STARS 28.01.19

I ran by the light of the stars earlier today. Most of creation hadn't quite woken up and the fields were dark and silent. Although I felt very small under the vast speckled canopy it also felt a huge privilege to be allowed to share the morning with the frosty grass and the incredible sky. A crescent moon reminded me of Little Pearl my adopted moon bear in China and again I found myself just full of thankfulness for the gift of life and creation and friends. So heres to everyone facing challenges that take all their strength – and heres to the stars – the ones in the sky and the ones in our lives who make us feel special and shine light into our dark times

Morning Mist 21.01.19

 It was clear when I set out on my run this morning but after about 20 minutes the mist suddenly blanketed the countryside. Trees became shadows, fields disappeared and the whole feel of the morning changed Although it was quite eerie, it was wonderful too. The feeling of being enveloped in a beautiful mystery and part of something bigger than myself as the sky and earth became one and everything seemed so connected was just amazing. Gradually the novelty wore off as the damp got into me and I trudged back to my cabin chilled through. The magic didn't last long but while it did it was just the best. An unexpected blessing which I will remember for a long time.

STOKE STAMPEDE 6.01.19

I nearly talked myself out of running this 10k I have felt so wretched and lacking in energy I really didn't think I would manage the 6mile course with its 'interesting undulations'! With some encouragement from a friend i  I gave it a go and was so pleased that i did. Mentally it has helped me feel i have turned a corner and physically it is a step along the way to London.

The thing that struck me most on the day was just how many volunteers are  needed to make events like this happen. As i stood waiting for the mini bus back i made a promise to volunteer at an event this year and when my running days are over to join the ranks of the unsung heroes who week in week out give time and energy to their communities and beyond.

Thank you everyone who made yesterday possible - i finished in 1 hour 7mins and 51 seconds and raised £102 for LACS

First Run of 2019

My marathon training started in earnest today and I know it will be a huge challenges as I battle against the weather, tiredness and the emotional ups and downs of pushing myself to the limit. Our world too faces huge challenges at the beginning of this New Year. Not least the challenge of seeing animals as sentient beings, not trophies, or commodities or play things. The challenge of recognising that every child is unique and has different gifts and qualities that might not seem much in the worlds eyes but which none the less make them beautiful. The challenge of seeing the planet as our responsibility not our dumping ground. The challenge of living simply, respectfully and courageously. Heres to each one of us in 2019. Whatever we have to face – challenges, joys, sadnesses- lets face them together...... xxx

NEVER AGAIN !!

At mile 14  last year in the London  Marathon when i was really ill - I said never again

As wretched  and sick i dragged myself step by step through the crowded streets, feeling dizzy and done in - I said never again

Even as i  crossede finishing line and held the medal in my hand- i said never again

When VICTA contacted me and invited me to run for them again in 2019 i said

BRING IT ON!!

This is the link  if you would like to sponsor me

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LynneChitty

THESE ARE FOR SALE IN AID OF VICTA £35ono

RECYCLED NOTEBOOK £5 including postage MONEY TO VICTA

When Tragedy Strikes

 Heart broken to hear of two deaths at the Cardiff half marathon yesterday. A young man aged 25 running with his girlfriend and a 32 year old husband and father. It's so hard to bear when they and thousands of others train hard, and sign up to run for charity to make the world a better place. Running is a wonderful sport that allows the solitary to interact with crowds. It allows the lonely to find friends and it helps everyone believe in themselves again or perhaps for the first time. It's not about running fast (although Mo Farahs time at Chicago was incredible) it is about taking part. About walking when you need to. Crying when its tough. Jumping for joy when you finish a race you never believed you could even start. It's about the amazing crowds who cheer you on. The strangers who stop and make sure you are ok. The smile on the faces of the volunteers who give you the medal at the end. Medals that represent so much. They aren't just bits of metal. They are are hearts breaking and yet overcoming. They are bodies broken but brave enoiugh to still try. They are about hope and courage and love. The leaves are falling like tears from the trees in the garden as I write this. Golds, reds, browns, yellows, greens. So beautiful and yet just here for a time. Sending prayers and love to those grieving the loss of those two runners yesterday and to everyone who is struggling with tragedy. May we all support one another, have time for one another and whether we run, or walk or whether active days are no longer possible, lets keep making our world a brighter place through friendship, compassion and love.

