Posts Tagged Blog
Another team escapade to the hills, snow melting, slightly milder weather and a long drive headed by our kind transporter for these Munro Missions, Jim. We arrived at a nice opening in the middle of the mountains with a cafe and toilets! Oooooh the luxury of such a great thing both before and after long walks is a blessing! It is often the case that we are caught short in the middle of nowhere and just have to go back to nature!
Beginning this hike through forest paths and then into the beautiful sight of the Corrie Fee, and immense view of the whole panorama of hills from the edge of the forest. No rain thankfully and not too cold, certainly not icy cold anyway, and as soon as the walking begins it is not long before we all get to hot and layers have to be opened or removed as required to be comfortable.
Nothing too hazardous on this walk UNTIL we got to the top part of the waterfall next to the huge gorge and a very slim and icy section that had to be crossed to follow the route up the mountain. At this point I felt the fear, one glance looking down my stomach went, quickly turning away focusing on anything that was not scary and taking a few breaths while I tried to get my guts together! Jim was over the other side looking dependable encouraging and directing me the safe steps to take, I couldn’t chicken out and go home, although for a split second this was something that came to mind! LOL! So, I focused and went for the move, yes, I made it to the other side and my friend Grace, I think, equally crapping herself soon followed! Phew, that had to be the most scary section on the hills I had come across yet! A great feeling of brave accomplishment along with relief to be over that bit and we were off on the rest of the climb up these mountains.
The rest of the walk to Mayar was fairly straightforward, weather was coming and going a bit around us, but visibility was thankfully still reasonable so when we got to the summit we were able to enjoy views for miles around. There was a group of highly experienced looking walkers at the top looking like they had stopped there for a long lunch and a good old natter, many of them most definitely in retiree age, which is most inspiring to see! They soon headed off and disappeared very quickly into the distance as they headed for next summit.
We had our lunch refuel snacks and soon followed the same direction but by the time we got anywhere near the summit they were long gone! The old skools must have been setting quite a pace! Anyway, still reasonable clear weather, a few clouds threatening to put a dampener on the day but thankfully we made it to the next bag still dry and that was numbers 6 & 7 now covered!
The decent, due to there still being snow on the path was a little nervy for us girls, as my friend was still nursing her wrist injury recovery and I was just scared of doing any more unplanned Torvel and Dean impressions like I had done on Ben Lomond! Not only that, this path was on the gradient of the hill and on the right there was a steep drop in sections that was best just not to look at I found, just again focusing on the footsteps and path in front of me, as I got that vertigo feeling in my tummy if I looked down!
Boy was I glad to see the end of that path, I had my mini spikes on but that kind of walking is more tiring because it requires much more concentration, or at least I preferred as a learner hiker to take it slow and steady to do my best to avoid injury. It has been said to me by many that most accidents happen on the decent on a hill, when legs are more tired, mind too and often over confidence on the way down or going faster to get home quicker.
And so it was the end of another great day of adventure way up in the mountains of Scotland, places I had never been before, new heights and sights all around. I had well and truly got the bagging bug back again, this hill-walking thing, the fresh air, the natural energy around and generated by the exercise was very moreish.
There would be more that is for sure…where to next???
Contemplating as I sit here on the couch under a blanket with cups of ginger/lemon tea, soggy hankies, a runny nose, bit of a cough and generally feeling the aftermath of this year’s running event. Glad at least that on a muscular level it only took 2 days for the worst of the burn to cool down in my legs and reflective of what was behind my motivation for doing this challenge in the first place.
I was unable to run the 2013 event due to ill health in general from chronic stress overload causing all kinds of horrible symptoms and on top of that I somehow managed to develop a Morton’s Neuroma on my left foot, which for the last year or more meant that even walking was painful until at the beginning of August I was given a cortisone injection which greatly helped thankfully!
Prior to this the previous 2 years were a challenging emotional roller coaster ride that ended in a painful crash. Healing from the damage that ensued after that soul wrecking experience was perhaps the deepest and most challenging thing I have had to go through, and I had to do it alone for many reasons that will probably not be understood by many or most. Alone was the only “choice” as many of the people closest to me were not helpful or supportive, and in fact added to the equation of negativity I was trying to solve. Only those healing from virtually a lifetime cloud of narcissistic abusive experiences will truly know the depths that this type of experience brings.
