Friday, 12 May 2017

Sewing and Running

After publishing this post at the beginning of the year, it was interesting to discover that there are so many of you who sew and run. This post is a bit of an update on both. Sewing has been pretty much a constant in my life since I first learnt as an adult eight years ago (I was also taught at school, but never encouraged). The timing was perfect as it gave me the focus I needed to stop me dwelling too much on having a disabled child. Sewing is what has kept me sane and happy ever since. 

That all went out of the window a couple of months ago unfortunately, when the challenges at home just became overwhelming. I tried to take my mind off things by sewing but I couldn't concentrate. The more mistakes I made, the more stressed I felt, it was dreadful. When I did eventually have something finished to blog about, I had no energy to write about it and certainly couldn't bring myself to plaster a smile on my face and photograph it. So I made the decision to take a short break from sewing and blogging.

In the meantime I went running. Three times a week without fail I was out there, pounding the pavements and parks of Ealing, sometimes on my own, sometimes with my lovely running group. Being outdoors and doing physical exercise really helped - exercise endorphins do work wonders. I know lots of people run with headphones, but I never have, it was just me and my whirring thoughts. I found the repetition of running quite meditative - a bit like the sound of a sewing machine - I'm sure there's a parallel there somewhere! After each run I felt so much better, my head was clearer and things were more in perspective. 

My second pair of trainers, still box fresh!
Within a few weeks I was sewing and blogging again, perhaps not quite as prolific as before, but definitely back on the horse. Still sewing. And still running. Running will never replace sewing in my life, but it can certainly complement it, and I like how the two can now go hand in hand. And the good news is that all that practice improved my running - I'm now able to run 10K!!! I still find this amazing, considering I couldn't run 10 metres six months ago. My next challenge will be on 17th June - I'll be running my first 10K race to support Charlie's special needs school. It's a wonderful school and they've been so supportive to us, I'd love to raise some money to help Charlie and the other amazing children who attend. If you're feeling generous and have a pound or two to spare, you can donate here. Any sponsorship will be very gratefully received.

With some members of my fab running group 
I have to admit, I'm nervous about this race, which is daft as I know I can run the distance. The thing is, I haven't taken part in any organised sporting event since leaving school, which was over 30 years ago... so let's just say I'm a bit out of practice! My darling sister-in-law recently ran her first 10K race in Australia and said whenever she felt like giving up, she thought of Charlie and carried on. I'm going to use the same tactics. Wish me luck! x




38 comments:

  1. So proud of you and can relate to so many of your thoughts about running.
    I'm running my first 10km event since I was in high school next month... and like you, I know I can run it but it still makes me nervous.
    We can do this xo

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    1. We totally can! Thank you for the encouragement, you'll nail it! x

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  2. Although I don't run I do power walk. I had gotten out of the habit for about the last 4-5 months (basically winter) and have recently started again and you are so right about the getting outdoors and the exercise endorphins making you feel better. I also don't wear headphones and just have my thoughts for company and I often find I sort out some of my sewing related problems in my head when I'm walking and it helps me come up with new projects, and of course can help sort out a troubled mind when one is pounding the pavements! Good luck to you in your race I'm sure you'll do great. Xx

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    1. Yes to everything you've just said Sarah! And thank you. x

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  3. Good luck in the run! I'm a long time runner but have fallen off the wagon a bit lately. I did the Brighton Marathon 10k this year for the first time which was a really great experience. There is something very special about having crowds cheer you on and to be part of something. My advice would be to make sure you run at your pace, it's easy to start to fast with the pack and use up your energy early. Take you time and have fun :) xx

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    1. Thanks Kate! I'm volunteering at the Ealing Half Marathon in September and really looking forward to it, it's such a great community event. Your advice is sound and is the same advice my friend Berni gave me (she's also a long time runner). I'm going to position myself between two pacers and see how I go, I can either keep up with the faster one or drop back to the slower one. I hope it's fun, I'm sure it will be. x

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  4. Well done Jane and good luck with the run! It's great when you find an exercise that you can stick with, and it's so important for our physical and mental wellbeing. I was put off at school but now enjoy kettlebells surprisingly! I hope you raise lots of money for Charlie's school. xx

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    1. Ah thank you so much Grace! I had to look up kettle bells, (that's how exercise savvy I am!), but they look impressive. It's fab when you find something that works for you. xx

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  5. Bravo to you for your persistence and for finding a way to do something to help with the understandable stress. I'm a fast walker, not runner, and seldom use my headphones either. I find it a great way to clear my mind and often find that unexpected ideas and solutions pop up on my four mile walk. Which reminds me to get out and do that right now. Best wishes.

