Not only does it seem like yesterday that I was writing my last blog, but in fact it almost is! Decided this week that need more self discipline in my life so am writing my blog more promptly.
Didn’t do a lot of exercise in the week – ran on Tues night with the Lliswerry runners – one of the best things I have done is joining them – lovely and friendly and can feel the benefits already stamina wise during my 10ks.
Anyway, didn’t do anything else except eat (on the way to being pretty much too big for my scales), work and sleep.
Not sure what went on in Mam and Dad’s week but one of the first things Mam wanted to tell me was that if her or Dad died whilst I was doing the challenge, they would want me to carry on and finish it for Luca and not feel guilty….Not sure where that came from and decided not to delve further and so we discussed what to take to Manchester on the train, in what bag and with what food instead.
The journey up to Mcr was good and we then got a weekend travel pass on the tram (such good value that we manically hopped on and off as many trams as we could see for the next 24 hours to get our moneys worth) and made our way to Oldham to drop off our stuff at our hotel. We had a triple room….with a bath!!!! Yay – we all got very excited about that!. We left our stuff then went into Mcr (by tram again), did a reccy of where the race would start and finish and then found coffee and cakes. We did a bit of shopping, reminisced about my time living in Mcr (we love this City) and then made our way back (by tram again) to our hotel via Morrisons to buy some snacks.
We had a fab meal and admired the huge fishtank, chatted to some people then retired to our beds. We all had a bath because we were so excited and Mam pronounced it one of the better standards of bath we had tried out during my challenge – high praise indeed. We read my Aunty’s email which shows definitely that she and mam are related as it was a “stats” email. She had worked out that by the time I had run Manchester and London, I would only need to run 12 more races to be 3/4 the way through – I think Aunty Thelma and my Mam have an entirely different thought process to me when it comes to motivational statistics!! However, it did make me laugh….a lot! (especially when I could see mam’s mind just double checking to make sure the numbers were correct!)
We got up relatively late and went into Mcr (by tram again). We dropped our bags at the station (after repacking them many times) and I got pushed out the way by a lady in very large stilettos who managed to stamp on my toe. As if I didn’t have enough parts of my body that hurt, I can now add the toe!
I am not sure how, but I ended up in the wrong run wave (well, I do kind of know) and so I actually set off around 45 mins earlier than I thought I was going to. The run was fab. I felt good, but there were 40,000 people and it was hot, I was still having a problem with my calf after my “action jump over a log” incident and my stiletto toe wasn’t the most comfortable so I knew I wasn’t going to run that fast. However, I ran at a comfy pace, didn’t feel tired at all and enjoyed the atmosphere immensely – oh, and beat a whole bunch of bananas in this race!!! Absolutely chuffed! I liked having my name on my running number as people kept shouting our names to cheer us on and it really helped.
I finished the race and met up with mam and dad (who had completely lost the plot as to where to meet me after my accidently changing waves – this appeared to cause over an hour of debate as to which reunion site to go to and they were still were not at my reunion point by the time I had finished – not sure if that was related in anyway to mam’s excitement over her acquisition of 2 free yoghurts (again!) but it probably didn’t help)
We finally met up, had coffee and cakes (again!) and made our way to Piccadilly to repack our backs (many many times) and buy some food for our journeys – mine to London and theirs to Newport.
I left mam and dad at the station (see photo) and had an uneventful but long journey to London and across London to my hotel. My hotel was not bad but it was hot, the window wouldn’t open and there was no bath (not that I am getting picky in my old age or anything!). I had an ok ish nights sleep, repacked my bag and left the heavy stuff at the hotel and made my way to Green Park. The weather was lush and I met a lovely girl (ironically from Worcester) who pointed me in the right direction for the race (she also has donated to Luca which was really lush of her I thought).
I was placed in the 3rd to last wave and was penned in there so long I started to need the toilet for around the 4th time (happens much more when I am on my own and not being kept distracted!) so I had to run a bit uncomfortably – it took most of the run to work out whether it was better to stop and use the toilet and lose some time or whether needing the toilet would make me run slower and less efficiently – or even faster through desperation! (ha ha, listen to me!!!) but in the end I think the heat took my mind off it and I could stop whinging to myself about it. What I did think about was a number of other things
1) that aerobically I felt fine but that I was scared to push myself too much as my calf was so tight from the day before (and my toe was numb from 2 k but I ignored that) that I didn’t want to injure myself as I have another 3 runs in the next 2 weeks.
2) that I spent a lot of time thinking about my painful feet and whether running was good for me – I then thought about my friend who has just walked 100k from London to Brighton (makes my 10k a bit naff) and also again about Luca. He would probably love to, but doesn’t, have feet to moan about and this thought gave me the usual virtual kick up the backside I needed.
What I thought was superlush was that I was running the same course I worked at in the Olympics and it was awesome. I also ran with Mo Farah (well strictly speaking he started at around 5 minutes before me and I saw him on the opposite side of the road coming into the final 1k when I was still at about 3k!) Oh – and he looked much cooler and comfy than I looked or felt at the 3k – oh well!
Anyway, I couldn’t push myself too much as it was ironically more difficult to pass people in this race with 10,000 people than in the Mcr one with 40,000 people! I therefore decided just to enjoy the moment. I did have a sprint section (around 100 metres long – don’t get excited!) brought on by seeing a lady running in an orange shirt with Luca’s familiar face on the back – I caught up with her, shoved my palm in her face with “for luca” written on it and shouted “meet me at the end”.
Poor girl must not only have lost her carefully monitored run time but also wondered about the freak suddenly appearing excitedly at her side! Fair play, I did meet her and another girl at the end who used to work with Luca’s dad so I had my end of race photo with them as I thought that was fitting.
I then made it back to the hotel, picked up my stuff, changed and went to Paddington. I slept on the train and my very lovely sister then picked me up – totally lifesaving. My lovely flatmate let me use the bath and now am about to collapse on the sofa ready for Bangor next week xxx