Meet this week’s Teacher Feature…
Name: Davinia Inkson
Role in school: Head of Year 6
Years teaching: 23 years
How long have you been running: 5 Years
What’s your favourite distance to run: Depends on how I feel that day! Anywhere from 5km to HM…
“You are stronger than you think”
Parkrun has a lot to answer for really – I was listening to the radio in 2016 and heard an interview about Parkrun. At the time, I wasn’t doing much regular exercise and was inspired to give Parkrun a try. (In the past, I had only ever run in primary school and absolutely hated it). Not brave enough to go to the parkrun by myself, I roped my husband and three kids in and basically told them that we were all going to run/ walk/ drag ourselves round the 5km course. Obviously they were all delighted by the prospect! I turned up, in old joggers and battered trainers, feeling very much not a runner, but I got round the course – even running some of it. (Needless to say my kids and husband all managed it fairly easily and asked what took me so long when I crossed the finish line!)
There started my love/ hate relationship with running… I progressed onto being a fairly regular parkrunner with the odd other 5km run squeezed in during the week. I would definitely not have called myself a runner and often it felt like more of a chore – I had to go out for a run. I knew it was ‘good for me’ so I kept at it – never more than about 5km and never very fast!
This all changed in December 2019. We were away on holiday in the Lake District with a big group of friends (imagine that – a big group all staying in one building together) – many of whom were what I would have called ‘runners’. Somehow, I got persuaded to go on my first trail run and ran 10km up and down and around the fells. It was hard but I loved it. This got me thinking that maybe I could be a runner.
“I have a captive audience with my Year 6 class who get to hear about all the ups and downs. They keep a tally on the whiteboard with how far I have run this year and they are my biggest cheerleaders”
I’m generally the type of person who goes all in. Once I had made the decision to be a ‘runner’ that was it. I started off running 3km every morning before school and managed 3 months before injury. Lockdown 1 began, and even though I couldn’t run I found getting out for a walk before school kept me sane. Towards the end of lockdown I started back to running but took it very steadily, had rest days and found I started to really enjoy it. I started trying a longer run each week which was painful at first but mind over matter seemed to do the trick – I’m nothing if not determined.
Running has now become a big part of my life. I am not a social runner – preferring to run on my own with my thoughts. It is the only time I get completely to myself, away from kids, school and everything else and I relish it. I am a morning runner, so this means I am up and out before 5.30am most days. I have gradually upped my distance, running longer distances and more miles in a week. I’ve even managed a couple of virtual half marathons – something I never would have thought possible 5 years ago. A friend sent me a quote “You are stronger than you think”. This is so true – I say this to myself when I’m on a long run, drained of energy and just want to stop. It has kept me going more times than I can say.
My family thinks I am slightly bonkers as I do like to sign up for a virtual challenge – especially if a medal is involved! I have made so many virtual friends through running on Twitter – like-minded people who just want to support you on your journey. They don’t judge or worry about the fact that I am slow (or spend far too much time injured). I’ve even turned into one of those people I used to roll my eyes at – I talk about running with anyone and everyone who will listen. I have a captive audience with my Year 6 class who get to hear about all the ups and downs. They keep a tally on the whiteboard with how far I have run this year and they are my biggest cheerleaders – I got a card in December last year from them when I reached 1,000km for the year! I want them to know that anyone can run, even if you don’t ‘look’ like a runner (I most definitely do not). If I inspire even one of them to have a go then I call that a win.
Even though the past year has been difficult for so many reasons, I am grateful that it gave me a love of running which will continue – there are so many challenges left for me to do. The first being my first ‘live’ half marathon in October…
Click the link bellow to follow Davinia’s running journey on Twitter!!!
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