THE GREAT NORTH RUN

A slope they called it
But they weren't running were they.
On and on
Up and up

The last water gone
Like legs
with nothing left
except blisters, cramp,
tiredness beyond enduring

inch by inch
lamp post by lamp post
until the road levelled
and a sea breeze
cheered as beautifully as the crowd.

So I attacked
with all my 'I can do this'
as the line began to call
and a medal was hung round my neck

The Great North Run
To die for …......

SUICIDE AWARENESS DAY

Most of you reading this will have at some time in your life been deeply affected by the suicide of someone close. Yesterday at the Great North Run there were several runners wearing vests with photos of people they had lost to suicide. It was inspiring that they were running but tragic at just how many people die this way. 6,213 deaths in 2017 in the UK is hard to bear.
Today is National Suicide Awareness Day and I had a quiet moment this morning remembering those I've known and those I know who are living with the terrible grief and devastation that suicide leaves in its wake.
I finished the run in 2.28.41 – I saw the Red Arrows, I crossed the Tyne Bridge, I met Katrine Switzer, I even learned a new song about baby sharks! What I will remember most though is the courage, the tears, the triumps and the sheer guts of those who ran. Mo Farah was awesome as he always is and deserves every accolade. But there were thousands more there yesterday whose names we don't know who were equally incredible, even if, or maybe especially if they finished at the back.

 

 

LOVE LIVES ON 05.09.18

On Sunday I will be taking part in the Great North Run – not for moon bears this time but for Pudsey Bear and Children in Need. I am running in memory of a little girl Vanessa whose story both broke my heart and made me smile. She loved life, loved to sing and was an absolute joy. It is the first anniversary of her death this weekend. She was 9.

The race is full of people running in memory of those they loved and one story that has touched me so much is of Chloe and Liams family.Chloe and Liam were killed in the Manchester bombing and their mothers are running the race together. They have formed the Chloe and Liam Forever Together Trust and have refused to let the terrible events of that night define them or for hated and death to have the last word, They embody courage- they inspire hope and they say to the world that Love – even love that has been so tragically cut short in Liam and Chloes lives, that love can never be overcome. It goes on living. It goes on shining light in the darkness. It goes on making our world, amidst all the challenges, amd destruction, the beautiful place that it is.

 

 

Chloe and Liam

Brave Mums

ONE MAN AND HIS DOG

It was hard this morning and I envied the trees their grace of movement as the early morning breeze caressed their branches and made them dance. My ungainly, higgedly piggedly running style seemed out of place and I wished I could be the bird above me, effortlessly hanging in the air, watching as I huffed and puffed, straining to put one foot in front of the other. I still had nearly an hour to run and my thoughts were beginning to get really negative, when I spotted an elderly man, walking an even more elderly dog in the neighbouring field. They were slow and arthritic and yet togeher as they walked side by side, their cheered my heart as I thought of all the years they must have spent together. All the fun and laughter and tears and hopes. I looked up again at the elegant trees as they towered over me and found the energy to wave at them. I waved at the buzzard circling in the sky, and I waved at the old man and his dog, and he waved back which was like a crowd of a thousand cheering me on. With renewed confidence and all thoughts of my clumsiness forgotten, I made it home smiling at the thought of the old farmer and his black lab in front of their fire together and hoping they would still have many more walks together to come.


 

 

YEAST 23.08.18

I was only doing a short run this morning so I took a chance and got the breadmaking under way before I set out.I kneaded the dough and left it to rise. It is always such a Wow moment when the yeast invisibly sets to work and the dough doubles in size. As I ran I began to ponder on what might be the runners (or cyclists or swimmers!) equivalent of yeast. What is the mysterious ingredient in us that helps us to achieve more than we ever thought possible. To double in confidence and to rise up and overcome tiredness, doubt and fear. Is it Passion ? Hope? Love? Faith?

I thought that my yeast was probably 'longing' A longing to overcome past illness and mistakes. A longing to raise funds that will help to make the lives of others better. A longing to somehow make the world a better pace and defeat cruelty and injustice and poverty. A longing to give life my best shot.

I did make it back in time to knead the dough a second time and got the bread in the oven in time for the guests breakfast, but only just!

Only 3 weeks to go now to the Great North Run and I hope that 'yeast' will work its magic for all who are training. That we will be able to overcome the struggles, not get injured and line up together for a wonderful Wow moment in the North East

 

 

The Empowering Joy of Running

 

If you had said ten years ago that I would be training for the London Marathon I would never have believed you. I couldn't run. I wasn't comfortable with my body. I had little confidence. When I turned fifty it suddenly hit me that my years were racing by, my life was slipping through my fingers so slowly but surely I began to dream dreams. Little ones at first. Then gradually they got bigger and bigger.

