:: Me, Frances and Olivia ::
After a fairly late night on Saturday sorting out our T-shirts for the run (don't ask - we had to make some alterations because I ordered all the wrong sizes) we all got up really early on Sunday morning for race day!
I think we managed 6 hours sleep overall which was not ideal and we'd had a couple of glasses of wine to take the edge off a sad session sorting out photos which was just plain stupid. But, Sunday morning all of us were pretty focused on making sure we'd had enough to eat and drink in plenty of time before we needed to sort out getting to the start. I went for a delicious couple of pints of green smoothie which would have been brilliant were it not for the fact I got persuaded into throwing some porridge oats in for 'extra energy' which made it resemble and taste like sludge. Still, I put it down and ate an avocado as well, so I felt very set (did you know they can be up to 400 calories? - that is an energy BOMB)
It was ABSOLUTELY FREEZING when we got to the start and we occupied ourselves for most of the time standing in queues for the toilet! In between, we got this great photo (above) taken by an unsuspecting member of the public. He was reasonably taken aback when Olivia asked whether we should take our T-shirts off. She meant jackets but was a little delirious with freezing and tired I think. It was SO COLD by the time we finally got over the start, but so exciting! All you could hear was the footfall of loads of runners around Old Steine. It was an amazing sound, like rain.
I lost the girls - the race itself is pretty congested, lots of weaving for the first couple of miles, so I just got my music on and got on with it.
And then joy of joys around mile 8 I saw Gwyn, Ruby, George and Jon, my sister's husband with my lovely niece Molly! It is SO funny watching people you know looking out for you amongst the crowd but not actually seeing you! Aside from shouting and waving your arms wildly there is still for some reason a good old delay before they register you. And then after that I saw my nana, my aunt and my cousin AND THEN I saw Kate and her lovely family! It was such a great point to see everyone, well over half way and I still felt good. I was very happy to have support. Also the spectators levelled out a bit and that made it heaps easier for me to spot people.
These were the T-shirts we had made at spreadshirt, they really do fantastic customised T-shirts. The software is easy to navigate, there are loads of graphics to choose from. I chose chess pieces as it was dad's ultimate pastime. In fact this week I found out his old club have got a memorial trophy in his name now which takes place at the start of each year. It is a lovely gesture, very final though (as if dying isn't...stupid me) so I have had mixed feelings about it, but that is another story. Anyway, the T-shirt people were going to do everything they could to exchange the T-shirts, all I'd have to do is pay postage, but we weren't sure if they'd arrive in time (spreadshirt is based in Germany) In any case it's a good job Frances is handy with a sewing machine!
And then I turned Hove Lagoon and start to feel a little bit crap. The knees start creaking, I felt pretty sick and actually the pier (the end) felt a bit too far away.
Here I am accepting my fate with grim resignation and getting ready to put one foot in front of the other. I knew it was only another half an hour or so but I was really tired!
Ruby, at this point suggested I just stay with them which was very, very tempting.
But ultimately we all finished! Here we are with our medals...
I came in at 2hrs 6minutes and 24 seconds in the end and that has given me the hunger to try and beat the 2 hour mark next time. I have the running bug again! I was so much faster than I was in my training runs, I think because the route is alot flatter than the huge hills I've been training on. That and the atmosphere, being surrounded by other people running. I played a game whilst I was going round. I'd focus on a runner in front of me and catch them up, then someone else, then I'd catch them up. I just went on like that for about 9 miles before it all got too much! It's strange I am thinking that I'll do it again, because just after this photo was taken, I got changed into my scruffs, my hands went purple, I started to feel very, very unwell, was shivering and I slept for 4 hours! I really think I went into shock, I felt completely dreadful, but it's a bit like childbirth I suppose. Gruelling but exhilarating!
To everyone that sponsored us THANKYOU. All of you that sponsored each of us helped lift the day and make it a happy tribute. You really did. Raising a nice sum of money which will go to help someone living right now, who finds themselves perhaps in a similar position to the one dad found himself in. Well, it definitely took the edge off feeling achy and everything and made us all feel very happy.
So again, thankyou X
And if you haven't sponsored and want to, you still can here