Sunday, 1 September 2013

Fun Run

It was a perfect morning for a run this morning, which was lucky for us as the whole family (bar Charis who is now happily ensconced in her posh boarding school) were heading off to take part in a local  5 mile Fun Run.

Liberty, Taylor and myself had plans to run the course hopefully within an hour. Ivy was roped in at the last minute but would only commit to a leisurely walk. Dad was in charge of the two little ones who had their own race numbers and and a bicycle made for three.

Taylor's boyfriend's family were also taking part so we posed for a team photo before the start. That's me in the middle all in black, flanked on either side by my daughters with Ivy in the blue hoodie on the far right.  The little ones were still happily playing in the playground at this point and Liberty's boyfriend was busy doing a warm up run up and down the field. I am terrible for not warming up. I always think I'll use up all my energy before I've even begun. I did a token stretch then I was ready for the off.

It was a friendly, relaxed event with no official timing but I had my running watch on to see if I could hit my target time. The route was along pretty country lanes with very little traffic although I did have a bit of a mission trying to navigate around a huge tractor carrying straw bales.

There were two water stations on the course for which I was very grateful - more to douse myself with welcome coolness than for actual drinking (I worry about needing a wee). Liberty has not yet mastered the art of drinking and running at the same time so she and Taylor stopped to rehydrate. Worried that if I stopped I'd struggle to restart (I worry a lot!) I carried on moving. I assumed my girls would catch me up but they didn't. For a mile or so, I could still hear them chatting behind me but a niggle in Liberty's knee slowed her down and I ended up with a good lead.

I am quite used to running 3 miles but I wasn't sure how well I'd cope with the extra two, especially as the course had a fair few inclines. When I only had one mile to go, I felt great and even managed to pick my pace up. Then there was the hill from hell - not particularly steep, but very long. By the time I reached the top I felt as though I was practically crawling. But I did reach the top! From then on, it was a simple case of crossing the finish line. But where was the finish line? I passed the 5 mile marker and was very happy to see that I was comfortably within my 1 hour goal - but still there was no finish line in sight. Then I saw Liberty's boyfriend, long since finished his run, armed with a camera and shouting not far to go now. I have yet to see the photo he took but he did mention something about me looking very sweaty! 

I did not have much left for an impressive finish once the elusive official end finally came into view but I did cross with a smile and within an hour.

I was exhausted and elated in equal measures....

... the little ones were now proud owners of finishers medals....

...  and I recovered quickly enough to be there to cheer my girls as they finished.

I think the happy faces of the 'walking' contingent of our team sum up what a lovely family day it was incorporating a not insignificant sense of achievement, lots of fun and best of all ... sunshine!

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