After watching the London Marathon and being in tears at the emotional of the day, the inspiiring stories of the runners and the overwhelming support of the crowds, my marathon dream was born. It has taken a few years to come true but what has been so unexpected and such a joy has been the way that running has not only connected me with creation as I run but has given me a pride and a respect for my body, which coming from someone who sef harmed for many years is amazing and transforming.

I have grown in confidence, I have grown in a belief that I can overcome setbacks. I can keep gloing when I hurt. I can begin again when I fail and most of all I can make a difference through fundraisiing and in encouraging others to run. I am free in a way that I have never been free before, and the scars on my body have become reminders of how far I have come not a cause of crippling shame.

There are hard times in the training as there are in life Yesterday I ran to the rhythm of the earth and the music of creation. This morning the only sounds in my head were the thud of my feet hitting the ground and the drone of the motorway traffic in the distance. It struck me again how much easier it is to be physically fit than to be mentally strong I could think of a dozen valid reasons for stopping and every step was a struggle. I eventually remembered an interview by Mauricio Pochettino one of my heroes. Spurs had played a lot of games in a short space of time and the interviewer said "I guess it will be rest rest rest now for the players" Poch said "no it will be train train train!!!" he had a smile on his face and that smile helped take the pressure off. I am running for the joy of it, I'm running because I'm alive and well and because I can. I'm running for a charity I believe in and I am running in one of the most emotional and inspiring events in the Sporting Calendar. How good is that! The last couple of miles passed much faster and I have a sneaking suspicion there might even have been a smile on my face as I finished!!!

The empowering joy of running is one of the most precious things in my life. London here I come!

 

 

After my first ever race a 10k which didn't go well!!!

IN PRAISE OF SATSUMAS

I am thinking of founding the Worldwide Satsuma Society!! On sunday 22nd April 14 miles into the London Marathon I had to stop and was terribly sick(an intolerance to energy gels!) Despair threatened to overwhelm me, my marathon dream was in tatters and I was sobbing because the finish line seemed so far away. I trudged on for a bit and after a mile or so a lady in the crowd offered me a satsuma It gave me a massive surge of energy and belief that it was still possible to overcome the pain and exhaustion and make it to the end. I even managed to start running again! Hope was reborn and the dream was back on.
For me, a satsuma will forever be a symbol of kindness - a small act of generosity, a simple word of encouragement from a lady I will never meet again and who will never know what she did for me.

Kindness is one of the fruits of the spirit. One of the less glamourous ones perhaps and one that we can easily overlook. Yet it is one we can share with friend and stranger every day of our lives in hundreds of different ways.
Sometimes the worlds problems seem so huge and we feel so small but we can make a difference, we really can..So give someone a satsuma today and turn our grey world a spirit filled orange!!!!

 

 

The Asics I Move London Relay July 2018

 

I was one of over 1400 runners who took part In the Guiness World Record Breaking relay. We  all held and and passed the baton on raising nearly £30,000 for young people in London  in the process. It has made me reflect on my life and what baton i will be passing on when my work is done and my days end I hope it might be the baton of love for animals- love that sheds the light of compassion into the darkest places of cruelty. Also the baton of respect for those brave enough to talk about depression and anxiety - bringing understanding and companionship where fear has led so many to suffer in silence behind closed doors. The baton of faith where confidence in the church seems at all time low.  Our batons are our legacy, they matter. We might not break many world records but we can all try to break down barriers or prejudice, hatred and stigma. Lets do it!!

On a light hearted note this was the poem I wrote about the relay. Rod was the nickname for the baton!!

 

Ode to Rod and the relay runners!

Rod's been held by many hands Been passed from friend to friend And though the relay's over The running will not end

We'll run on for the homeless Whose self esteem is low We'll run on if we're speedy We'll run on if we're slow

We'll run to raise awareness We'll run to bring kids hope To give them other options Than gangs and crime and dope

We'll run for those in turmoil Those trapped by mental pain We'll run down their depression, In sun and wind and rain

For we are I move runners And we're a hardy lot We'll run on for our city, Keep giving all we've got

So Rod you broke the record And we're all mega proud An awesome feat of running By a truly awesome crowd

 

 

 

 

 

Passing on the baton