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  • Writer's picture Irina

No Facts and FAQs Today, Just Runs and Lessons in Life

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

Every time I run with Liz, I remember how much I love running with Liz!


Liz and me on the day we felt we could run forever, October 2018


These days it is a double whammy, as it’s the only way to see her and catch up. We went on a lovely, Saturday, chatty, flat run on the river path which left me feeling energized and smiley but also a bit sad that we couldn’t spend more time together. Liz plays a huge part in my running journey. She started our local running group, Upper Beeding Runners and over the last 3 years, she has motivated so many people to get into running through her Couch-to-5K courses and beyond. She constantly finds new ways to challenge us and remind us of reasons to run and she gracefully guides us into the magical world of running. She is our beacon. I am not at all sure I would even be running today if it wasn't for Liz.


Liz is everything I admire in a runner, she is adventurous, determined, she pushes her limits, and she gets joy out of running and she spreads that joy generously. She also loves trail running and exploring new routes for which I admire her but cannot quite convince myself to join in.





Yesterday I ran with Zara. A phenomenal runner and quite an incredible woman all around. Zara is fast, I could only run that fast if I was being chased by lions and tigers and bears. I met her through the UBR and I am getting to know her more and more on our Friday runs. What a treat!


It’s becoming a bit of a thing now, that Zara and I meet up on a Friday, 7:30ish and do a hilly run. A very hilly run. There’s a few small hills to begin with as we head towards the mother of all hills, Sopers Lane. We refer to it as Zopers, following a pre Christmas challenge Liz set, which was to find a road starting with the first letter of our name and then run it. Zara was obviously out of luck, so we had to get creative… It’s not illegal to slightly modify a road sign, right?


Zara with her very own Zopers Lane road sign, December 2020

The week in numbers

Summary of this week is four runs, Mon 13km, Wed 8.6km, Fri 11km, Sat 12.1km, a total of 44.7km, 4h37m and an elevation of 479m. I am quite pleased with that!


What has this week taught me?

As much as I say I am a solo runner, running with Zara and Liz this week was definitely very, very good fun. It gave me perspective and a push just when I needed it. Like for instance, as we started the final, long climb on Friday I was thinking to myself, oh no! I can’t do this, I am too cold, too tired, why did I agree to do this? Then Zara said, “ok, let’s do this!”. That was all it took for me to shift the negative thoughts and just do what I set out to do that morning. A few minutes later, we were at the top (well Zara was there before me), admiring a beautiful sunrise. We stood there, in silence for a minute and just looked around, taking in the views and calmness, while feeling pretty hardcore for what we’d just achieved.


Another lesson I learned or remembered this week was that if I want to push myself, being accountable to someone, massively helps. If I were running on my own today, I would have managed 5-6km tops. But when Liz texted me last night, to agree time and distance and suggested we do 10km with a gentle pace so we can talk and catch up, I made a commitment to her. That was it, I stopped thinking about other scenarios of shorter runs. I know she has her weekly targets as well, so if it’s 10k Liz fancies or needs, then that’s what I’ll push myself to do and I know she’s done the same for me.


I will not lie, there were a couple of moments where if she’d given me the slightest hint that we could turn around and start heading back early, I would have grabbed it by the horns. Thankfully, she didn’t and when we did eventually get back I was grateful both for distance, and also for the time we had together.


You see, I think there’s never anything that is just good or just bad. Things happen all the time, and I react. I feel happy, sad, excited, confident, scared, whatever, and then it is my actions alone that will, in time, determine the real outcome. I see it all the time in the day to day, with small things that may momentarily upset me but then turn out to be what triggers me to do something which leads to something which ends up being positive. More importantly, I see it with big milestone events.


Something big happens, let’s say my miscarriage and of course it devastates me. But there’s nothing I can do about it other than move on. I take my time to grieve and then make a conscious decision to do good things for me, in this occasion, diet and fitness wise. Over a year later, I find myself fitter and very happy with where my life is. Going back to those days is not painful anymore because I ‘used’ that experience to shift my attention to my well-being, I became stronger and opened mental doors that were firmly shut for years. Would have I done it otherwise? We’ll never know…


Experience, learn, move on and allow time to understand why some things happen the way that they do. That’s what I tell myself and you, if you’re still reading!


Liz, Sara, Doug, Irina Indie and Pixel - Running in the blubells @Spithandle Lane, April 2019

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6 Comments


camkavanagh
Feb 04, 2021

Great stuff Irina

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biene.demartelaere
Jan 24, 2021

Τρέξε, Ιρίνα ! τρέξε!


When reading your lively blog, I can virtually feel the pain in my toes, cramp in my muscles and the before & after of a Shock Absorber bra.

But what I really feel is joy and pride. The joy of knowing you and the pride of how you keep pushing your boundaries, over and over again. And hell girl, you know how to do that ! This time, Forest Gump gets competition !


Love,

Biene

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errietta.varvogli
errietta.varvogli
Jan 24, 2021

I am so glad that you feel ready to express your feelings.

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zara.chalcraft
Jan 24, 2021

Such kind words Irina. Love reading your blog and love our runs together. ❤️

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ruth.manvell
Jan 23, 2021

Loving the blog!

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