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    1. Thank you Jane! Running definitely clears my head! x

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  6. Amazing how far you can run after only 6 months! Congratulations - it shouldn't be surprising when I have witnessed through your blog the level of commitment and determination you're capable of and have exhibited always in your sewing life :)

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    1. Aw thank you very much Kathleen! x

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  7. What a darling boy you have there, Jane. I bet he is a real gift in many ways. I don't recommend running with headphones on, here in America it is not safe to; women especially should be aware and alert, although in GB it is not as critical. Good on you for getting out there. It turns out running is great for you and also benefits your son. Good luck in your 10K race; but you are a winner anyway.

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    1. Thank you, we think he's a darling too but we're biased! x

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  8. It's totally normal to feel keyed up before a race! I figure that feeling is what makes it different from your usual 10k run. You've done your training, you know you can finish. So let that extra adrenaline push you over the finish line! I'm like you; running and sewing are both great stress busters for me.

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    1. I'm nodding my head at everything you've said, thanks Nancy! x

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  9. You are such a rockstar!! I love reading about all of your makes, and I'm always so impressed that the colors and designs always flatter you so well - I'm jealous of your eye!
    Thank you so much for sharing your story - it's so encouraging to hear that other people are living real lives - and have an amazing race!! You're going to crush it.

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Sophie, I've never been called a rockstar before and am still basking in the glory! x

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  10. Good luck! Happy that you are not ever giving up or giving in!

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  11. Good luck! I work with kids, including special needs kids. I know parents can get overwhelmed, and you are doing just what you should by taking care of yourself. I am also a beginning sewist and get such motivation and inspiration from your blog. Looking forward to seeing your next make!

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    1. Ah thank you and I'm so pleased my blog has inspired you! x

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  12. Well done you! Now you'll be a running inspiration as well as a stitching inspiration!

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  13. I wish you all the luck in the world for the race on 17th. Your blog is an inspiration for me (although I don't think I will take up running, it hurts my knees). Sewing is a great stress reliever, I find, but sometimes you just need something more physical.

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    1. Yes, it was definitely a need for something physical in my case. Thank you Rosemary! x

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  14. What a terrific achievement for you - good luck with the race, you'll be fab I'm sure.

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    1. Awww thanks, fingers crossed! x

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  15. Have followed your blog for years and never made the connection that you lived in Ealing where I lived and worked for a long time. I had close connections to Charlie's school and I'm so pleased to see fundraising for it. The very best of luck in your race and I've made sure to donate.

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    1. Aw that's lovely to hear, thank you so much! I agree, Charlie's school IS wonderful, it's been life changing for us which is why I really want to raise money for them. x

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  16. Well done Jane & ENJOY that race. Like everyone else, I'm certain you'll nail it! What a blessed little boy is Charlie having such caring parents. x

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    1. I hope I will enjoy it, I think the atmosphere of the day will sweep me along! And thank you, we're blessed to have him too. x

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  17. Well done on your running commitment Jane, I too find it clears my head and resets my sense of humour. I love early mornings as the sun comes up, its just getting out of a warm bed in the dark I hate. "Run off the crazy" is my mantra. Good luck for your 10km event, you will blitz it.

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    1. 'Run off the crazy' is an excellent mantra! And thank you for your good wishes. x

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  18. Good luck for your 10k! I've signed up for my first on 4th June and am excited and nervous x

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    1. Oooh good for you Kerry, you'll nail it, of that I'm sure! I'm also excited and nervous, I volunteered at the same race in December and it was such a fab atmosphere I wanted to be part of it! x

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  19. Great post Jane! You've summed up how I feel about both running and sewing really well, it's my 'me time'! Good luck for the race, you'll be fantastic! x

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  20. You did well to continue with a shirt design with all the details after the ironing board incident. I would have jibbed out and gone for the top of that New Look pattern! Jo x

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