IMG_8003We’re living in strange times. I was rather alarmed to discover that most Covid-19 deaths have affected people in their 50s so far, and to hear that people over 70 might be expected to hide away for four months. I’m inspired by women like Alex Rotas who has filled her twitter feed with photos of active septuagenarians, and who sets a fantastic example herself of getting older with style, and Jo Moseley who paddle boards her way through life and embraces adventure.

And I’m delighted to be 55 today. I started celebrating on Saturday with Ifield Mill Pond park run and breakfast in the wood, and tonight I’m out for dinner with a friend.

After treatment and a couple of scares, I’m delighted to be nearly five years on from my cancer diagnosis and feeling fit and healthy.

I’m delighted to be back to half marathon distance after my stress fracture and with the courage to book in to an autumn marathon – although who knows what will be happening in the world by then.

I’m delighted to be in a job I love, to have an amazing husband, incredible family, and two wonderful granddaughters, to be running a business on the side with two creative women that is, in its own small way, trying to change the world for the better. I’m delighted to be carving spoons, chopping up trees, cooking meals and welcoming people around my table. I’ve grown into my skin in the last few years and feel more assured of my place in the world. I’m aware of how privileged all of this makes me.

And I’m especially delighted with the advantage that this particular birthday brings, of going up an age group as a runner. Instead of being the oldest in my age group for parkrun and races, I’ll now be the youngest for a while – although I know there are lots of fit 59 year olds out there who are still faster than me. And my Good For Age target for the London marathon goes up by a whole five minutes to just over four hours. Well, I can dream!

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