Saturday is my last race of the year!
Unless I sign up for more.Â Â First of all, I can’t believe it’s November 12 already. Second of all, this has made me all nostalgic for the year just gone. Let’s all ignore the fact that it’s still technically ‘only’ November: there are Christmas decorations in the shops, so it’sÂ definitelyÂ not too early for a yearly-round up.
So today, ladies and gents, I will look back at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of running in 2014!
- I started the year with my favourite race of the year: the Stubbington 10k, with two of my oldest friends. Sunny race by the Solent, followed by a pub lunch. Running at its best.
- THE MARATHON! My first and absolutely not my last, even though I still hear that voice at mile 18 saying Please don’t ever make me do this again. Please.Â This was a definite life achievement, and I’m still stoked with the time of 3:43.
- Running in Stockholm was an unexpected delight, and gave me some of the prettiest running memories
- 20 miles in the pouring rain. They were the longest three hours ever. Longer than being stuck on a plane for 24 hours, longer than waiting for my meal to arrive after I’ve ordered (I’m a very impatient restaurant diner), and longer than Christmas Eve. Thank god for Beyonce telling me who runs the world (GIRLS!), and for Hamish & Andy keeping me company Â on the way around, or I might have cried.
- Not being able to do either a half marathon or an obstacle course this year The half is my favourite distance, and I like to do the obstacle courses so I can show off how hard I am. That is, until someone mentions snakes, and then I turn into a trembling wreck. So take note: obstacle courses with mud, walls and electric shocks are ok, conversations about snakes areÂ definitely not ok.Â
- There’s only one proper contender here: my marathon-blisters. These bad boys developed about half way through my training, and got bigger and bigger til the week before the race I was running an average of 1:30min slower than I wanted. Luckily on the day, I pulled it out of the bag, but these war wounds hung around for about 8 weeks afterwards. I felt bad for everyone who attended my pole classes at this time, and had to see them.
- The end of the marathon: my face was covered in a grit-like substance, which I soon realised was dried sweat mingling with my foundation. I looked like something from the Zombie apocalypse. Smarter people would choose to run without make up on, I guessâ€¦.
This year I’ve covered loads of different distances and events. If I’m honest, I’m not in the shape that I wanted to be for the end of the year thanks to a really busy August-November. However, looking back on all this reminds me that for me, running is 50% fitness and 50% because I love it: the places I get to see, the experiences, and the memories I now have. So there you go. A bit of personal growth thrown in here today too.
Saturday’s race is a 10 mile road race from Brampton to Carlisle. In keeping with my new approach to charity running, I chose to support a charity which works to protect children who are vulnerable to being trafficked at my last race. For this race, I wanted to choose a charity that supports young adults. SA-Yes works with young adults in South Africa who have been in children’s homes, providing them with a support network once they leave the social system and have to look after themselves at the age of 18.
I was an emotional ball of mess at 18: I was both terrified of the world and scornful of it, and I was really naive too. I relied on certain mentor-figures who helped me work out my values and priorities. So now I would like to support young adults who need the same guidance, but who are in much more vulnerable situations. I needed help on what to study at university, but these teenagers need stability, and help to finish school, and in finding housing and jobs so they don’t end up in trouble.
Anyway, that’s my chosen charity for this event, and I have made a donation. If you are interested, you can also make a donation here.
I hope you’re all having a wonderful Wednesday!