I started running a few years ago. No great inspirational story here, I took it up when I was revising for vet school exams and it was a welcome procrastination! However, it soon became much more than that; running was both an escape and an excitement.
I began to feel real pride in what my body could achieve, and I felt more confident than I had done in years. It took me six months to work up the courage to run my first 5k in public, but I stuck with it and fast-forward three years I had a charity place to run the best marathon in the world — The London Marathon. With amazing support from friends, family and strangers I trained my heart out through a pretty tough winter.
However, a few weeks before the big day I discovered that I was unexpectedly pregnant. It turned our whole world upside down, but once we got over the shock we realised it was the best thing ever.
Then there was the marathon.
The marathon had been meticulously planned (it felt like the only thing that was at the time), it had been very public, and I’d raised a lot of money. I spent days trawling the internet for as much information as possible on the safety of running during pregnancy. I felt a pressure to run because of the support I’d received, and how publicised the challenge had been. But it wasn’t just that. I loved the idea that our baby would have run the London Marathon with me.
I began to visualise this whole new version of myself — the fit, young, running mum-to-be (clearly, I’d not reached the fat, sick phase yet!). I decided I’d start a blog to chart my new adventures of running through pregnancy. I planned the Facebook announcement revealing that my marathon time hadn’t in fact been super slow, but I’d had precious cargo on board- our very own running bean. I was excited.
But, three days before the marathon, I started to bleed. And so, just like that, the vision of the new me, and our new life, just disappeared.
It was undoubtedly one of the hardest times in my life, but I also began to feel that it was something we were going to come through, and come through stronger. It wasn’t the journey I thought I was going to be on, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t still be an adventure.
So, I set myself a new challenge- a double marathon. I will be running the Yorkshire Marathon in October and the London Marathon in April 2019. So far, I’ve raised nearly £3,000 for the Guide Dog’s Association, but I’m hoping to make it four.
As I mentioned earlier I had been planning on starting a blog about my new amazing pregnant running self. This wasn’t meant to be, but why should that stop me? So, I started one anyway.
I want to encourage, support and inspire other people to discover running, particularly women. It is such a simple thing, but it can be so powerful. When I was pregnant I felt in awe of how amazing my body was. I’m not pregnant anymore, but that doesn’t mean my body isn’t still capable of doing incredible things. And I have every intention of doing so!
Keep up to date with Nat’s running journey on her blog, This Vet Runs.