Born Again Runner

After something of a running 'sabbatical' runABC correspondent, Louise Sylvester is back on track and determined to maintain her new relationship with the road...

For some, running is one of those pursuits that is an inherent part of their lives. They are a runner, in the way that I am a mum. Neither are roles to walk away from - although there may be times you wish you could! 

Mum is a role I have held for over 10 years, and gladly so. But it has come at a cost in some regards, notably my running and fitness journey. Now, I know there are some who will see this as a glib excuse (and perhaps it is), when you see stories of the likes of Jasmin Paris - breastfeeding her way through an ultra marathon then it is hard not to feel that way. But, as I said, running is an inherent part of some people’s lives - for me it was not. I love how running makes me feel, but I also love sitting at home reading (and writing) about running… and my two children gave me a reason to do just that. A sedentary bystander I became. 

A couple of gentle attempts to break back into the habit failed, because to form a habit you have to be able to commit to something regularly and with a hectic family life, I found it difficult to pick a day and time to run… and stick to it.

And so, the years went on. And on. There were dalliances with yoga, dance, aerobics and an at home subscription to an online fitness channel during lockdown - but nothing ‘stuck’. One thing that did make a massive difference, and very quickly, was the addition of a dog to our family unit. Now, it is one thing to forget about your own fitness, but quite another to forget about a small yappy dog who needs to get out three times a day. Habit formed, I was leaving the house more often and I got to thinking - if I am willing to do this for Milo, why not for myself? 

Fate then struck… the boys had just gone back to school after the summer holidays when I received a call that would throw me firmly into the ‘it’s now or never’ camp. Did I want to take part in this year’s Barbados Marathon Weekend? Well, what do you think I said? 

That was in August and I have since become a Born Again Runner. The time I could never find was there all along, hidden beneath mother’s guilt, fear and a pinch of laziness. Three months have since passed and in that time I have racked up the miles and found myself committed to running in a way (truth be told) I never was before. 

A half marathon in October was perhaps a giant leap for this particular Born Again Runner - just seven weeks training is probably not something you would see us suggest here at runABC as a matter of course! It was a slow run, and the last three miles felt like an eternity. But, I did it! 

And so now my attention turns to the next event on my radar - Run Barbados. Over the course of an action-packed weekend I will take part in a 1 mile fun run, 5K and Half Marathon. There’s just three weeks to go now and it is fair to say the nerves are starting to take hold. But as the dream heads into reality I am optimistic, excited, and above all proud of how far I have already come. 

If you'd like to know more about Run Barbados, visit the event website here. 

Image: Louise Sylvester

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