Today was Race for Life. If you'd told me 6 months ago I'd be running Race for Life, I'd have laughed in your face. But a neighbour signing up and BlueADT posting about a running programme that actually sounded manageable, made me think that maybe I could do it.
I had hoped to run the entire 5 K, but it was always a tall order. The running programme covers 9 weeks, and I started training 8 weeks beforehand. I repeated several weeks and then last week I came down with a cold, which put a stop to training (I spent most of Thursday in bed, asleep). Needless to say, I was very apprehensive about it, even though it doesn't matter how you complete the race - you can hopscotch backwards if you want.
To my complete and utter amazement, I managed to run two sets of 10 mins. I started off doing a 5 mins brisk walk, ran 10 mins, walked 5 mins, ran another 10 mins, walked 5 mins and then ran over the finish line. I was bursting with pride at the end, especially when I found I'd done it in 38 mins. I'm itching to get out there again.
It was a humbling experience. Everybody wore a number at the front and a sign on their back saying I race for... The names and 'stories' sometimes made for sad reading. A middle-aged lady with a girl's name on her sign, with underneath it: my daughter, 26. A little girl, not much more than 9 or 10, with 'for my dear mummy'. A few teenage girls with photos of an eleven or twelve year old boy. I've found before that running is easier if you can think about something else besides the running. Today I spent my time reading the signs, and I'm sure it helped.
Okay, so maybe I didn't run the whole thing. But I'll probably end up raising about 300 pounds, and I've gained a healthy new hobby which I'll definitely keep up. What else can you ask for?