The sun is shining, the weather is fine….

I am aware that the title of this blog ‘running through cancer’ alludes to the fact that there may be some reference to running somewhere…. and I have realised that this isn’t the case and in fact there has been very little reference to running. So I thought that I would write a little bit about one of my favourite things…. running! Running has always been ‘my thing’ whether it’s been running at a competitive club level (I’m not talking the Olympics here, I’m talking locally to Leeds) where I ran reasonably quickly and had some great occasions with my blooming wonderful club Valley Striders (the team silver at the West Yorkshire cross country is still the highlight of my running career!) to running on a treadmill at my local all female gym when I was a student in Liverpool, to running the 3.2 mile loop from my parents house around the fields of Arkendale when I had moved back home after a messy breakup…. it’s always been the constant in my life and it has never mattered if I have run quickly or slowly. It’s where I sort my head out, I solve the problems of the world (and promptly forget them when I step foot inside the door) it’s where I take stock of what is going on in my life, and yes, sometimes, its how I escape from the incessant noise that seems to come from having children and being the only person who can find ANYTHING in the house (including the tiny plastic dinosaur that was bought 5 billion years ago and played with once and promptly forgotten about, but must be played with RIGHT NOW) I used to get comments from people (which I think that all runners get) like ‘what are you running away from’ ‘Your knees will be knackared by the time you are forty…’ (actually my knees are remarkably ok, it’s the rest of my body that is broken!) ‘You must really hate your life with all that running you do’ ‘Why can’t you just sit down like the rest of us and chill out?’ I normally reacted with some form of excuse like ‘oh well, if I run I can eat cake!’ but actually what I should have said was that I run because… I really like running…. simple….. I like it…. in fact I would go as far as to say that I love it! Yes my relationship with it has gone through many ups and downs, BUT it has always been there, ready for me to go back to it whenever I have needed it… with no judgement…. (yes I am well aware that I am referring to running as a person!) So yes, my name is Hannah and I am a runner (jeez, it feels goooooood to have that down in print!) I remember many significant runs in my life, here are the (shortened) highlights: I was 7 years old and my dad was a keen runner (this was the 80’s, so think short shorts and tight t-shirts….) He had signed us up to do a local 5km fun run (in the times before parkrun….. can anyone actually remember those times?!) Well I can hand on heart say that it wasn’t fun and it certainly wasn’t a run and we came last.
  • 19 – Thinking it would be a great idea to go for a run on Bondi beach in Aus in the hottest part of the day with my friends… most likely hung over…. we lastest approximately 6 mins 23 seconds before we collapsed on the beach in a heap of unfit, beer swilling travellers.
  • 22 and my first Leeds 10km with the awesome Tony Audenshaw cheering me on with team Emmerdale (we were all runners at Emmerdale!)
  • 24ish and my first Marathon with Virgin Active Road Runners (now the mighty Hyde Park Harriers) in Amsterdam and the PARTY afterwards!
  • 32 – First run after having my second baby. It was sheeting down with sleet and rain and freezing. I was 3 weeks post having my second C-section and struggling with everything at that time. My mum came over, took both my kids off me and said “Go for a run” my mum is not one to ignore so I did. I pulled on my huge maternity, full cotton tracky bottoms, my large full cotton green ‘Coronation street 50th’ t shirt (not sure how or why I remember that) and shuffled around the corner for 10 minutes, my trousers and t- shirt soaking up every single drop of water that was out there….. I felt bloody AMAZING after I had done it and that I could TAKE ON THE WORLD! – **thanks mum!**
So the reason why I am sharing all of this is because I know that I am going to forever remember my first run after this f***ing rancid time that I am going through. I have been having a pretty tough time, feeling very low and panicking about what was going to happen in the future (and something that I didn’t write before was the statistics of it re- occurring later in my life which are pretty scary) I had thought that maybe I should go to the doctors to see if there was anything they could prescribe… I then thought back to the times when being outside and running have really helped me and I decided that I was going to try and go for a run first before I went to the doctors. My friend was meant to come with me but she unfortunately had to go into work (she is having a proper shitty time at work at the moment, so I am sending out huge love and positivity to her) I had three options, I could not go at all (not really an option as it was a glorious day), I could try and find someone to run with (but I think everyone was at work) or I could go on my own….. ok….. sooooooooooo i’m going to do it, I am going to go for a run on my own….. nothing too crazy, or too far…. just a little trot to see how I feel…. So I did…. I put on my trainers and stepped out of the door and from THE SECOND I stepped out of the door, my heart sang, that’s the only way I can explain it. I WAS STILL ME! This thing, this event, this shit that I was going through was not going to define me as a person. Running was still there, it still had my back, it knew what I needed to do (yes, again I know it is not a person!) I ran and I ran and I ran and I smiled and I high fived people and I greeted everyone with an over the top (good morning!) Now baring in mind my perspective is all out of whack and I struggle to walk in a straight line, I imagine I looked a tad odd, running around Roundhay, swerving, grinning like a loon and requesting high fives from random people!
Captain Corne goes for a run!
Once I had finished my run (after running far too far) I was completely done in, my eye was really sore…. but…. I felt incredible….. like nothing could bother me…. like I could have gone into parliament and sorted out Brexit there and then (bit topical!) It was incredible what that run had done for me and how it made me feel. I’m not remotely thinking that this is the end of my journey or just because I have been for one run that I am all fixed and can crack on with everything, but I do know that that part of me hasn’t gone, that I can still be me and run and that is invaluable. Today is Friday and I feel like this week has been an emotional rollercoaster, I have had so many visitors and well wishes that have been so gratefully received and I am overwhelmed at the love that I have around me. Thank you doesn’t really express how I feel about you all and every single message, facebook post, tweet, messenger message, knock on the door, card, flower, food and chocolate that I have received has reminded me of how bloody amazing human beings are. Have a great weekend, Lots of love, Captain Corne xx

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