I took up parkrunning in Peterborough nearly 3 years ago as a New Years resolution to help make running a habit for life. In July of this year, I was fortunate enough to reach the “100 club” meaning I had completed 100 5k runs (all in Peterborough!) and celebrate with family and friends.
My 100 SIMs cake flummoxed a few people! “Don’t you mean SINS,” many asked?
No! Parkrunning has inadvertently and quite unintentionally become one of the many SIMs or “Safety in me” behaviours that help me cope with a rather busy (all self induced I might add) lifestyle. The multitasking juggling act of bringing up a young family, treating a high clinical caseload of patients and running a business certainly challenges my stress and brain’s perceived threat levels! And I am very aware how these can cascade into an array of health problems.
As a Physiotherapist who treats people with persistent pain, I understand the importance of building resilience to daily stresses to maintain a healthy mind and body. And that is what parkrunning has helped me to do on so many levels. Raising my heart rate to pretty much maximum week after week unleashes some pretty amazing hormones from the drug cabinet in my brain to make me feel, well, pretty good! And the community atmosphere emphasizes the enjoyment 10 fold. Yes, I love it!
More on DIMs (Danger in me: the not so good stuff) and SIMs here: https://noijam.com/2015/03/12/dim-sims/
And so onto the Great Eastern Run. After the 100 SIMs, I decided I needed a new challenge and have spent the summer training for this Sunday’s Perkins Great Eastern Run. It has been tough, but therapeutically tough, if that makes sense. I have constantly challenged myself mentally to think, “can I really do it?”. Pretty much all of my training has been on my own. And each time I run a longer run, I realise my mental strength is building alongside my physical conditioning. I cannot believe I am saying this, but I have really quite enjoyed it!
And so to the end of my post.
I am running the Great Eastern Run 2016 in aid of Sue Ryder, Thorpe Hall. I hear such wonderful, humbling stories from the people of Peterborough about the dignity and care that the Hospice provides that it was the natural choice of charity for me. My Grandfather and Physiotherapist, Albert Preston, was head of the Rehabilitation Department there many moons ago before it became a hospice. Every time I go back in there, I have a real sense of what came before me and the great work that was, and is, done there.
If you are able to offer sponsorship for this amazing cause, please find details of how to donate on my justgiving site here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Helen-PrestonsHealth?utm_medium=email&utm_source=ExactTarget&utm_campaign=20160828_57019
And if you are supporting the run on Sunday, please give me a cheer. I will need it!
I admit I am scared and excited all mixed into one!
And thank you to all the Peterborough parkrunners and the behind the scenes team. So many of you have been so helpful in helping me believe I can do it!
Thanks for listening