Well this week was better. Uncle Bob is stable although very unwell but at least he hasn’t got worse so that is a good thing.
My legs took all week to feel half way decent and that was aided in no small part by the lovely Steve Prosser who massaged them to hell and back. I was very, very grateful for this come run day (not so much at the time …)
I went to spin on Tuesday, then ran out of enthusiasm for anything else (think this is a middle aged thing again!) so didn’t run on Thursday and actually had a really nice work week alongside 2 afternoons off where I pretty much threw out all my belongings – always a very worrying sign of my stress levels when I start tidying and believe me, my flat is currently super tidy….
Had a light day on Saturday doing nothing much except watching the rugby (’nuff said) and early night. Got up nice an early on Sunday to drive to Chelmsford. For some reason I had it in my head that it was 5 hours away so I arrived over 2.5 hours early.
Have to say I also had a panic on getting there as the first sign I was was a sign welcoming me to the Town of Chelmsford. I totally forgot it was only declared a City earlier this year and I spent about 15 minutes trying to get on google to convince myself it was actually a City and cursing that I hadn’t checked this 3 hours previously in Newport! (I have to say that my heart did a tiny, tiny leap of hope when I first saw the sign as I truely thought I might not have to run!)
Being so early meant that at least I could park outside the starting point of the race (the Athletic club) which was fab. Should have taken the name (Athletic club) as a sign. Sat in my car, lazily watching all these people (almost 650 of them) arrive. Started to notice a theme – all of them were “harriers”, “striders” or “runners” ….. and then there was me.
I went into the club house for a look round and I swear every single person knew each other and they were all Olympic standard (well – maybe a bit of an exaggeration). Anyway I left at the point the guy next to me started discussing how tired he was and how he was expecting to be as slow as 50 minutes and how embarrassing that would be…. yep, I dragged my sorry 70 minute self right out of that room as I really started to lose my head.
In a panic I facebooked my worried state and some lovely friends reminded me why I was doing this (for Luca), why it wasn’t a race for me (coz it is for Luca) and why it doesn’t matter where I come (coz it is for Luca).
That helped a bit and so I joined the 649 professionals feeling slightly more upbeat…..for around 1 k ….
I was not allowed to wear headphones in this race. I dislike running at the best of times but without music and with an inablity to run/talk, it was going to be a very, very lonely one hour plus. I actually thought I had overcome this by putting my headphones down my shirt and putting the volume right up but my hearing is not the best and people kept running past thanking me for the update on distance gone, that they could apparently hear really clearly – whilst I was confusedly trotting along not hearing a thing!
I got tuned into a vague beat in the end (not entirely sure it wasn’t actually my own heart beat as sure none of my running songs go quite that fast!) so didn’t feel quite so lonely…
The other runners ran much faster than I am used to and I think I probably ran the first few K at around a 10 or 10.5k an hour pace which I just don’t do. I honestly thought my chest was going to burst. It still hasn’t recovered…
I felt quite smug as I managed (so I thought) to keep up for quite some time. It was only at the end of the race (coming in approximately 647th or 648th) that I realised the noise of the runners behind me that I had been reassuringly hearing all along was actually my race number rustling in the wind and I was pretty much out there as just me! Lucky I didn’t discover that until near the end – my psyche is pretty fragile at the best of times!!!
Anyway, I did it. It was a personal best for me (I give that a whole new definition!) and I got back in my car and drove (this time 5 hours due to traffic jams) right on back home.
Have spent the last week or two eating for Wales for some reason and have put on half a stone. Think in my head I am an athlete and body wise the one 10k a week with a bit of spin and a massage aren’t quite eating the calories in the same way that I am. This has to stop – even my compression tights felt …… well…. tight – can’t be lugging around all this extra weight as to be honest, it’s pretty much an all out effort with just the normal weight!
Oh, other good news! the people I get my vitamins from ran a competition to offer small bursaries to people self funding challenges and I won one of them! This will go towards helping me pay for race entries and also travel etc (because at the moment I think that I have spent more than I have raised – mostly of other peoples money – thanks mam and dad and kerry!)
Other people have kindly helped me – I am still going on about the lovely Wynne Evans (Go Compare) who just upped and paid for my running shirts – awesome, lovely man, Steve Prosser – refusing offers to pay him for massages, Jeremy Williams – my “physio on the end of the phone every single time something hurts and I panic that my life and my challenge is over” and so many others.
So, this week will be a huge, huge thank you to my friend Matt who is letting me use his flat as free accomodation (again!) and I am off to Bradford – hoping the sun is shining and the weather…..warm??? See ya! x