It’s been a quiet running week for me as Monday to Friday I’ve been resting a niggly knee to make sure I was good to run today. I’m pleased to say that with support my knee coped very well.
Yesterday I was tail walker at parkrun. My son came with me but ran at his own pace to finish in just over 30 minutes – super well done to him! While I accompanied a mum and her six year old son around the course, they had come to parkrun last week and only managed the first lap of the two lap course – still a great effort for a six year old.
Being tail walker is fabulous, I really enjoy chatting to the people at the back, it is honestly what makes parkrun so amazing. Everyone of all abilities is welcome and each achievement is celebrated. Yesterday, it was a real privilege to run with this mum and her son. Mum was a long term experienced runner, so was chatting about various races she’d taken part in and about how running had become so much more accessible and inclusive since she’d started. But the absolute star was the little boy, he showed so much determination, and with loads of encouragement from his mum and from me he was able to complete the full course in a very respectable 44 minutes. He sprinted to the line to cheers and applause with a beaming smile! It was simply great to be a part of his achievement.
This morning I was at Race for Life, hubby drove me there and the boys came too. On arrival the stage was set up and the hosts were getting the energy and enthusiasm of the runners and supporters up, there was talk about cancer stats and research but I plugged my earphones in and retreated into my own private concert. After a short while I thought I’d ask if they wanted me to go up on stage as a cancer survivor, which they very enthusiastically agreed to.
Being on stage talking in front of hundreds of people is so far out of my comfort zone but here I was not only volunteering but instigating the whole thing!
Never in a million years would I have done anything like that pre-cancer.
Before the race began there was a minute silence to remember or reflect on why we were doing this and why funding research is so important. This was the hardest part of the event for me and tears threatened to overwhelm my somewhat precarious calm.
And then the race began.
Before I start moaning about how hot it was (yes, talking about the weather again!) I’m just going to state that:
- a) it actually was only 22-24 deg C,
- b) it was mostly cloudy, so not much direct sun,
- c) maybe 30-40% of the race was in shady woodland,
- d) had I done the race I was supposed to do in June, it would have been a lot hotter!
This particular Race for Life course had a choice of 5k, 10k and half marathon. I’d somewhat foolishly signed up for the 10k (and very sensibly not the half marathon) as running in the summer heat (oh my it was so hot!) isn’t really my thing. The course was classified as a trail race, i.e. mostly on grass and woodland paths, and undulating – love that word. It was set in the beautiful estate of a grand country house (castle) which was built and extended from 1801-1828. Running we were treated to lake views, woodland, the castle peeking out behind trees – it was a gorgeous place for a run (if it hadn’t been so hot!).
Anyway, taking into account the terrain and the undulations (and the heat), all of which meant I alternated running/walking (and very much enjoyed pouring water over my head at the halfway point), I was very pleased to cross the line in 1hr 9mins and no tears.