Really going to have to get on top of this blog writing. Not only are the weeks blurring into one but my memory issues (an age thing!) are playing havoc with writing about what actually happened!
The week before Aberdeen passed in a frenzy of working, sleeping and eating. The Wales on Sunday kindly decided to run an article on my challenge and I met a photographer in the park near where I live for “action shots” (ha ha). Unfortunately he appeared to think I was a fitness fanatic and so decided to take photos with me jumping over a tree stump (to look more “action”). Tried it a few times. Looked very wrong and on the last attempt I fell over my own ankle and did something very painful to my inside calf. That stripped me of any athletic delusions of grandeur. Went to yoga but lay off kettlebells in case of further injury and spent the evening covered in ice and feeling very sorry for myself.
The next afternoon (as I was getting ready to leave before flying (with Mam this time) I went to print off our boarding passes. We had to stay in Birmingham on the Friday night as check in was at 5am on Saturday morning after flybe moved the much more civilised flight time that I had originally booked.
Anyway, mam sorted hotel and parking and paid me for her ticket to Aberdeen. All straightforward until I could not find the boarding pass for Mam. So after laughing at her hopeless memory and taking the moral high ground every time she forgot something, it turned out that I had actually forgotten to book her on the plane to come with me!!!
Normally it is just luggage I forget – to forget my own mother took it to a whole new level. Fortunately there was a seat left on the flight so I booked it (no longer a good financial deal – doh!!!)
Got to our lovely overnight hotel, got cross there was only one bed, found the other bed disguised as a sofa and finally settled down around 11.30pm. We then got up at 4.45am – completely rested – not!
We “had” to get breakfast as we had paid for it and we felt compelled to therefore have it. The very kind guy brought out a healthy selection of pringles, alpen bars, yoghurts and pastries and we took plenty (including mam’s infamous yoghurt – more of that later). Went through customs (“Birmingham airport can’t be big can it – sure we can check in 1/2 hr before flight” “it’s an international airport” “oh, maybe leave an hour then” ……..”Birmingham airport is huge!, what a massive queue there is to go through to departures……lucky we left an hour eh?” “yes mam”) We “downed” our orange juice against our will but we had paid for it so were drinking it even if not thirsty and got onto the flight exhausted. We sat in separate seats due my issue with forgetting to book mam onto the flight
Got to Aberdeen, walked around a hundred miles to the hotel, looking around on the way. Tried to go in Tourist info then realised that it was that early we were probably the only people in Scotland awake. We fought off the horrendous weather, found our hotel around 6 hours too early to check in and for some reason they said help yourself to breakfast. Ate breakfast and then I fell asleep on their sofas and mam kept guard.
A couple of hours later we were off to explore Aberdeen. We found the start of the race for the next day (walked in gale force storm to get there), went shopping for winter clothes, laughed hysterically at the only hats left now it was “summer” (mam ended up with a running hat (!) as did I and we decided it did not matter that we were wearing “her and her” hats as no one would recognise us in Scotland.)
We bought an umbrella, ate in Jamie’s Kitchen (amazing young waiter gave me money for Luca – how lovely was that!) and I had my fringe cut. We then bought snacks in M and S and went back to the hotel to check in and do nothing. We pretty much could have been anywhere for all the sightseeing we did (well not anywhere – at home it was beautiful and sunny – in Aberdeen we had stepped back into November)
The next day (after a good nights sleep once I had blocked out the late night, early morning revellers noise), we walked to the start of the run. There were masses of people, it was really well organised and we started in waves as usual. I had delusions of grandeur and started in the 51-60 minute wave – ha ha!
The run itself was fab – weather just right and course flat. I ran a PB – yay! (still walking pace for most people but I was proud!) and then got a taxi (eventually) to the airport. We sank into the plane seats (swapped with a very kind man which meant we actually sat next to each other) and eventually landed in beautiful sunshine in Birmingham. We drove home, I borrowed Mam and Dad’s bath (again!) and I collapsed in a heap for the evening. The calf held out (just!)
I went to bed at 9 as usual and so the week began again! Next week a double header of Manchester on Sunday (with mam and dad) and then London on Monday (on my own) Sure that is going to go without a hitch!
On a final note, I really realised this weekend how much I am helped by my Mam/Dad/Sister/Brother in Law and Niece, especially with my “baggage” (only the physical stuff – I am unhelpable with the emotional stuff!). It is lifesaving (possibly literally at times!) to be able to wear my warm jacket to the last minute and to not have to worry about leaving and picking up my bags. I did however think that this time I had pushed mam to the limit when I realised the start and finish were not at the same place, there were around 5000 people present and mam was carrying a rucksack, bag and 2 food bags, walking up and down the uneven ground of the field we were in……
Finally, to remind you about the yoghurt – it followed us through the weekend – as she had paid for it, mam was going to eat it at any cost! Unfortunately we either didn’t have it with us when she was hungry or it was in her possession just after she had had a meal. So it was carried (ever warmer) everywhere for the whole weekend. Until…. mam got stopped at check in, searched and had it confiscated as disallowed fluids. She looked genuinely heartbroken…..
Special thanks this week to all my family for keeping me going during this mad year – luv u all xxx