A Sea of Pink

race 2.jpg

Pink is like my least favourite colour ever. Although I have become quite attached to a pink scarf recently, but I digress. Pink was my least favourite colour ever but I think now it will be forever connected to the sea of women I ran with today around Arthur's Seat. It was crazy, pink as far as the eye could see, all against the beautiful backdrop and Edinburgh skyline.

I finished in - heck I have no idea. There is no official time and I didn't start running until after the first half mile so I don't know what to tell you other than it was slow. But I made it to the end where in my peripheral vision I caught a flash of leopard print which I knew just had to be Vivienne. She came with her husband to cheer me on and I duly presented her with my lovely pink plastic medal.  It was worth every sweaty step to hand that thing over.

I'll give you this Race For Life, it was emotional. Before the race I was wiping tears away with alarming regularity as I read the messages pinned to the back of people's shirts which informed who they were running for. The little boy with the pink t shirt which said 'Running for Nana', the lady with 'Mum, Dad and my brother' visible between her fairy wings. At one hilly bit I followed a lady running for her husband, who was 46 when he died as she valiantly scaled bumpy, grassy paths in the hot sun. 

The start was arranged in 3 stages, runners, joggers and walkers. I went with joggers which effectively meant I couldn't start running until after at least half a mile as most people walked up the first hill and the small space meant is was not possible to run. The 5k and 10k runners and walkers were together for much of the course which meant more weaving in and out than I've ever had to do and it was exhausting. Running zig zags must have added lots of extra distance and mentally navigating a sea of pink (including dogs and buggies) hurt my brain more than my feet.  There was a water station providing thimbles of water half way round and the course was a mix of gravel path, uneven grass and paved road. Towards the end was particularly chaotic as people crossed the road, and this being Scotland queued for chips and most likely brown sauce at the finish.

So my plan to use this 10k as a warm up race for the half marathon later this year was not the best one I've ever had. But that doesn't matter because I made a bit of money and made my friend smile.

If for some reason you've not donated yet (cough cough Greig) and you'd like to, here's the link

race.jpg

Race for Life

I have a friend, Vivienne, who is wonderful. She is the very epitome of effervescent with a healthy dose of brutal realism thrown in when you really need it. She is exceptionally kind both materially and with her time, she makes everyone she speaks to feel interesting. Everytime I see or speak to her I feel a little spring in my step afterwards.

Her dad died earlier this year. And she's battling throught the resulting grief like a warrior, with poise and grace. Currently I feel like the friend equivalent of a chocolate teapot and every phone call I make ends with me in tears as I marvel at my friend's strength and spirit. 

When I was looking for a 10k race to run I came across the Race for Life run at Holyrood and signed up. A week later came the news of Kenneth passing away and it seemed like some huge, flashing, neon sign advertising my reason for picking this race. I'll run for my friend and her family this Father's Day

Here is the page where you can donate. Please, thank you

Great Scottish Run 2012

I have the medal which means I totally did it! I took more than 15 minutes off my previous time and finished with a sprint and a big smile on my face. There were a few differences this time round. I wasn't recovering from flu, I had my watch and iPod on me, I took gels on the way and it was a much bigger event. The atmosphere was great, so uplifting and positive. George Square was filled with runners and spectators and even though I travelled through on the train alone and lined up in my muster point on my own, I was never lonely. I was jangly with nerves as I shifted from foot to foot in amongst the other 24,000 entrants waiting for our start signal. I felt good for the first 7 miles, ok for the next 4 and I swear I passed the 11 mile marker at least twice. At one point I passed a small boy on a bike with a bright pink helmet waving at the crowd and I was just grinning thinking about Brodie waving me off on all those early morning runs. The last mile was painful but there is nothing like that feeling of passing through the finish line. Amazing.

Last Chance Run

I have just registered online to take part in the Great Scottish Run in a few weeks. I've been putting it off despite following a half marathon training plan for the last ten weeks as I wasn't sure I was actually going to go through with it. After all what's wrong with completing the training plan without completing the event?But that was probably never going to happen. Despite the fact that I know it's going to hurt and I might well be disappointed if I don't manage to improve on my last experience I've signed up anyway. Perhaps it's olympic fever taking over but I feel stronger and fitter and definitely more experienced this time round. I'm going to be honest though, today was the last long run (60min+) of the plan and I'm glad it's over. I find psyching myself up to run for 2 hours is hard. I think of all the other things I could be doing with those two hours. And it goes without saying my legs hurt after 11 miles. I'm tired and I've lost a toenail. So if you thought I had been slacking on the running front I promise I haven't! I've just been quietly plodding along trying to find the bravado needed to sign up for another half. This is probably the end of my season but I'm hoping to keep running through the winter and to be a new improved runner for 2013.

Reflections

A wise woman told me to reflect for a few days on my half marathon, so I did:)I hope I didn't come across as negative or whiny in my last post about it, that was not my intention. I wasn't disappointed or sad just maybe a little shocked? I think the experience just wasn't what I hoped or thought it might be. I've had sore ribs from the effort of deep breathing which makes me think I wasn't fully recovered from the flu. Not to make excuses (I hate sports people who make excuses, Andy Murray I'm looking at you). A few hours after finishing on Sunday I was already looking on the internet for my next challenge - I've not committed yet but I'll keep you in the loop. I'm completely sucked in by this whole running thing. I want more and I want better. I want to look back on this, my first half and think how far I've come. And I want one of those fancy GPS watches. So rest assured, I'll be back pounding the pavements any day now. Well as soon as the pain whenever I stand up goes away....