So there is something I didn’t want to admit to anyone that I write this blog to. In fact, I didn’t want to admit this to myself. After Blenheim and the glory and pain that was a personal best I managed to come down with a nasty cough and cold. As the day for the Royal Parks got closer I downed medicine religiously and did every mental calming exercise I could think of.
By Friday the cough had reduced enough that I felt comfortable. On Saturday I Boris biked over to the packet pick-up and settled into the flat where I pretty much coughed through the night.
I woke up in a rough state Sunday morning. But, as the British say, my face was on the tea towels. (Okay, so you have to be a Royal to get your face on tea towels, but you get the idea.)
I went over and got my team photo with the JDRF. I wished everyone luck. I queued, because we love that sort of thing. I stood hopefully with the 2:40:00 pace maker. The gun went. We waited. It took so long to get to the start I actually was able to go to the bathroom and line back up again.
Then the gun really went.
For close to 9 miles I stayed neatly between 2:30 and 2:40 pacemaker. The course is magnificent. All the pretty parts of London.
After seeing the cheering crew at mile 9 the coughing started. It got so bad I briefly pulled to the side to hack it out. Volunteers approached. I became scared. Really scared.
But then I thought not of my grand personal best. In fact, when pace maker 2:40 passed me I was almost relieved. There was, instead, two people who entered my mind: Uncle Steve and Mike. I found myself asking out loud if they would please help me finish.
And then I started walking.
I cried a lot, and coughed, and hugged my husband, son, and friend at mile 11. And then I kept walking. And crying. And walking.
And I finished in under 3 hours. 2:57 in fact. Believe it or not it wasn’t a bad time for me.
On the way I thought of all the anonymous donations. All the motorways and people with weird senses of humour like me. I want to thank everyone who believed in me. Who still believe in me. Who thought of me, who sent their love or tossed a few pounds at an awesome cause.
As I approached the end people were yelling and cheering my name. I waved and cried and swore up and down I saw Uncle Steve and Mike in the crowd waving and screaming for me to get across the finish line. I have never run in memory of anyone before. It was truly a powerful experience.
I got my medal, a pile of goodies, and a good sit with the JDRF fundraisers. Here is my photo:
When the trees shed wood they collect it and make it into medals. Sort of a fitting theme to this whole experience. You take the bad, and you make it good.
And I did good.