How running changed my life

Guest blog from amazingly determined Fiona Linten (@can_fi_run) talking about how she got started running, what it means to her, and how she juggles running with family life!

2-ish years ago I found myself in a bad place. The birth of my third child really took it out of me. I had been constantly ill during the pregnancy and hubby was working away most of the time. That first year or so was mostly a blur and when my cloud cleared I struggled to recognise myself. I made a huge effort to calorie count and swim as much as I could. I joined various classes. The weight started to come off, great I thought! But it wasn’t sustainable, I kept missing classes and not being able to get to the pool at the right time blah blah blah….

1st Race, ParkRun
Women’s Running 10K Exeter

Looking after 5 people is tough and I rarely came first, so I comfort ate and drank and inevitably the weight piled back on. I was sad and down.

I strangely started to have dreams in which I was running. This was really odd as I always hated running with a passion at school or in the gym (Pre kids). But these dreams opened my mind, I thought something has to change (I really didn’t know what) or I am going down. So I asked hubby for a pair of running shoes for Christmas, which he dutifully gave me.

Thanks to Caroline who suggested I did Run Everyday January with her, I had a plan and a purpose. I took my first ever ‘run’ on January 1st 2017. In my head I didn’t for one second think I would do it. I took one day at a time. Its now 15 months on and I haven’t looked back, I just kept following one plan after another. 5km, 10km, 10mi. If the plan told me I had to run then I ran, even if this meant getting up at 5.30am or getting soaked to do it. I just fit it in – no excuses.

Pounding the country lanes (and mud)
Bright leggings brighten up the greyest day

It has not been easy, far from it. I have had many setbacks along the way. I have surprised myself and learnt so much through the journey. I have lost weight and feel so much better. But the real excitement is the unexpected feeling it gives me and the way it helps me to clear my head. I still feel like a newbie but, I am a runner. A runner that needs to start a new training plan and soon.

Before and after

After doing RED January again this year I have just been coasting, trying to ignore my Labyrinthitis and running without a plan. This has resulted in shorter runs and just getting out when I can. I think as I am turning 40 this year my next challenge needs to be big. I may start training for a half marathon, but will be another story

I used to look at runners and think they were mad. I now see that look in others eyes as I run past them….

Have you recently started running?  Did you hate running and now love it?  Please share your story below, we’d love to hear from you.

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