My Running journey began 5 years ago when I met a lady who has now become one of my closest friends and someone who I admire more every single day.
I was never a runner as a child, I wasn’t petite. Infact my Granny always referred to me as a “well built lassie”, makes me laugh now her broad Aberdonian accent shining through.
This pattern carried on throughout my teenage years and beyond, then after the birth of my daughters I decided that maybe it was time to exercise and be as strong physically and mentally as I could be for my little girls. Something I’m not ashamed to admit I had struggled with in the past.
As you can imagine it was not an easy task but slowly but surely I started to not absolutely dread going and shockingly started to enjoy it.
It was that enjoyment that led me to a class at Glenogle leisure centre one rainy Monday night in 2012 and that is where I met Tracy, her energy was incredible, almost scary. I know she wont mind me saying that.
She would come in to take the 2 classes straight of the back of a 10 mile run. I’m also not afraid to say at first I thought she was crazy !!!! Wondering how any one person could have so much energy.
I’ve since told her this infact I tend to tell her everything nowadays. As she does with me. All running buddies will relate to that the bond you build together is something incredibly special.
As in your own time everyone shares their story. On all the long training runs whether its through the rain or shine of our beautiful Scottish summer much more rain than shine this year.
Or the dark cold winter mornings head torches fastened securely on. We learnt very quickly how important they were after a failed and almost fatal attempt at Arthur Seat without them one morning in December last year.
Infact, 3 months went by without me actually seeing Tracy in the daylight earlier this year. As it was dark when we met at 6am and still dark as we said goodbye that is true friendship.
Even that didn’t stop us putting the world to rights.
Through all the dark cold mornings, the training continues no matter what the weather.
Its amazing what you talk about as you keep each other going. There are no holes barred, nothing that cant be spoken about, no subject off limits, and the one guarantee is you will have a solution to your problem, or question or you will be given that all important hug that even you didn’t know you needed.
As I said we put the world to rights, but sometimes we just run in silence because that is what we need that day. Reading each other is something we’ve became experts at.
So how did we get here. It was one Monday after one of her mammoth runs I asked tTacy how she does it. Her answer I’ll never forget. She said because I can. My response then was this – I cannot run I’ve never been able to run I’m just not a runner.
Tracy’s answer – anyone can run, your coming out with me and well I did and shockingly Tracy was right.
Before I knew it I WAS RUNNING AND REALLY ENJOYING IT! I RAN MY FIRST HALF MARATHON IN 2014. I have completed numerous 5ks, 10ks, 3 half marathons in the years since.
Of course a lot has happened since then ups downs a new baby 2 year old Tommy. Starting my own business – terrifying, getting married. Even on that day, I used running as a way to clear my head and get rid of the nervous energy.
Yes – once round Arthur seat on the morning of your wedding is definitely the most amazing thing to do and of course on this day Tracy made sure I looked the part in my white tutu and bride sash. I had a sash especially for her “TRACY RUNNING MAID OF HONOUR”
My friend Heather meeting us at the end with a phenomenal breakfast offcourse washed down with bubbles. its a shame all of our runs don’t end that way…
As I continue to bring up my 2 beautiful daughters who make me proud every single day. I can sense that running may be my sanctuary again as they head in to the teenage years…
And for Tracy its the same, the word selfless is thrown around all too easily these days, but I can confirm that she is the most selfless and inspirational person you will ever meet. Her work with Sands Lothians is exceptional and she constantly encourages everyone she meets to smash their goals.
As the years have gone on our running buddies have grown.
Some of my best friendships have been made as we push ourselves further to reach our goals. Encouraging each other every step of the way.
If someone had told me that all of this would be possible through deciding to get up and do some exercise, I would never have believed them, but I am so glad it has.
Next year I will take on my biggest running challenge – taking on the big one the EMF full Marathon. Am I scared – yes I’m terrified. But I have a secret weapon and that is my amazing running buddies. Led by Tracy who unsurprisingly 100% believes in me as always.
So for now the training continues the friendships keep building, and for me running is definitely the best therapy in the world. A complete surprise a revelation infact…. Here are a few pics of my incredible team and what a team we are.
Anything is possible with the right people in your corner and I certainly have them in mine.
Gemma Mcandrew – CEO Rest Corporate Massage