The simple joy of running

In October 2019, Louise Read, 37 a lawyer and mum of two, almost died after suffering a stroke. This is the third of her blogs detailing her return back to running strong as she trains for the London Marathon

Last night, my resting heart rate was 42. Since I’ve been at work, it’s tripled – and it’s only 10.15am. The joys of being a litigation lawyer. I think I need a cup of tea.

To add to my stress levels, my husband has just texted me to say that the gift I left UNDER HIS LUNCHBOX to post for my best friend’s birthday is still in the kitchen. This is why delegation is useless and my brain continues its relentless washing machine cycle of ‘things that need to be done/remembered.’

It’s why I love running so much. It’s a simple joy; one foot in front of the other, nothing to do but focus on but breathing, my stride and the sound of my beating heart.

My personal trainer said to me this week that running is so much part of me. It’s true. I may not be a world class athlete but I’m competing on my stage, my race and I love it.

Hitting the new year running as I mean to go on (excuse the pun) is a great feeling and I’m totally focused on the remaining weeks which lie ahead before the London Marathon.

I still don’t feel race fit, but having races along the way – such as the Brass Monkey in York has helped me to mark my progress – I got 1.32.32, and see how my body is coping with the workload.

I used to find the pressure of racing overwhelming, so much so, I dropped out of the London marathon in 2018. But suffering a stroke that nearly killed me six months later, has helped me put things into perspective.

I no longer stress about my times, I just love running. But I continue to train really hard because I know from experience, that I will have more fun if I’m fit. Besides, I love running, and challenging my body and I think it’s important for my kids to see me doing what I love, and being healthy.

At the moment I’m loving training. I know this won’t last as the intensity increases and it seems relentless. But for now, we’ve decided as a family to pull back on socialising after the Christmas break and have some down time which helps particularly with juggling training, career and family life.

The power in the village went down the other day and we played boardgames by candle light. It was great! So, over the next 12 weeks I’ll either be running, eating, sleeping, working, walking the dog or playing Guess Who…oh, and watching Silent Witness and devouring Phillip Pullman’s novels!