Thursday, 6 February 2014

A new sensation

It’s time to ‘fess up and face the facts. It’s no secret that knitting and I have been growing apart over the last year, the lack of posting on here is evidence of that, so it’s time to own up. There is a new pastime in my life. An exciting and adventurous one that is hogging all my spare time and keeping me away from the needles and the hooks. Don’t get me wrong, I still love knitting and crochet but I just can’t stay away from this new passion. It’s not the knitting and crochet….. it’s me.

A bit of background. Knitting/crochet and I have been rubbing along nicely together for the last  decade.  At the beginning it was all so fresh and new, and, I might add, a little exciting as well. I couldn’t get enough. Yarn, needles, hooks, more yarn, new skills, Ravelry, more yarn, hours reading about it on the internet, more yarn… well, you get the picture.  But like most things in life, gradually the thrill died down until it was barely a flicker.  It had become a comfy, non-thinking trundle.
I gave up smoking 3 years ago and my sedentary lifestyle and middle age combined to develop the dreaded spare tyre. Oh yes middle age spread and maybe a mid-life crisis as well. Who knows… What I do know, is that I was invited to my local surgery for a health check-up (as I am now officially middle-aged)  where all my vitals were checked. All was good. Blood pressure fine, cholesterol low, blood sugar normal, even had bone density checked and that was good too. I was feeling rather pleased with myself until the doctor weighed me and the “O” word was uttered. You know the one, the one that grabs all the headlines, the one that is an impending health disaster for the western world. Yep, she told me that I was OBESE!

I was horrified. Something needed to be done. I moaned and groaned and whined about it. I got upset and I got a little bit downhearted about it. Then my plain-talking, no-nonsense husband got fed-up with my constant harping and suggested that I put on my big-girl pants and do something about it. So I had a bit of a think and the 100 mile challenge began.  January 2013 – walk 100 miles in a month. I walked a little bit most days and threw in a few longer walks when I could.120 miles in the bag! I was so pleased with myself and as an added bonus my spare tyre was beginning to shrink. My waistbands were slightly looser.  I was feeling better.
Walking is quite time consuming and so himself suggested running as an alternative. Running! Me? Seriously? It wasn’t something I’d ever really considered. I was full of excuses. My knees are bad, my boobs are too big, I’ll look silly, I am too old…etc. It was a lot like the excuses you come up with when you are thinking about giving up smoking ( I LIKE/ENJOY smoking, it calms me down, I am bad-tempered if I can’t smoke, I won’t be told what to do….etc). Hmmm… if I can overcome those feeble excuses then surely I could overcome my running excuses. So I did some research and discovered C25k.

C25k or, couch to 5 kilometres, is an introductory running program. It takes around 8 weeks to complete.  You begin with a mix of walking and running and progress until you can run for half an hour by the end of the program. Feb 2013 and I began the program. It’s a nice easy start.  I think most folk could do it. I stuck with it for the full program. 3 times a week following the plan – I repeated some weeks if I needed to -  and then before I knew it I could actually run for half an hour.  Without stopping. Blimey…. I was an actual, bona fide runner. Me! Yes, me! Oh and by this time I was over a stone lighter as well.
I was growing rather fond of this running malarkey. It was beginning to fill my mind with possibilities and I found myself looking forward to our sessions. I was beginning to spend internet time pouring over running gear, blogs and maps instead of Ravelry and Knitty. It made me feel a bit guilty… forlorn half knitted socks made me feel ashamed of myself. Even dark nights/mornings and rain didn’t deter me….it was another excuse to indulge my running habit by researching and buying a headtorch and waterproofs. It was all lumens and battery life and hydrostatic heads and taped seams…. What happened to merino and sock yarn and Kitchener stitch!  Argghhhh

And now, it’s getting a little out of hand. Races. But not just any races, oh no! Parkruns and 10ks just weren’t enough for me…. I have my eyes on ultra distances. A 50 miler is coming up in the summer and I have entered. I will be taking part in the UTLD The Lakeland 50. A 50 mile race through the Lake District. I am ridiculously excited by this and looking forward to it immensely. Training is underway and I will be doing a half marathon race in Grizedale Forest at the end of the month. Got a full trail marathon planned for May and will try and fit in a few runs around the Yorkshire 3 Peaks as well before the big day in July.
Grinning like a madwoman even after 21 miles!
So there you find me…I am still knitting/crocheting but at a much lesser rate. Something I fit in when I’m not out running. 

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