Alison Cowling

Alison Cowling

Director | Actor | Musician | Writer

Running and Hope

The fifth entry of The Running Diaries, a hop, skip and a jump of a run…

This was a week of play, PB’s and hope! The sense of the lighter evenings were really hitting home. Yay! January Tick. Bring on February.

S T A R T   L I N E

Monday felt like such a fresh new start – a new month and hopefully some new beginnings. After cycling to and from work, I still found enough energy to try for a 5K PB. Though it was a silver medal for me on Strava, I was still super happy with the session, pounding the pavements to run at one of my quickest paces.

H A L F W A Y   P O I N T

Thursday evening, I knocked out a 10K PB through the city centre, past old uni haunts and even stopped to grab a photo, thanking a person who stopped to let me take the pic… who turned out to be my housemate walking home (We raced each other back… I won! 😛 ) I had loads of energy, felt super strong… I have a feeling it was down to the massive slice of pizza and chips I had at lunch! With the super cold weather, I’ve noticed having big hot carbey dinners at lunchtime is so nice, but also massively helping my speed and motivation for evening runs!

H O M E   S T R A I G H T

Friday’s run was by far my favourite run of the week and I nearly didn’t go! The weather was being such a temptress, dilly dallying with what she wanted to do, with a bit of rain here and a bit of sun there. It was Children’s mental health week and after spending a morning of doing and leading mindfulness and creative activities at work, it recharged me so much I knew I had to head out despite the Weather Queen serving all seasons’ looks every ten minutes. I headed slowly and steadily to one of my favourite spots, the epic Troopers Hill and stopped. Stood. And watched the clouds as they moved across the sky. It was so beautiful and I felt such a wave of happiness and hopefulness. I felt excited to ride this feeling. It spurred me on home and I realized when I climbed into bed, it had been a simple, yet one of my happiest days in lockdown.

F I N I S H   L I N E

Just like on runs, I don’t always feel buzzing or happy or strong. So I know feelings of ups will be followed by feelings of downs. But finding joy and laughter in the small things is like a super power at the moment. Like looking up at the trees, drawing cartoons, making up silly songs based on my mum’s funny WhatsApp voice notes (“Be assertive and say…” 😂), laughing as the wind blew away my favourite shopping bag (at least I could run down the street after it), making and eating an awesome brunch, playing football with my housemate, finding a brand new spot in the local park and stopping to listen to the hidden stream. Or heading out on another run around the block.

Ultimately I am hopeful for a lot of things. I am hopeful that it’s going to be alright with loads more days of joy and play. Hopeful that every day there is something to make me smile and laugh even when I’m on a run. And hey on that note, I’m hopeful that the state of the world is going to be okay… when we have the Handforth Parish Council to keep us entertained!


Soundtrack to this entry: ‘Miss You’ Gabrielle Aplin – discovered this song this week and I’ve loved running to it. Though I miss my family, I’m so hopeful for the future. ‘I miss you too, It’s all I ever do, I’m coming back to you, and I won’t let go again’

Snack for this entry: Pizza and Chips!