the last couple in.

All in all it was a good morning’s party session, but as I was on my final half mile something occurred to me.

The thing that makes the most difference to me when I’m out and running is to think about the fact that I don’t have to run…I get to run.

I often spare a thought for people who would maybe love to get up and run, just to the end of the road…but for some reason can’t.

Lately I’ve been forgetting to do this…and my motivation had taken a bit of a downward turn.

And then it hit me.

The lightening bolt.

(No, not a real one…that would have been a bit too dramatic for my Monday morning!)

I know that I would find this whole process a lot easier, more rewarding, and probably more fun if I stopped just doing it for me, and started doing it for those who can’t as well.

So I’m going to start dedicating my training sessions to other people who would like to be able to run, but for whatever reason can’t.

They might be they people who can’t because they are no longer here, or those who have something preventing them from being able to enjoy the experience of an early morning jog.

Today, the first person who came to mind was this incredible young man, Brenden Foster: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33ASQhDvfGs&feature=BFa&list=FLNRIGw1t5j1s&index=60

…and my last little stint home was that much more enjoyable knowing that as much as I was doing it for me….I was doing it for him.

You should all know by now how much the concept of the human connection means to me and my training…so I figure by increasing this human connection even more during my party sessions and running not just for me but for someone else to whom it would mean a great deal, it will mean that my motivation will be at a peak and my enjoyment of it will be amplified infinitely. 😀

So to do this properly, I’m going to ask you guys for your help.

If you know or know of someone who you would like me to dedicate one of my training sessions to (or even better someone who you know would like to have one done on their behalf) then please send me their details. Tell me their story. Send me a picture if you like (being a very visual girl, this will work wonders – I can have them join my virtual party session crew!)

I figure, my legs have done pretty well for me so far…so why not lend them out and get them doing some good for other people out there?

So it’s over to you now.

Who will my next training session be for?

Another step closer x

See the full run I’ve done for Brenden Here —————> 😀

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June 15th 2011…Getting there, slowly…

Session Time: 44 minutes
Distance Covered: 3.21 miles

Total Time: 21 Hours 25 minutes
Total Distance Covered: 104.03 miles

For any of you watching the dates at the top of the page, you may have noticed that there is a little bit more of a gap than I would have ideally liked between this and the last post I made.

But, that aside, training buddy and I were back on form and out on the streets of good old Kent…with the hayfever survival kit in tow.

Today (due to our recent absences) we were going to go for a slightly shorter route, in order to ease ourselves in, but when it actually came to the fork in the road, we went for it and set off on our normal path.

We actually saw some people this morning, which given the shift in our training to earlier in the morning surprised me – in a very good way 😀

Shout out to both the dude and dog we saw on our first little field crossing…good to know we’re not the only ones crazy enough to be out at that time!

The highlight of this morning’s run had to be when we were running on a path between two fields and saw a fox leaping from one hedgerow to the other directly ahead of us on the path…it’s moments like that which make me glad I’ve got up and out! 😀

We did have several walking stints on this morning’s little jaunt…but we were out…we were back…we were partying again – woo hoo!

About halfway around our circuit, I had my chance…the moment that made my day…despite our early hour we saw another runner coming towards us on the other side of the road.

This was it.

I was going in for the high five.

As training buddy looked on in amusement, after an initial very bewildered look from our fellow running pal, I got it! My first, and only, random high five of the day.

Very happy Claire.

The rest of the run passed pleasantly – another shout out to the two gorgeous Labradors (not particularly panting ones either) that said hello to us as we crossed the nature reserve.

The main thing was that we were back – it was hard to get the old muscles to work out what they were supposed to be doing again but the teeny tiny tiggers were back in force and doing their thing…today’s uphill mantra went something like this “next, step, next, step, boing boing boing boing”…repeat ad infinatum.

More than anything it was just great to be out in the fresh air, enjoying the morning and thinking about all of the people yet to get out and enjoy this fabulous day.

Another step closer x

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June 1st 2011…I know, I know…where the hell have you been?

Session Time: 33 minutes
Distance Covered: 2.46 miles

Total Time: 20 Hours 41 minutes
Total Distance Covered: 100.82 miles

Yes I know.

I have been a little…absent…of late.

I could tell you a great story of illness and little barriers I’ve been trying to overcome…but that’s all it would be…a story.

Blah, Blah, Blah.

Not very interesting to write and significantly less interesting to read.

The long and the short of it is that I’ve just not been training…I lost my mojo for a while and I let it get the better of me.

Naughty Puffin.

But…I’m not going to make a big thing of it.

It happened.

I’m over it.

…and I’m back on course.

It has in fact been so long between doing today’s training session and writing this blog post that I cannot actually remember anything about it…!

So rather than make it up, I thought I’d just fill you in on the fact that I’ve had a blip, I’m back on track…and whatever wonderful things I have forgotten about today’s session there is one thing that I will definitely remember…

…today I passed the 100 mile marker.

I have run over 100 miles since I began this crazy journey!

How bonkers is that?!

That definitely requires a happy dance…which if nothing else I’m sure we accomplished today.

