Racing for Life

I DID IT!! I actually did it!! I ran the Race for Life!,

Sorry for shouting but I am so proud of myself for actually doing it! You see I am not a runner. I’m sure most of you have gathered that after my last running post! The problem I have is that I am easily convinced to give in. I start running, then I think “I can’t do this any more! I can’t go any further” and I stop, absolutely convinced that I can’t run any further. While training I have been using interval training so that I don’t have to run that far without a walking break.

I had a bit of a panic the day before the race, wondering what on earth I was going to listen to while I was running as I couldn’t exactly listen to my training podcast could I? Most people suggested I listened to music I liked, while others suggested I listen to other kinds of podcasts. The podcasts I ruled out as I wasn’t sure I would be able to concentrate on them while trying not to die!! Although given the fact that I didn’t die I may try out podcasts next time I go running.

Yes that’s right…I did say “next time I go running”. I am hooked! It was such a fantastic day! I loved it. My mum and my sister came to support me and they brought little lady and baby D with them. Little lady had even made me a banner

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Before the start we were separated into 3 groups – the runners, who planned to finish under 25mins!!!; the joggers, who planned to finish between 23-40mins and the walkers who were going to take 45mins plus. This threw me slightly as I was planning to finish somewhere between 40-45mins (if I was lucky). I decided to just go for it and join the joggers. I actually felt sick walking to the start line. I had no idea what I had let myself in for! I crossed the start line and was surprised by the bottleneck that happened. There was no room to move. This threw me a bit but I have been reliably informed by The Girl that it happens all the time. Once the bottleneck opened up I started running. I was very careful not to set off too fast and in fact the first 1km was my slowest!

At 2km I spotted a man giving out sweets so I made a slight detour to the other side of the path to make sure I was in the queue! He actually handed me the box so I took two (for my kiddies I hasten to add). It was only after I had run a bit further that I realised that I would now have to carry these sweets for the rest of the course as my fan club 😉 were at the finish line waiting for me *facepalm* but then again what else were bras made for other than to carry sweets? It’s not like it has much else to do for me!! So in they went.

In the race pack everyone was given a race number and one to go on your back which says “I race for life for…..” With a space for you to write whatever you want. Here’s what I wrote:

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My dad who I lost to cancer 18years ago and my nan who I lost 15 years ago 😦 As I ran around the course I passed the time reading what other people had written. After a while I realised I had to stop as I was starting to well up. Cancer is such a horrible disease. It does not discriminate and just takes anyone as it sees fit. Even the survivor stories were heart wrenching.

So I stopped reading them and just tried to concentrate on my running. I don’t know whether it was running in a group, being in a race or wanting to do well for my kids but it was surprisingly easy to convince myself to keep running. Now when I say “easy” you must understand that I still had the usual “I can’t go any further or I’ll die” conversation with myself but this time it was easier to say “okay well lets just get to the next km marker and we’ll see”. By the time 3km came round I didn’t want to stop. I had come this far without stopping, surely I could make 4km? If I made 4km I would be extremely proud of myself. And guess what? I made it to 4km without stopping. 😀 I did walk for about a minute at 4km as the course came back into the park there was a very steep drop so everyone was walking there. My legs felt so shaky there that I honestly thought that was it but who wants to walk the last 1km? Especially when I had my fan club waiting somewhere up there for me. Somehow I found the strength to start running again. Once I saw the 500m marker the relief was so great I actually speeded up!

Then I saw them. About 200m from the finish line. My supporters shouting for me. Little lady’s face lit up when she saw me. She was jumping up and down, waving her banner, shouting “Go mammy go!” I rescued the sweets from my bra and threw them on the blanket as I passed. Then I ran! I ran as fast as I could to the finish line.

The relief when I passed the finish line and the support from everyone lining the last 250m or so was so overwhelming I actually started to cry. I was given a medal, a bottle of water and a pain au chocolat. When I made it back to my supporters, Little lady relieved me of the pain au chocolat and the medal(!) then sat on my lap and wouldn’t let me go. That’s why there are no photos of me on this post as everyone of them has little lady in them. She was so proud of me as was both my mum and my sister. Baby D was just happy I had brought him sweets! Little lady did ask me how I had managed to go to the shop on the way round 🙂 maybe that’s why I took so long…..?!

My time? A very respectable (I think so anyway) 38.50m 😀

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Running away

I am now well into my race for life training. It’s been a while since I’ve done any kind of running that isn’t the sprint from where I’m sat to the part of the playground little lady has just fallen off, but I am actually starting to get somewhere now. I have been using a podcast to help me with my training and I am getting better. Okay so the “motivational” music leaves a lot to be desired but the actual training is pretty good.

That said there have been a few things I have learnt while out running.

The first thing, is that I have very floppy hair and it drives me mad. It flops up and down as I run, then blows in front of my face, then up in the air, then in my face, then to the other side of my parting – which just feels wrong. My hair is too short to tie up so I am constantly rearranging my hair! Surely other runners don’t get this?

The solution? Borrow a hair clip (a pink sparkly heart one no less) from little lady and with a few added brown hair grips, clip it back so that it wouldn’t move in a hurricane! Good move. Problem number one – sorted!

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Then I treated myself to an armband to keep my iPhone in while I run. Fab little gadget. The touchscreen still works through the plastic and my phone is safe while I’m running. One problem though – the popper is so tight that once my phone is in it I can’t get it back out again! It has started to loosen off a bit so I am starting to be able to do it myself without having to wait til hubby gets home. Problem number 2 – getting there!

Now my hair is no longer bothering me and my phone is safe in my new armband, I have discovered another annoying thing that happen when I run. (Does anyone else find they have too much time on their hands while they run? Nope? Just me then!!)

I have in the ear headphones to listen to my podcast while running but they keep falling out. If I’m not rearranging my hair, I’m finding and relocating my earphones! It’s a wonder I find time to run at all! Luckily hubby came to the rescue with a solution to this problem. He bought me this….

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It is a set of headphones especially made to work with my hearing aids. It plugs into my phone, the loop goes around my neck, I put both my hearing aids to the ‘T’ position and away we go! My own personal loop system. To top it all off, no one can hear my “motivational” music no matter how loud i have it! Success.

So I think I am now ready for the race for life. Don’t expect a good time as I am very slow but I really want to see how far I can run without stopping. I do plan to post my time here after the race so please be kind to me and don’t laugh.

Don’t forget I am running for Cancer Research and you can sponsor me if you wish by using the “sponsor me” button on the right hand side of this page. Thank you.