Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Running on empty meets running on empty!

  I didn't mention earlier in the week when referring to Sunday's run with Jon W. that we were joined for a couple of miles by a 3rd runner; a very capable looking young lady who had crossed  one of the canal bridges in front of us and run ahead on the towpath.  Naturally our pace quickened...
 We caught up to her and she ran with us until we reached 5 Rise Locks where we turned back and she carried on.  But the couple of miles we shared were long enough for us to ask her about her running.  Usual obvious questions, "Do you run for a club?" " Run any races lately?" 
 I was expecting to hear about some good performances but neither of us expected to hear that she was a former Great Britian and England team member as a junior;  a highlight being  a 4th in the World Junior Cross County Champs. as a member of a south of England club, Parkside Harriers.  She has performed excellently up to a couple of years ago but it was her experience with coping with the development of an eating disorder which perhaps colours her present running approach.

 ALLIE OUTRAM  learnt that her  eating disorder problem, was shared by many other females in the G.B. team  and  has written a book called RUNNING ON EMPTY in which, I read, she describes with  "heartbreaking candour and poignant intimacy" "the complexities and inner struggles of her battles with anorexia" (Amazon product description). 

Allie has without doubt written her book  to increase awareness of anorexia and  bring the hope of a brighter, healthier, more successful future for sufferers ;  as she now enjoys. 
A  world class runner writing to inspire others trying to cope with a disease which we learn this week is even touching the lives of children as young as 5 years old. 
She "lifts the lid" on an international scene in which she could almost justify,  whilst concealing,  her "eating disordered behaviour".   An obsession with weight which she says many coaches actually encouraged; hopefully without realising thedamage they wre doing.
 She is currently helping others in her role as a psychological wellbeing practitioner.  But,  having reached the top rungs  on the running ladder of success, is at the moment not quite ready to accept slower times than those she previously enjoyed.  Far from alone in that view.


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