I wonder how many I’ll have clocked up by the time I pass the finish line…?

Exciting thoughts!

Another step closer x

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May 23rd 2011…Mojo, where art thou?

Session Time: 40 minutes
Distance Covered: 2.44 miles

Total Time: 20 Hours 08 minutes
Total Distance Covered: 98.36 miles

Having not been well on Friday, although I wasn’t feeling 100% this morning, I was determined to get out and get back on the horse (so to speak).

Well, I think that the horse option would have been a lot easier.

Today was a major struggle.

Training buddy and I got out and hit the streets…but today it felt like they were hitting back.

We ran for a while, but breathing was wheezy, so we slowed to a walk.

Then picked up the pace a bit more…then dropped to a walk again.

For some reason I just couldn’t find my groove…my running mojo appeared to have got up and run away.

So, determined not to be beaten, I locked my eyes dead ahead and went for it.

I was on the straight that I really enjoy…powering through…

…when PING!

Er…Houston, we have a problem.

That PING was the sound of my phenomenal running bra giving up the ghost and snapping.

Even my bra’s mojo had vanished!

Now, having tried this running thing sans-ultra scaffolding before I was well aware that this was not something that I wished to revisit.

This was the final straw…and the clue that today it probably wasn’t going to happen.

So training buddy and I decided to make the most of the morning and enjoy a leisurely walk back home together (something my bra could cope with at least!)

So if anyone sees my mojo loitering around anywhere…would you please mark it return to sender and pop it in the nearest post box.

Thanks muchly.

Another step closer x

P.S. For anyone concerned about the quality of my sports bra having only appeared to last a measly 4 months you can be assured that the problem was not in the bra…but in the user…I’d managed to put together the bra incorrectly resulting in minor supportive malfunction as opposed to a complete surrender.

A couple of minutes and a little jiggery pokery and it was all fixed and ready for action again.
Phew! 🙂

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May 18th 2011….The Downs and Ups of Training…

Session Time: 42 minutes
Distance Covered: 3.15 miles

Total Time: 19 Hours 28 minutes
Total Distance Covered: 95.92 miles

Well today was a very interesting party session, it had it’s downs, it had it’s ups, it had some downright wobbly bits.

I was feeling good when I got up and so I decided that I would try and pick up the pace a bit when we first headed out.

So training buddy and I hit the streets and the pace was MUCH faster than usual. My average speed is normally anywhere between 11 and 14 minute miles…today we set off at a rate of around 8.5 minute miles.

I’ll be very honest.

Everything was hurting, but I thought I would power on.

…when about 4-5 minutes in someone pulled the plug.

The panting Labrador was back with full force, everything hurt, and my legs didn’t want to play anymore.

I was not impressed.

This was only a few minutes in!!

So, I walked for a tiny bit and then tried again…

…another few minutes on I was reduced to walking again.

Definitely not impressed.

Incredibly frustrated, after another tiny walk, the fire exploded in my belly and I flew forward at full pelt….and I mean full pelt (in the region of 6 minute miles – this felt like the lolloping equivalent of the 6 million dollar man to me!!).

I was running as fast as I could…

…which obviously didn’t last long either.

Reduced for walking for a third time I was really fed up.

Major pouting was in full effect (Pete Burns had nothing on me!), I was welling up and the panting Labrador was wondering what had hit him. 😦

Training buddy to the rescue!!

He reminded me that we had started off today at a pace the likes of which my body had never seen before…even he was feeling out of breath and he used to be a regular runner.

Hmmm…maybe I was being a little too hard on myself.

So, mental smack on the forehead and gentle kick in the butt in full force, I chilled out and headed on. 🙂

…and just at the right point in time we passed a field with a horse and new baby foal in it…who ran alongside us as we went by.

That was enough to put a real smile on my face (…and a bit of Lady Gaga on the iPod didn’t hurt!) 🙂

So we got a good running stint in, including making it up the hill in one go (yay!) and headed over to the rec.

When I noticed that training buddy had stopped and was pointing behind me.

I looked back and saw my old friend Jon (take old any way you want to 😉 ) other wise known as Obi-Jon-Kenobi…one of my main sources of running tips and advice on this little journey!!

I’m not sure which one of us was more surprised…Jon lives in Berkshire so it not someone I expect to see pounding the pavements of Kent of a morning, and as he has been trying to talk me into taking up running for over 10 years, although he’s been following the blog, I think the sight of me and training buddy out for an early morning party session was still something of a shock to the system! (although it was nothing compared to the sight of his knees before a hearty breakfast…! 😉 )

After a very brief catch up on life and Jon’s wifey and new baby girl (Hi Mel and Georgie!) we were back on our way again.

We had a steady pace all the way back…and a good couple of happy dances on our return home.

My mindset check from training buddy and the randomness of bumping into an old friend reminded me very much to just relax and enjoy the ride.

There are going to be good days, and there are going to be less than great days, but I’m not doing this because I have to, I’m doing this because I can.

Most importantly…I need to remember to give myself a bit of a break and just have fun!! 😀

Another step closer x

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