Monday, 15 July 2013

First post, first blister

Blisters are not normally a cause for celebration – for runners, or anyone else. But I have to admit to a considerable measure of satisfaction when I peeled off my socks after my first 10k and discovered one. There it was: my first blister. (Left foot, little toe, if you’re interested – and I’m guessing you’re not, so you’re spared a photograph – there’s no Instagram filter that can make that a palatable sight). A colleague who runs marathons has been entertaining me with horror stories of toe nails dropping off, etc, and compared to her I realise this is still tame, but even so ... Looking at my first blister, I felt that in my own way, I'd made it. 

Granted, the fact that I had just run 10k probably had something to do with that feeling, but I have realised that for me, running is all about the little things. I very rarely run the same route twice, as I get bored quickly and I like to explore new places. This means that it’s difficult to compare the times or distances that I’m running. So many other things affect my pace, as well: the weather, what I managed to cram in for breakfast, the kind of day I’ve had. Don’t get me wrong, the first time I ran 5k in under 30 minutes, I was pretty chuffed. But a personal best isn’t going to happen every day. Normally I measure the success of a run in other ways: the view I’m rewarded with at the top of a hill; catching sight of a heron silently unfolding its wings; managing to overtake someone as I run laps of the playing fields. Sometimes just the act of lacing up my running shoes feels like a huge victory. Little things become big things and all of a sudden, you’ve run over six miles.

If you’d told me six months ago that I would be running that kind of distance, I would have laughed in your face. Which just goes to show how much can change in six months. Just before Christmas I went to visit a close childhood friend and was bowled over by how amazing she looked – she told me she’d been doing Weight Watchers and it really got me thinking. I have always loved food and I have tried not to confront the issue of my weight too often. It’s only since I started losing it that I’m realising how unhappy being overweight was making me. Or maybe it’s just that losing weight has given me a lot of things to be happy about: my passion for baking has been swapped for one for cooking much healthier food (same pleasure, but without the inevitable post-brownie guilt); I have discovered an unexpected kind of confidence that has seen me try new things for the first time (rollercoasters, cartwheels); and running, which has given me a different way to look at the world, as well as myself. So that’s what this blog will be about. Looking inwards and outwards, but with new eyes – and appreciating the blisters along the way.

Running 10k in Cornwall - I promised no photo of the blister!


  1. Making me resolve even more to start running again!
    Can't wait for more :) On balance though, good decision not to share photos of your blisters.

    1. Definitely a good decision ... And DO start running again! We should definitely do a race together at some point! xxx

  2. Good stuff! I'm impressed you can run at all on that coastal path. Just walking on it nearly did for me. And glad you selected Google to host this :-).

    "It’s only since I started losing it that I’m realising how unhappy being overweight was making me." Very true. It's so easy to get used to some level of happiness and assume nothing better is achievable.

    Isn't that a big toe poking up at the bottom of the picture, just left of centre?

    1. Thanks for reading! The choice of Google was a no-brainer/dictated by Gennie, so you have her to thank ..

      Running on that path was certainly a challenge but the views were absolutely worth it. I ran from Rock to Polzeath - felt pretty proud of myself when I looked at it on the map later!

      It's not a toe, it's a campion I think. I'm not quite brave enough to run barefoot yet!