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My name is Julie Creffield I am a runner…but it has been weeks since my last proper run.

As we entered 2020, just 4 short months ago I was busy training for my 6th Marathon…and although a little behind, I was running a strongish 10K and had covered 13 miles a few times….plus I was doing CrossFit twice a week.

I was confident that I would be race-ready for today…to run the London Marathon for the 4th time…but this time with a team of 50 women from my community.

And then Corona Virus hit and running became a little more tricky.

For the first couple of weeks of lockdown I was still getting the occasional run-in, and we were going on bike rides, and I was doing stuff at home to keep my fitness levels up.

AND then??

Then the fear and overwhelm set in.

I started having panic attacks at the supermarket, I started to choose not to leave home just because it felt easier, I didn’t want to do yoga in my front room either, and even the idea of cycling with my daughter which I’d been enjoying was now just too hard.

The last ride we went on ended up in her screaming at me in the Olympic Park that she was scared, and us both sitting on a step crying, before cycling home again.

In the week after lockdown to keep myself and my clients motivated and together I had devised a programme called Thrive Inside…a pay what you like, donation-based service with regular fitness and wellbeing sessions, everything from laughter yoga, to foam rolling, nutrition to circuit training.

This week we have hula hooping, Chair Based dance, and a FittoGlow glow stick party on Friday which I can’t wait for….and we have our daily 3pm dance off.

I say that, but who knows if I will have the motivation or strength to actually take part in anything this week.

That’s just the truth about how I feel these days.

Its a lot, juggling parenting, homeschooling, running 2 business and trying to administer self-care….the memes about getting fat during lockdown don’t help.

Today I took a stand though.

I decided I needed to mark the date of the marathon I wouldn’t be running somehow.

I had this idea that I could run a marathon in my underground carpark…but to be fair that was never going to happen. For a start my 7-year-old was never going to allow me 6 or 7 hours of run time…my legs probably wouldn’t have been able to cope either.

So I decided to do 5K instead.

Rose, my 7 year old was race director…she was in charge of the start line, the snacks, and the tally chart of how many laps I had run.

We started at around 9.30am and I think I was done just after 10.20

I wasn’t sure how much walking there would be, I have put on weight since lockdown…in part because of my supermarket fear, and not being able to get fresh produce, but partly because I have been using red wine and dark chocolate as a coping strategy.

I live-streamed the run onto my facebook page (you can watch it here) and more than 3000 women tuned in.

My daughter was great…she kept my audience entertained, she counted laps, she handed me treats, and toilet roll for my nose…she even ran a couple of laps with me.

She got bored about 20 minutes in though and sat in my car for a bit.

The tally chart didn’t end up being very accurate, but my Garmin kept me on track…and in the end, I reckon it was around 56 or 57 laps, back and forth.

If I didn’t have Rose with me, I might have considered running loops rather than shuttle runs.

I did not want to run.

I wanted to stay in bed.

I didn’t want to run in my car park.

I wanted to run along the towpaths, and my routes through the Olympic Park.

But we are all having to do things we don’t want to do. We are all having to find ways to creatively get through what is probably the toughest times of our lives.

I did my run for me.

But I also did it for everyone else who is struggling.

I didn’t do it for any charity, not because I didn’t want to, I just didn’t get my act together.

I spent the afternoon on my balcony, on the hammock I’ve just put up, we had ice lollies and non-alcoholic cocktails (OK squash in a posh cup) and it has taken me until 11pm to write up this report…but I am glad I have.

A massive congratulations to everyone who ran today, or who took part in the 26.2 challenge today

A massive well done to anyone who got out

And if you didn’t, if you couldn’t, if you chose not too…I am sending you love too.

This year marks ten years of the Fat Girls Guide to Running blog, a decade of supporting plus size women to thrive in the running world, a decade of showing what is possible. We had so many exciting plans, meetups at events, a massive event in September…and now the future of the business is uncertain.

I know there are probably more important things going on in the world, but that’s the thing with feelings, you still feel them even when you probably shouldn’t.

Anger, Regret, Disappointment, Frustration, Shame and Guilt.

They are all valid feelings…and the worst thing we can do is hold them in.

I am also trying to remind myself of how lucky I am to have such a wonderful community of women behind me, a gorgeous and sassy daughter (who announced on the live feed “sorry this is so boring” ha ha) and a roof over my head.

Day by day….that’s all we can do right?

Check out this weeks Thrive Inside Schedule, and if you would like to support the TFTR team (and me) to keep the business going during this time…then please do buy us a cuppa here

If you haven’t registered for our FREE community yet…you can do so here

Much Love

Julie

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