Monday, 13 May 2019

A True Story - Running Kind by Christine Stovell

Am I the running kind? I'm not sure, but I would like to think I am. I started running around five years ago at the tender age of sixty. I’m not, yet, into marathons or even half marathons, though I would like to think, one day, I could run the London Marathon. So far I have ran in several 10km races. My PB in a race was 1 hour 13 seconds. I think this will remain my PB for a very long time…! Today I am honoured to have the lovely Christine Stovell sitting round my pool talking about how slipping on a pair of trainers changed her life. Her latest book, Running Kind, is a true story, and at times, an emotional one, but more importantly it is an inspirational story for everyone and demonstrates no matter what life throws at you, you can find a way back. So please make yourself comfortable, help yourself to a glass of bubbly and meet my wonderful guest, Christine

I know I’ve said it before and I’ll definitely say it again, but the biggest favour I ever did myself was to become a runner. That’s the reason why I try to encourage other people to become the running kind.

I was at my absolute rock bottom when I attempted my first run… I’d like to say everything changed at that point, but, sadly, that first run was a complete disaster! I never lost the feeling though that I could become the running kind and when a friend inspired me to join a women’s running club, The Epsom Allsorts Ladies Running Club, I gradually grew in confidence and rediscovered my self-esteem. The club brought me laughter, friendship, joy and instilled a love of running which, over twenty years, has taken me from running scared to running half marathons. Running has carried me through some of the most difficult moments of my life and enhanced the happiest times.

It’s not just me though; when a parkrun was set up in my part of West Wales, I joined in and became part of the growing parkrun movement. These free, weekly 5k timed runs are open to everyone. People of all abilities are encouraged to take part; you can walk, run at whatever pace suits you or help out by volunteering for any of the tasks which make a parkrun event possible. It’s an absolute joy to watch people who certainly don’t think of themselves as runners, blossoming, growing and becoming more confident every week - their smiles say it all.

That’s all very well, you might say, but what if I don’t have a parkrun or can’t get to it? There were no parkruns when I started running, I gradually found my own feet, and that’s part of the reason I decided to write, Running Kind. By sharing my very personal story of my enduring love affair with running, I’m hoping to encourage others to lace up their trainers and give it go. My message is that running really doesn’t have to hurt; listen to your body, run when you can and when you want to and discover what works for you - all you have to do is take one step, and then a second.

Christine Stovell didn’t think she was the running kind. Running, she believed, was for elite athletes and hardcore fitness freaks. Then, after causing a local scandal, she found herself hiding in her parents’ loft with her two young daughters and decided to try running as a means of escape. That attempt ended so painfully it was four years before she felt brave enough to try another run.

Christine's story takes her from running scared to running half marathons. In twenty years, she’s run through sad, bad and good times and dealt with everything from territorial pheasants to scary loos. 
Above all, she’s discovered not only that running doesn’t have to hurt, but that it has a great capacity to heal

If you’ve ever been tempted to try running but think it isn’t for you, Christine’s experience might just convince you that you too can become the running kind.

About the author: Christine Stovell
Setting sail, with her husband, from a sleepy seaside resort in a vintage wooden boat provided Christine Stovell with the inspiration for her ‘Little Spitmarsh’ series of novels, but never cured her seasickness although she continues to sail.

Christine lives on the beautiful west Wales coast where long-distance running helps her plan her plots and inspired her to write her running guide, 'Running Kind'. Half marathons, she thinks, especially when the going gets tough, are like the writing process; both begin with small steps.

Here is the link to buy your Kindle copy...

As well as writing long and short contemporary fiction and poetry, Christine has written features for various magazines and is a regular contributor to The English Home magazine.
Twitter: @chrisstovell

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