During the week, the girls had spoken incessantly about their desire to do parkrun. I signed them up and printed off their bar codes. By the time Saturday arrived, they were bouncing and couldn’t wait to give it a go. As we lined up, the nerves set in and they started worrying about the distance; whether they’d be able to make it. I assured them that we’d take it easy and see how they felt. If they wanted to stop after one lap then we would and we’d play in the park until Tristan finished.
As the starting horn went off, Tristan ran off ahead determined to get his sub-30. I started at the back with the girls and we set off at a steady pace. It was a beautiful morning and the girls were now in high spirits – their nerves well and truly left behind on the start line. With a run/walk strategy, we made our way around the 3 lap course. Towards the finish, Shannon was desperate to leave us behind and get to the finish as fast as she could! I handed her her barcode and told her to go for it! Shannon is really shy and has low self-confidence. For her to do something like that is huge! I was so proud of her as I watched her sprint off ahead.
I crossed the line with a beaming Erin. She was delighted that she’d made it and I was astonished at the time that we crossed the line in! 36minutes and 56 seconds! An amazing achievement for my girls and they are, rightly, very proud of themselves. Shannon crossed the line in 36minutes and 41 seconds.
We met up with Tristan and found that he’d smashed his PB and finally achieved his sub-30 time. What a perfect way to start a Saturday.
On Sunday, as the rain poured and the wind blew, I set off out for a run with Ali. She’d planned a 10 miler that incorporated lots of horrible hills. This would be her last Sunday run before the Virgin London Marathon next week! The further we ran, the stronger the wind seemed to blow and the rain was hitting us with such intensity that it felt like we were having pins thrown at us! At 3.5 miles, we hit the worst hill on the route. The climb went on for almost a mile. On and on it seemed to go and it felt like it was going to go on for ever! We kept plodding on and finally reached the summit. Rather than being able to catch a breather and revel in the fact we’d conquered another demon hill, we were smacked in the face with a huge gust of wind and a lashing of rain. We had to really dig into ourselves, grit our teeth and keep moving forward. Eventually, we turned off that road and on to a heavenly downhill section, the wind no longer in our faces. By this point we were absolutely soaked through to the skin. It’s at moments like this when I question our sanity!!
There was one more insidious incline to battle with but the wind seemed to push us up it! It’s not often that the wind works in your favour – it usually feels like you always have a headwind (even on an out and back route!).
Arriving back towards the end of the run, we felt a little bit silly for going out on such an awful day but, more than that, damn proud of ourselves for getting out there when the easy option would have been to stay in bed!
My focus now is on the marathon. The way this year is going, the 7th of July will come round all too quickly. I feel like I’m starting in a good position though – my running is going well at the moment and I’m feeling fitter and stronger than I have for a long time. Watching Ali prepare for her marathon, I realise just how much training and preparation it takes. And how much dedication is required. I feel ready for this challenge and I know, with my family and friends’ support, I will achieve it.
As most people know now, I am running the Lakeland Trails Marathon and the Great North Run for the Alzheimer’s Society. Look out for a Blog post soon where I explain my reasons for supporting this charity and how important it is to raise awareness about this evil disease.