Monday 3 July 2006

thanks giving

Yesterday, I woke up feeling like hell. Tired, hungover, and irritable in the sweltering heat - and not at all enthused about having to go into Cambridge and plod around the greens at 1:30 in the afternoon. I felt guilty because I hadn't trained very much (although I did have valid reasons for not doing so), and could have kicked myself for claiming that I would run the whole thing. What was I smoking that day? So many people sponsored me, and now I would have to let the runners go ahead of me and start with the walkers. I imagined small children and people missing limbs dashing ahead of me, while I hid under dark glasses and a baseball cap, mentally writing my apology to those who gave money expecting me to run.

And then I thought: sod it. I'm going to run as much as I can and if I do this in anything under 45 minutes, I'll be ecstatic. I've never finished the race in under an hour before, so anything less would be an improvement. I walked, then I ran, and walked, and ran again until my legs felt wobbly and my lungs started to burn. Marshalls applauded and shouted out words of encouragement and good lord almighty, I was actually passing people! A lot of people! Many women were walk/running the race, and I found my motivation in trying to keep up with these women. I passed the 2k mark and I felt great. As I trotted past each marker, I felt more exhilarated. It took every last ounce of energy to run the final 1k, and as my internal organs were on the verge of imploding, I passed the finish line...I did the course in 40 minutes.

I know that to any runner (even a beginner), doing 5k in 40 minutes isn't exactly something to brag about but for me, it was a huge accomplishment. I was cheered on by my husband, son, in-laws, brother-in-law and sister-in-law (and Jasper), which really meant the world to me. As an added bonus, I was bloody relieved to have made it without paying the consequences for the previous day's beer consumption and overeating. Today, every single fibre of my being hurts. But as the cliche goes, the pain is worth it.

I did this to honour the memory of my grandma who died from ovarian cancer in 1991; someone I miss with all my heart. We all ran with banners on our backs with the names of those who are missed and the victors we celebrate. It's impossible not to be moved by an event like this, but what touches me even more is knowing there are so many kind souls in the world. Friends, workmates, family, and strangers who only know me through this site helped me raise £1,100 for Cancer Research UK.

I can't even come up with the appropriate words to express how much this means, so I simply have to say thank you.

Now you see me...

Now you don't!

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