Hey all, happy Sunday and happy Fathers Day to all the dads out there.
As some of you know yesterday I took part in the Saxon Shore Relay, a 47 mile route from Folkestone to Whitstable run in a relay with a team of five. It works out you run about a half marathon each.
I’m not in the best shape, I’m larger than last year, having a few health issues (another post for another time) and have a fair number of niggles including a painful knee. The terrain is tough, not a lot in the way of flat until you get to the very end and lots of uneven, muddy, stinging nettle laden hills. When I say hills I mean the kind we runners avoid unless we are doing speed work and even then we aren’t massively keen!
All this whilst dressed up, this year as Mr Strong from the Mr Men, I had in my lovely team Mr Tickle, Mr Bump, Little Miss Chatterbox and Little Miss Sunshine.
Being completely honest I had spent most of the last week wondering whether I should take part, I know I’m not at my best and am no where near as fast as I was last year but I didn’t want to let anyone down and I remembered how amazing it felt crossing the finish line last year. I decided if I walked some legs it would be fine and at least I would be out there doing it.
It was one of the most gruelling things I have ever done mentally, the route isn’t marked or marshalled and you carry direction cards to assist you with navigation (I felt like I was back doing the Duke of Edinburgh award again). I had the same legs as last year so hoped some familiarity would come back but I still got very confused!
I had to keep reminding myself that I was pet of a team and I couldn’t just stop, I could do this, am I a woman or a mouse, I did it last year, my boys would be at the finish line, all the while dropping with sweat with aching hamstrings and needing the toilet (I had to stop countless times). At many points we were so behind that I was running on my own so got the strangest looks from groups of foreign tourists as I walked past dressed up like some sort of lunatic!
The girls were all not feeling as physically fit as last year and we were all a bit down at being so behind, last year I recall running some of my legs with a man dressed as a Dalmatian and another as a painter and decorator but we all said as long as we’ve done it that’s all that matters.
We came to the end, the last leg being mine, it was only 1.6 miles but I honestly felt like it was a marathon ahead of me, my sister in law Anna ran the last leg with me for some support and the rest of the team met us just before the finish line so we could all come in together.
As we neared the finish line I could see my Karl, my boys and smiling faces, somehow holding the baton I managed a sprint and crossed the finish line with skin so red I resembled a tomato and literally struggling to breathe!
After all that, the struggle, the laughs, the pain, the mud, the stinging nettles we expected the wooden spoon so you could have knocked me down with a feather when we were awarded the prize for being the fastest female team!
Just shows, in reality what we believe about ourselves often isn’t true and actually even in a bit of a state you can surprise yourself!
Lots of love xx