1 hour 11 minutes 11 seconds. That was my time for my first 10 k. I’m pretty happy with it. This time a few months ago I could barely run a full kilometre without struggling but for the Bupa Great Women’s 10 k I ran for 6.5 k before a brief spell of walking and then running until the end.
Now I realise many of you reading this will be amused, possibly having run your own half marathons, marathons or something even more strenuous, but for me this was a big deal. If you read my previous post when I started training, you’ll see that I was fairly out of shape. Poor breathing, tight calves, sore knees… all of these things made the decision to put on my trainers and get down the stairs something I often delayed for as many reasons as possible. But I went out there and I ran.
Mostly because I was running in memory of my friend Todd. Todd was someone who never gave up and even after his passing, he was still inspiring me to do better, be better and work harder. His lasting love and friendship helps so many of us find strength we weren’t sure we had.
The race day itself was emotional. My sponsors and friends from all over the world posted words of encouragement and reminded me why I was running. It suddenly dawned on me that my positive, “Piso Mojado, Keep Calm and Todd On” mantra and approach to training had stopped me thinking about Todd not being here any more and had focussed me on moving forward. Literally.
My tears on the way to the run were quickly stemmed to prevent a complete meltdown. Tears of grief are so overwhelming. If I let my emotions get the better of me then running would be even more challenging. Plus, I had the Bat Symbol on my face which was a gamble in the heat after strenuous exercise never mind high level emotion. It would not survive.
The Bat Symbol turned out to be an extra boost and another reason to smile during my run. Thanks to all the amazing people who cheered on the runners along the way. And for every one who cheered on batman, batgirl or batwoman, you all made me smile and think of my friend and how amused he’d be by the scene. It also had the added bonus of working as a disguise. That combined with my awkwardly placed race number means there’s only one officially unflattering photo of me running… at least only one that I know of…
This run made me fitter and stronger. It made me more determined. It gave me another thing in common with my other half. It gave me the chance to get to know some people in my life much better as we encouraged each other and helped each other keep training. Wherever Todd is, his friends and family are all better and stronger for it.
So this is not the end of my running story. After smashing my fundraising target of £200 by raising £358.33 for Diabetes UK, I thought I’d keep up the momentum and keep putting one foot in front of the other. I’ve signed up for my second 10 k which takes place in October. For all of you who’ve sponsored me already, thank you and know that you’re getting two runs for your money… 😉