I started my running journey waaaaaaaay back in 2012, which I realised today is bloody ages ago. I’m not sure why I started running in the first place, but more than likely I googled ‘ways to lose weight’ and running came up – it tends to tbh on most google searches – and so I went to the gym and started running on a treadmill.

You’d never catch me dead running outside – in case someone saw me.

And so I ran, and I did other bits and then one day I went to a Spin class and boy did that not blow my tiny little mind and suddenly I was doing two classes a day and I had never felt more alive.

Starting to run opened my life up to a million things. I’m not going to list them all but here’s some of them; friendships. #30for30. SHARK LIFE. Confidence. Freedom. A DEGREE.

Lee is in here as the best thing to come from running.

And then – I just stopped. I don’t know why so don’t ask. Three years ago I ran a 5km looped Ultra marathon and I woke up the next day and that was it. I broke up with running.

The unknown breakup…

Three years ago.

I have tried a couple, maybe more times, since then to get back to where I was. To find the same motivation that I had back then. I have been consumed by a raging negative internal critic who, for whatever reason, just doesn’t see the point in running because I can’t run as fast as I used to. A war rages within me the majority of the time between wanting to attempt to do something, and deciding that there is no point. I am very much someone who, if they can’t do it as well as they used to, then I won’t. Which is why I also don’t play golf anymore.

And I’ve had these arguments with myself before, and I’m fairly sure I’ve written them all down before, in an attempt to do something about it. But no, nothing. Small glimpses of genius but nothing major.

Until today. And I’m not sure why today or why now or if it’s been a culmination of things this week. But I’m very much done with being stuck in the past, angry at the world and in turn, not allowing myself to think about the future. In short, I quite literally do not recognise myself anymore. It rained yesterday and I almost refused to go for a walk, whereas in 2016 I ran a Spartan Beast in the Pentlands in the rain THROUGH CHOICE. Who even am I now?!

The Beast, hardest race to date.

And I think that the key to the entire thing is that it doesn’t hinge on before it hinges on who I am. Me. Sarah. Not times I ran before. Not races I did before. Not achievements.

It hinges on me. Who I am. What I love to do. What makes me me.

And so this afternoon, I just went for a run. I didn’t think about it, I just decided I was going and I went.

It was hard. I was slow (three minutes per mile slower than my peak btw – my inner critic had a field day with that). It was hard and it was slow and I did it.

I started.

I don’t know why. Because I don’t really know why I stopped. I could say it was injury – I displaced my hip in 2017 and it’s just not been the same since. But nothing foam rolling and actual rehab wouldn’t fix.

I could say it’s because I link exercise with torment – this is true. For about a year I over exercised and under ate in a bid to escape my terrible life. But, on the flip side, that was just one year in a five year run in highs and PB’s and glorious miles so really – shut up Sarah.

I could say I have no time – but I also play Xbox for two hours a day so we don’t need to unpick that one too much.

I could say a million things that boil down to a simple fact – I’ve been focusing on why I shouldn’t and not why I should.

So here we are, at the end of 2020. Heavier and unfitted than I’ve ever been. But determined (I think), and focused on the future, with no desire to remain stuck in the past on what I could’ve been doing if I had only kept running. Because that’s just pointless and won’t achieve anything. And yes, I’m at risk of writing a ‘look at me I’m back’ (Back where exactly?) blog and then sacking the whole thing off in favour of eating something from the pizza shop but no, not this time. Don’t ask me why.

Onward to 2021. We go again…