Mum on the run

In the last ten years or so, where did my hobbies disappear to? Firstly eaten up by a busy life and long working hours, then hours and hours of time sucked into DIY and turning flats, then a houses into homes. Finally, in an attempt to send my hobby time into complete oblivion I had twins!

At school I had hobbies coming out of my ears. I was a sporty child and was in pretty much every sports team going, even for the one sport I always hated… athletics. I tried my hand at all the events – high jump, discus, shot put, javelin, and one memorable occasion where I got too competitive running the 800m. But I could never, ever find a love of running. I’ve made a couple of half-hearted attempts over the years to add ‘running’ to my list of pursuits, but it’s never lasted more than a couple of aborted attempts, which just served to reinforce my intense dislike of the whole endeavour.

With this potted history, you might wonder why, when I was enjoying an afternoon tea with Huggies and was presented with the vague possibility of running a half marathon in October, I made a split decision to do it. A half marathon. 13.1 miles. Run by someone whose previous personal best distance was probably 1500m under duress at secondary school.

So what could possibility persuade me to do this? I had been feeling in need of a bit of a personal challenge, but that on its own wouldn’t have got me to dig out my trainers. It was the charity I was offered the chance to run for. I’ve written before about how much I admire and support the work done by Tommy’s. I’ve visited the London research centre, been wholly engaged by the staff’s energy, commitment and passion and completely drawn in as a mum by the incredible stories of lives saved and lives lost.

I know the trauma that can be caused by miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. I’ve been lucky enough not to go through any of these things myself but I’ve seen close friends face these battles. And not a day went by during my own pregnancy that I didn’t fear that it might happen to me and my babies. So I want to play a part in supporting the research into the causes and prevention of these conditions, and the lifeline they offer to families when things go wrong.

But I didn’t want to run on my own. I somehow managed to interest fellow blogger (and wonderful friend) Emily from Mummy Limited, and Becca (lapsed blogger and lovely Twitter pal) in my crazy endeavour. The idea of a Tommy’s bloggers team was born, and we’ve been on the go ever since. At first I couldn’t believe I could even run a mile. But I teamed up with a friend who used to run, and she’s been absolutely brilliant in coaching me in the basics of running. It would appear that my past running disasters can be attributed to an inability to run at a slow pace. This has now been rectified, and thanks to my new, snail pace, I have been building up my distance, culminating in a 10K race in July.

With six weeks to go until the Royal Parks Half Marathon (it’s on Sunday 7 October), the reality of what we’re going to attempt is kicking in and I think we’re all feeling more than a little bit scared if we’re honest! We’d love it if you could all show us your support to get us over the line, raise some money and hopefully increase the awareness of the brilliant job Tommy’s are doing. Please head over to Mummy Limited, where Emily has written about her running, follow Tommy’s on Twitter @tommys_baby and tweet us (@heatheryounguk, @mummylimited and @becaboop) using the hashtag #mumsontherun. If you’d like to give Becca a spot on your blog for a guest post from her about the run, please let me know. And if you’d like to sponsor me, my Just Giving page is here. We want to make a whole lot of noise about the work done by Tommy’s and we need your help to do it.

And in 38 days’ time *gulp* I hope to be able to share on this blog a picture of a sweaty, red-faced me with a medal around my neck. What more could you possibly want?

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