I buy a poppy every year and take part in the minute silence in respect for those who fought for us all…however for this Remembrance day post I have decided to share how I have recently challenged myself in memory of a person who meant the world to me!
On the 20th October I ran my 2nd half marathon. I ran the Bupa Great Birmingham Run for the second year running and this time I ran to raise money for the Bobby Moore fund. I chose this charity as they work to research and raise awareness of Bowel cancer – the disease which my Dad died from. I have been meaning to write about this for a while and as I was running in memory of my Dad, I have decided to make this my remembrance post.
I only signed up a couple of months before as I was really getting into running again and fancied a challenge. However, running to a ‘training plan’ did start to take its toll on my running motivation somewhat. I peaked about 4 weeks before the race and my motivation dropped significantly then and along with it the length and frequency of my runs. If it wasn’t for the amazing amount of sponsorship money I had raised I may have just stopped running altogether, I just didn’t enjoy it and found very excuse I could.
Dispite all this, I knew I was the best I had ever been and I was going to do better than the year before. I had also decided on a time I really wanted to finish under.
Now anyone who runs will know there rare days when you have a good run and days when no matter what it is just going to be a crappy run. And for me on 20th October it was a crappy run day
I started running later than I expected which threw off my times for when I had told friends and family I would be at certain points and I worried I would miss people. Then at around miles 3 I got a stitch! I rarely get a stitch when I am out running and I started struggling to run through it and it hung around for miles! When I saw my boyfriend at around 5 1/2 miles I felt like crying, I was slow and in pain and by then I needed to toilet as well, I just wanted it to be over. By mile 6, despite needing the loo so bad, I was incredibly thirty and really needed water, I grabbed a bottle from the water station and drank it, too fast probably, but it didn’t feel like enough. But there wasn’t more until mile 9!
Luckily by about mile 8 the stitch had gone and I managed to speed up a little bit. Well as much as my bulging bladder would allow. I saw my Mom, 2 of my sisters, my brother in law and my beautiful niece at mile 8 1/2 and this cheered me up a lot. It spurred me on until the mile 9 water station and shortly afterwards I spotted the portaloos and decided the final leg would be much easier after some relief. So I did what I always said I didn’t want to have to do and stopped.
Now I must point out I did use the toilet before the race and in all my weekend long runs I never need to go. But on this particular Sunday I needed it bad!
So I continued on with just another 4 miles between me, the finish line and the gang of best friends waiting for me there! I quickly realised I was behind and my target time was looking unachievable…I had to pick it up…but I hadn’t got to the hill yet!
When I reached the hill, I actually didn’t struggle up it, I was just desperate for the water at the top! I took 2 bottles! I have no idea why I was so thirsty. In training I would barely drink what was in my sports bottle over 11 miles.
Then at mile 12 there was something new…Jelly Babies!! And they were awesome!
Then along the home straight I went. Lots of people were cheering me on by name as I had it on my running vest, and it gave me such a boost! I started looking out for my friends, I was getting close to the end but I couldn’t see them anywhere! Then when the finish line came into view, there they were. Standing right next to the line, going a bit mental because they had seen me!
So I straightened up and gave the last little bit everything I had. Crossing the finish line after 2 hours, 35 mins and 46 secs.
5 mins and 47 secs slower than my target time…
19 mins faster than last year!
All in all I am both disappointed with my performance and proud that I have gotten so much better! But most of all I am overwhelmed to have raised over £550 for such I fantastic charity to help fund vital research into bowl cancer.
And I think my Dad is proud of me.