Well if you'd told me at the start of the year that life would be what it is now, I'd have told you you must be stark raving mad!
Life is good 😊.
Genuinely good 😊.
Havent blogged in ages, but actually, haven't really felt the need.
I've known for a long time that writing this blog is a cathartic craft for me, but honestly, since Jo Fielding's party on January 13th, there has been nothing to purge, nothing to cleanse.
For the first time in a very long time, certainly the first time my entire adult life, I am truly, deeply happy 😊.
The dual crutches of running and then writing about it, the props that have held me up for so long, have been suddenly no longer required.
It's a lovely feeling 😊.
I do feel a certain sense of guilt at having suddenly sort of checked out of my running life.
I've made such brilliant friends here, on this website, at the club, people I've met at races - you all know who you are. I don't want or mean to be neglectful of you.
I won't be.
I'm still here.
I'm still me.
The biggest difference now is, I am with a wonderful woman who loves me precisely for exactly that, being me.
Couldn't be more opposite to the marriage I'd endured these last few years, where I've felt hated for the very same thing.
Anyhow, this is a blog that's meant to be about running, so I'll try and concentrate on that:
January had all gone so well. At least in terms of running it had.
Then along came February and another injury to add to the list. Ok, maybe it was more just a repeat of an old one - familiar pain from the bones of a once broken, and more recently (though even that's a year and a half now) stress fractured foot.
Rest required. I couldn't manage running with that going on down my left side and a still dodgy knee on the right. Sadly resting proved disastrous for the knee.
It would be February 28th before I laced my shoes again for a run. New shoes 😊. Turns out I ran nearly 900 miles in my last pair of trainers. Replacement is recommended between 300 and 500 miles. No wonder they'd gone so tatty looking 🙄. Maybe that was a factor in why my foot had started to hurt?
March's running endeavours have produced a mixed bag so far.
The pinnacle of performance would be last Monday's club run, something I don't normally get to do. I arrived about 15 minutes late, took a guess on which route would give me the best chance of catching up with afew of my clubmates, ran hard to try and catch them but failed, then found out after everyone had all gone different routes to the one I took 😂.
The pinnacle of running enjoyment would be, in a nutshell, every time I put on my trainers to head out for a run with Clair. To be running literally side by side with her fills me with almost overwhelming pride 😁.
I love this woman 😁.
She loves me 😁.
To the outside world it may appear perilously early to be throwing about the L word like that, but this is a story that's been building since way back in 1988.
There's 5 years between us. It was a lot back then. She has told me how she remembers with crystal clarity the day she first looked at me and swooned. When she described that day to me, I had perfect recollection of it too. I was already driving a car. She was just 13.
I was a bit of an idiot back then. Crashed that car into a tree ☹️. Clair was one of the passengers in the back the night that I did that. She bears a scar on her leg from the impact of that crash. She's every right to be angry at me for the consequences of my heavy right foot, but she's not. Instead her over-riding memory of that night is of swooning because I paid her some attention, trying to check if she was ok.
It was when we first got together, after my mate's (Clair's cousin's) wedding, some 13 years on from that crash, that I got to know about that scar.
We were good together then, but, actually, in different ways, for different reasons, we were both very damaged people at that particular time of life. My daughter thought the world of Clair, and Clair the world of her. Somewhere in the middle of that, I was not a strong enough person at the time to be able to give either of my girls what they really needed, and Clair and I drifted apart.
She gave me the most amazing time I'd ever had. She filled me with more happiness than I'd ever felt with anyone else. She moved 40 odd miles to come and live with me - and I went and cocked it up 😭.
I was too afraid to tell her the words she needed to hear;
"Clair Forrest, I love you"
So there was no blazing row, no painful break up, we just drifted - and seperately, despite AND equally, because of our other relationships that followed - we have kicked ourselves ever since.
13 years on from there, we've been given a second chance 😊.
No more kicking now.
No more weakness.
The pair of us are like giddy teenagers right now. I'm sure things will calm down in the long run and steadily we'll drift back into the other aspects of our lives.
I believe our future will be together.
I can't conjur up an image of it any other way.
Don't want it any other way.
We were good together then, but we are brilliant together now 😁.
13 years on from this photograph, Phoebe stands at least as tall as Clair now (she looked taller but had heels on) and now she is driving a car 😮.
Clair says 13 is her lucky number.
It certainly has popped up a good few times in the process of writing this.
This girl when she was doodling in her exercise books at school, was doodling about how in love she was with me!
If anyone is lucky here Clair, that person is definitely me. Xxx
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