Vikki's Journey - Army Wife & Running Life
Over the last 15 years I have had a real love/hate relationship with running or fitness in general. It always felt like something I was forced to do, loosing weight for fertility treatment, trying to make friends at each new posting cause people who run must be friendly right??? And trying to keep up with my super fit husband who annoyingly can go out for just a short 8 miles and look like he has walked to the end of the drive!!!
I have completed the Great South Run twice with times that will not have Paula Radcliffe losing sleep over, The Cardiff Half Marathon in 1.15 hours slower than my husband who had nearly gone home convinced I must have got lost, a 5 mile run full of “proper” runners in club kits and warming up with 2 miles jogs (I mean who does that!!) hills the size of Ben Nevis and to get to the end to find no medal……I repeat NO medal, cue a 3 hour 2 year old tantrum from me, the only slightly less blow to my ego was that we wasn’t last and a 67 year old man came in after us.
In 2017 my hubby and his friend got places on the October Bournemouth Half Marathon, I knew that was completely off limits for me so I had the bright idea of doing the 10k, I hardly trained and couldn’t get out as he was sent to Canada for 3 months over the summer. Our world was turned upside down when our friend who he was doing it with took his own life. John still wanted to complete the run in his memory. 7 of co-workers took part in a team and we raised over £1000 for the Samaritans. It was the most amazing day watching them all finish, and I still think this is where the bug hit me again.
In 2018 the local military run Athletics club approached me to complete the Leadership in Running Fitness course and lead a beginner’s club for military wives, provided a much-needed space for them to forget about the stresses of Army life.
The course was amazing, and we had a group of 5-7 girls who came along every week and did my awful sprint and hill sessions (sorry girls!!) Seeing the progression in some of the girls was amazing and when the club closed some of us carried on running and still do to this day completing several 10k’s together. The girls get me through every single run and on the first we did one of the girls cried at the end as she couldn’t believe she had done it; you don’t get that feeling watching tv on the sofa!!!
I now have a slight obsession with reading all about running much to my husband’s amusement when he asks at night what I'm reading about followed with “you have changed”, our 10 and 7 year olds are obsessed with parkruns and medals (hmmmm wonder where they get that from) and our 10 year old will take himself out for a couple of miles on his own in the rain (that is definitely not from me).
I never thought I would say the words “I want to complete a marathon” and still have a gimmer of hope of doing the London Marathon well until my “sorry” magazine hits my doormat. But it’s something I feel a compulsion to do. I want anyone to think this is something they can do and if little old me who used to faint to get out of PE at school can think about it anyone can. I use Instagram (Chunkygirlrun) to document my running as I feel it makes my accountable and I have a feed full of running people to keep my motivated. And it doesn’t bore my non running friends (what on earth to they do with their free time????)
NOW I’M GEARING UP FOR OUR 9TH MOVE IN TWO WEEKS’ TIME 3.5 HOURS AWAY I KNOW RUNNING IS HOW I WILL MEET PEOPLE AND SETTLE IN; WE ARE ALL BADASS IT JUST TAKES SOME OF US A WHILE TO REALISE IT.