Running uphill to 40 – headspace

Well I made it around Silverstone Half marathon 9 days ago and I’m still alive.  I have to say it was tough.  I honestly cannot put my finger on why.  It could have been the dramatic change in temperature.  It could have been the lack of conversation.  It could have been the fact I was bunched up at the start line behind the 1:58 pacer, so set off too fast and had to watch hundreds of people disappear off into the distance for at least half of the run.

I had told Keith to take Little J to Rugbytots and come back for me later.  At mile 8, when I was close to tears and desperate to see the face of someone I knew, I regretted it.  The marshalls were great, don’t get me wrong.  They cheered you on.  But no one else spoke!  A few speedy RMR ladies who spotted my socks, said hi as they whizzed past, but everyone else was mute!  It was a tad depressing!  The battle was in my head for sure.

The good points:

  1. No ITB pain
  2. Not really any other niggles
  3. I shaved over 5 minutes off my Oxford Half time

I was wiped out though.  All day on the Monday I wondered how the hell I would manage to run Reading Half in 3 weeks.  I reluctantly got in the car to drive to yoga that evening and “Firework” came on in the car.  The one song I kept singing around Silverstone.  My lovely friend Catherine told me to sing it when the going got tough, so sing it I did!

As normal, Eva somehow knew the exact muscles I needed to stretch out.  I don’t know how she does it but she always does.  I honestly think yoga is one of the best cross training activities a runner can practice.  I came out feeling calmer, longer and much more loose.

Whilst driving home contemplating the previous 24 hours, “Sky full of stars” came on the radio.  The song which has been my ring tone since August 31st 2014.  The song which will forever remind me of Skye.

Reading Half Marathon was back on.  I got out of the car and looked up to a sky full of stars.  The least I can do is run 13.1 miles with Skye’s charity vest on.

Running is more about head strength than it is physical ability.  OK you need to train and build up slowly to prevent injury.  But to get you around a planned route/race/course you need to dream, believe, achieve.

Eddie Izzard has just completed his 27 marathons in 27 days challenge in South Africa.  He openly says he has managed to do it from becoming a strong person facing the stigmas behind being transgender.  He ran to shine a light in a dark place and change lives.

Today over 30 people have died in Brussels because some headstrong (deceivedly so) people decided they needed to strap themselves to a bomb and blow up innocent people in an airport and on a tube train.  Why didn’t they find running?  Why didn’t they use their head-strength for good?  Why weren’t they given a pair of trainers?

I hope some good can come out of this tragedy.

Just like I hope and pray good prevails from Skye’s story.  On 18th April, the House of Commons will debate the chronic underfunding of brain tumour research.  Just by sending a letter to your MP to ask them to attend, will make a difference.  Research into brain tumours and their safe treatments, will save lives.

As will every single penny I’ve been generously sponsored to run the rest of my races in 2016 – thank you!  So far they are as follows:

Reading Half (3rd April)
ZSL London Zoo 10k (17th April)
Oxford Town & Gown 10k (15th May)
RFL MK 5k (12th June)
?Oxford Half? (9th Oct)?
Great South Run (23rd October)

And I don’t think I’ve mentioned – New York Marathon in November 2017!  New York Baby!  Can you tell I’m slightly excited?  But my goodness the training is going to be tough.

Dream – Believe – Achieve

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