Post Durham, Newcastle and Ripon – week 19!!!

Well at the beginning of this week I wasn’t expecting to have done 4 10k runs! I ran as you know, in Ely on Monday. I didn’t do anything at all on Tuesday and Wednesday as I was recovering then I had to go to work. On Thursday, Mam and I left Newport at around 10 am for a mini road trip. The plan originally was to do a random run of my own in Durham on the Thursday afternoon and then to do a park run in Newcastle on the Saturday.

I then changed my mind and thought I would do a random run in Newcastle on the Friday so that we could then drive home so that Mam was at home for Mam and Dad’s 50th Wedding Anniversary which was today.

As we were driving the almost 5 hour journey to Durham, we passed a signpost for Ripon. I am booked to do a run there in Feb but as Mam and I started casually talking about how near it was to the other Cities and about how long (and expensive) the driving and accomodation was, we both came up with the thought of running in Ripon the day after Newcastle and Durham.

We decided to take it a day at a time and see how things went. We got to Durham at around 3 ish and parked in the Botanical Gardens. We had a mini – “is this a City and where is the Cathedral” panic which got sorted by finding a local map. Our consciences took over and we went to ask the staff at the Gardens if it would be ok to leave the car there and if not, Mam was going to pay the entry fee to the Gardens. Very kindly they let us park and we planned for mam to walk in the direction I was running and I would go ahead and meet her on the way back. I managed to lose her at the first corner out of the car park and considering we were travelling pretty much in a straight line, we didn’t managed to find each other until I had almost finished the 10k. Together we were proving pretty dangerous!

During my run, Mam had made friends with the lady at the Gardens and she actually donated some money to Luca’s fund which was lovely and amazing.

I then tried to get a photo taken (as I always do in each City) at the end of the run. It was dark. I was very tired, cold and hungry. We went down to the front door of the botanical gardens centre and, happy days, a security light came on. We thought this was the answer to our prayers! What a total farce followed. The light stayed on for around 5 seconds and mam (with her MS coordination difficulties adding to the issue of very little time to actually focus and take the photo) commenced taking around 10 fotos which at the time caused me to totally lose my temper but on looking at them now are pretty hysterical.

The crosser I got, the more mam got flustered and the worse the pictures became. As fast as I could run to make the light come on, by the time I got to the map to take the photo, it had gone out again. Whilst this was happening, mam would press the shutter in agitation at varying points and I have a variety of photos of parts of my body, of none of my body, of the map, of no map and of total darkness. In the end I am sad to say I got too cross to keep trying and we found Durham Uni and drove in and took a foto there- look closely at me – I am having a proper teenage strop!

Anyway, we then drove (very tiredly) onto Newcastle. We found our hotel which was dead cheap but actually superlush and got lost following the lovely and helpful staff’s directions to eating places. We had a lovely meal (eventually) in a Tapas bar and made it back to our room in time for an early night.

The next morning we got up at 8.30 and had breakfast. We walked down towards the River Tyne and I ran up and down the riverside which was actually lovely. Mam walked too, made friends with more random passers bys and learned a lot of the Newcastle history which was cool. We had coffee and a cake at the end of the run, in the Life Centre and then went back to the hotel.

We were going to go shopping after my shower but I actually was really tired and hurt quite a bit so we had a lovely meal and then went to the movies to see Jack Reacher. I had booked tickets and in a mad 5 minutes had thought I was going to the theatre so booked seats really too near the front. We knew not many people had booked tickets when we had so we figured it would be ok to move to another set of seats. We then held our breath everytime new people came into the Cinema as we thought by the numbers coming in that we had probably now sat in someones seat and we would have to embarassingly move when they came irately to sit where we had placed ourselves.

Mam started giggling everytime people came in as I sank further and further into my seat wishing the floor would swallow me up as I knew that we were going to have to move back to where we had come from in front of all the people that had just watched us move to our new seats. It all went so well until just as the movie was going to start when people came into our row on either side of us. Mam was a bit uncontrollable at this point so I think this and my mad impression of innocence prevented anyone from demanding their seats back. You can’t take my mam anywhere!!!

After the movies we went back to the Hotel and decided to get up early today and decide on the Ripon run – yes or no, when we got up.

As it was, we decided that we couldn’t not go to Ripon really as it would give me a week to “bank” for the future, it would save me driving 9 hrs there and back on my own and also it would save an overnight stay cost.

We parked next to the canal and Cathedral and I started a run again. My leg and knees really really hurt and it was tough going. Mam, yet again, walked for an hour and we finally finished run 3 of 3 in 3 days at around 11.30. We took the appropriate fotos (getting better at this each time!) and then started the 4 hr journey home.

I was very happy to get home and very, very tired. I am so happy we decided to do the 3 runs although my knee and leg are not so pleased. I am having a massage tomorrow (yayy to Steve Prosser) and am hoping that rejuvenates me.

This mad 3 days was pretty special. I LOVE MY MAM AND DAD. I love Mam because despite her multiple sclerosis affecting memory, balance, sensation and energy levels, she walked on her own during all of my runs for around an hour and raised her hand for Luca too. She could have sat in the car but she took part in my challenge and she made sure I was fed and watered too. I love my Dad because he agreed that Mam should come with me to Newcastle despite that meaning she would not be home till around 5pm on the day of their Golden Wedding Anniversary.

I think that pretty much sums up the support that Luca inspires – people keeping on trying even if it is not easy and people are giving up things like their time on their anniversary to help to raise money for him. Makes Luca a pretty cool dude don’t you think?

Off to bed now and then back to work on Monday. As you will see I am now chronologically week 19 but actually have completed 20 races!!! Only 49 to go!!! Running in Plymouth next weekend – can’t wait!!!???!!!

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