It is a programming pattern puzzle only fully solved when the deepest shadows of the soul are brought to light found by looking deeper into the conditioning and circumstances that caused this to be a vibration I found so often in the first place throughout my life. Once this is understood, the metamorphosis can begin to change future life experiences creating them from a new mould. A new self that knows and understands healthy boundaries, has awareness of the red flags and NPD as whole, a new way of seeing the past which then can heal the present and allows the future to unfold with inner peace never known before. Breaking the co-dependency, the people pleasing syndrome, the seeking for external validation and seeing and understanding the dynamics of the meaning of love in a whole new way. The journey to real self love and acceptance.
The last time I ran this marathon in 2013, my life was in the beginning of a turmoil that would unfold and reach a climax in 2014 and so to run this road again now and complete this distance was a huge sense of a comeback, a proverbial stamp I was putting on myself to say that I had won the battle through the emotional and physical hurdles of the past couple of years and built my strength back to where it was before it was challenged.
Therefore, there was a lot in my mind hanging on my performance for this event. I was aiming and hoping to get close to my PB of just under 2 hours. The training on the run up to the race was sporadic and not my usual full on thing, twice I had to stop training due to first a pulled left calf, out for two weeks and then again my right, out again for another couple of weeks leaving me unsure if I would even be able to train for it. After some advice I changed my training routine and incorporated cycling into the mix which really helped build my core strength up, then I was able to run the distances again and began to build up my miles so at the beginning of September I decided I was going to go for the half marathon and do my best.
It’s always emotional at the start line, especially for me as a sensitive empath soul. I did have to fight back a few tears as we did the warm up with the music booming through the crowds of participants and supporters all cheering and anticipating the 13.2 miles of tarmac ahead. Once through that start line it’s amazing what you tell yourself to keep pressing on. The first 4 miles are usually pretty easy, I ran them at a good pace, the next four a bit more grueling and uphill in parts, then the next 4 miles you know you are over the halfway mark and on the home straight to some extent but this is when it gets serious and you can see some stopping to walk and hear the tiredness in the pants and puffs of those running alongside, by that time the supporters cheers are even getting tired! Reaching the crowds on the home straight is always a great feeling, you know you’re practically there, so I pushed to try to scrape a few extra minutes off the race time and then threw a fist in the air as I thankfully crossed the finish line.
Running has been something that has given me a sense of purpose, triumph, fulfillment, accomplishment and pride over these past few years since I started in 2008 with my first 5K Race For Life I built up to 10K’s, then half marathons and managed my first full one in 2012, another one being contemplated!
I find having goals like this to aim for as a challenge help to keep me focused and disciplined, and create a physical parallel to balance the other more desk oriented work that I do. When I’m running my mind clears, or I think things through, pray even sometimes with music playing softly in the background as a constant ambiance from my Iphone playlist selection.
When I’m running it doesn’t feel so bad being on my own, similarly with cycling. As a creative Empath soul, alone is something I have tended to be quite a lot of my life in one way or another. As an artist, creativity has no finish line, maybe lots of small deadlines to complete projects but no great finale and certainly no medals, so doing something like this in tandem with my musical productions provides me with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that so far I have not found in quite the same way through art.
Music has been my running partner from the start. In the earlier events and training all I ever used to listen to was house music, a few years later down the line my selection is now a bit more varied with some other favorites added in there from the 70’s, 80’s and other classic favorites. During this run I particularly remember when TYREE – “ACID OVER” came on around 9K and that giving me a great boost! Going for a run with the right music makes me feel great, especially if there is a bit of sunshine, but even on the colder Autumn and winter days, that crisp fresh air and then coming home to a warm flat and a hot shower feels good to my soul.
Participating in these bigger events allows me to feel like I am here, I matter, I am somebody, a runner, a something, I am a winner in this at least, maybe not in love, not so much in money, or even my music either to any great extent, but at least on these occasions I beat those that said I couldn’t or shouldn’t and I got my medals. I won them all with my valiant courage and determination and nobody can deny that or take that away from me.