I’m sitting here in my living room wearing a Race For Life 20th Anniversary Special Edition T-shirt. And thats it. Well, ok I have undies on. And glasses. And no, this is not the start of some slightly bizarre next chapter of the 50 Shades of Grey saga. This is a rather honest look at my day, which is currently being spent in my stupidly hot house. Drinking tea. (Which is pretty un-fun in a heatwave, but I’m English, I love tea, and I’m in a constant state of turmoil about what is more important; tea or body temperature. Tea usually wins.)
Anyway, I digress. I haven’t spent my entire day here. Nope. This morning I got up and headed along to Hyde Park (with something crazy like 28,000 other ladies) to take part in Race For Life. This is the first running event I’ve done in the UK, having had a few races under my belt in NZ. I spent the morning in my usual pre-race routine of feeling really nervous, hating myself for entering and mentally quitting running the second I was done with my race.
This infamous London park was awash with every shade of pink you can imagine. Which was odd I thought, because this was not a breast cancer specific event. Also odd was that it was a women specific event. The Boy was slightly bummed he couldn’t join in the fun, but came down anyway (along with my Gran) to support from the sidelines.
I’ve never raced for a charity before. I feel kind of cruel saying it, but running has always been a very selfish thing for me. Once I get going, and all the nerves wash away, the adrenaline kicks in and my mind starts clearing. It is just such a personal thing. With the bad 90s music blaring, I block every thing else out. (Often resulting in head on collisions with lamp posts or small children). I use it as a tool to de stress, calm myself and focus on one thing (as a posed to my usual game of focusing on all the things, all the time).
Today was different. It was impossible to run this race and not think of people you love who have been effected by cancer. Everyone in that there had a story, they had a person they were thinking of, or a battle they were overcoming themselves. My mind never once began listing things I would pick up at the supermarket, or what I would chow down on for lunch. No. Every step of the way my head was completely consumed with thoughts of fantastic friends who lost mothers way too early (and mothers who had to say goodbye to beautiful children way to soon). Thoughts of a young girl who’s continued to fight since she was four (now in her twenties, still fighting). And thoughts of a man who grew up in Jamaica, loved nothing more that to run and whom I miss hugely, my Granddad.
When I thought of those people, I felt my legs push harder. I felt myself care more about my result. And, I got a personal best.
I beat the time I was aiming for by a rather large amount, and I immediately signed up for another race. (Doh).
I don’t know if it was the achievement, the love, or the electric atmosphere, but this has been my favourite race by far. I honestly hope I can continue to put my (rather burning) thighs into good use again sometime soon.
For now though, I might just put them into some trousers.
Side Note There is still time to donate to my sponsorship page, so if you want to… head here.