Now What?



Eleven months and 13.1 miles after waking up on one of those birthdays requiring a towering inferno of candles on the cake and deciding to run a half marathon, I crossed the ‘finish’ line and stopped. Someone draped me in a space blanket, someone else gave me a medal, a third person handed me a goodie bag and then, in the middle of that noise and excitement, I was suddenly quite overcome. I thought of Dad, who hadn’t been there to see me, and Tom and Lily, somewhere in the crowd, who were and got a bit emotional. By the time Lily found me (they’d lost track of me once I was wrapped in foil and looked like a drumstick, like everyone else!) I was a gibbering heap which set Lily off too.
‘Never, ever let me do that ever again!’ I blubbed.
‘No, all right, Mum,’ said Lily, texting Tom to say where we were.
Once Lily had fished out my free sample of energy drink and got it down me I started to cheer up a bit. I felt even better once I’d had a soak in Lily’s bath with some of her Champney’s Orientale bath stuff, (highly recommended. And, yes, I know you’re not supposed to use heat on exhausted muscles but I was waaaaay past caring). But run a half marathon again? No, never! The trouble was I had time to think on the drive home. Okay, I managed a reasonable time, fifty-fourth out of ninety-nine women in my age group. But maybe I could improve? Oh, what the heck? I got in and signed up for the Llanelli half in March – well, I’ve got to have something to aim for. Here’s a few weird things about the race and then I will shut up about running.

• Out of the six thousand or so runners that day, I met two runners I knew in the crowd.
• I passed a bloke looking mighty uncomfortable in a mankini … tried not to think about where he might be sore.
• I ate three of my Jelly Babies but the last one disappeared without a trace… where did it go? I did see someone else’s dead one on the pavement and was quite tempted to pick it up but decided that would be a bit gross.

Hurray! One of Tom’s paintings was selected for the 6th Tenby Open Art Competition. My selection this week was rejected but it happens to be my favourite of the bunch so you’ve got it too. Anyway, judging takes place on Saturday and if Tom’s placed we’ll both keel over as his work tends to be big and bold and outside a lot of folk’s comfort zone but you never know…

And finally…
I’ve had a thoroughly lazy week doing lots of lolling around with good books. It’s been useful time for percolating writing ideas. FTT is flirting with a potential suitor but it’s time to stop worrying about that and get on with the next book. I’ve also thought of this week as time spent recharging my batteries… next week Mil and Dil descend on Hotel H!!

Paiting is 'Cranes - Port Talbot - Rain' by Tom Tomos

Comments

Cait O'Connor said…
Well done Chris, you deserve a week of lolling. I am full of admiration.
lampworkbeader said…
Congratulations once again. While you are lolling, have you read The Friday Night Knitting Club? That should while away and hour or two if you are at a loose end.
Flowerpot said…
Congratulations to you both Chris - you deserve it. Best of luck wiht hte next novel and fingers crossed for the other flirtation!
Debs said…
I think you did wonderfully well and can only imagine what it must be like to run anywhere at all.

Congratulations to Tom, I'm not surprised his painting was selected, they're wonderful.
Pat Posner said…
You more than deserve a lazy week (or 2 or 3)! Good luck for the next book and congratulations and good luck to Tom, too.
How brilliant that you can give yourself permission for lolling - I always feel guilty even when I have earned it. Well done on the half marathon and congratulations to Tom for his picture being selected.

Oh dear to the March marathon - but will be there in spirit cheering you on even if I do think you are more than a little mad!!!!
I think you deserve some lolling time after the last week - congrats to Tom on the picture and while you are lolling you can gen up on a few prune recipes!
Expat mum said…
Oh, I thought it was a modern Jackson Pollock - even if her didn't do square stuff. Very nice tho'.
Well done on the run. A friend of mine recently did one and said it was like giving birth - you keep going, swearing you'll never do it again, and then........
Expat mum said…
That wold be "he" not "her". Made me sound like Worzel Gummidge.
mountainear said…
Well done both of you.

I did wonder what have after the marathon - hoped that it wouldn't be an anticlimax. Does training start immediately for Llaneli or can you lounge around for a little longer?
elizabethm said…
I am so impressed. I still haven't managed to get out of the door (well it is soo cold). And doing another one? you are mad, and a star too of course.
Zinnia Cyclamen said…
You're bonkers, you know that? (In a good way, though, I guess!)
Fiona said…
You brave and clever thing, you.

I love Tom's paintings.

Good luck with your TMA1, although I am sure you don't need it. I corrupted my file - gave it whisky or something - and had to do the whole thing from memory 24hrs before deadline. Ho hum...
Lane said…
Huge congrats to you. You did brill. And well done to Tom too.

And I'm very impressed that the mankini didn't put you completely off your stride:-)
CAMILLA said…
Hi Chris,

Many Congratulations again to you, very well done.!

Congratulations to Tom for his painting being selected, a double celebration wonderful, hope the corks on bottles of bubbly were flying.

xx
Preseli Mags said…
Congratulations on the run and to Tom for the painting. I'm still dithering about the Llanelli half - it's such a long way! And fingers crossed for FTT too. XX Mags.
Sally's Chateau said…
Absolutely well done to you both, yes a spot of rice pudding with a dollop of condensed milk would have been just the energy boost and whilst you might feel slightly disconcerted with your lot when reading mine I am full of awe for your energy !!
LittleBrownDog said…
Extremely well done, Chris - you are my hero (mind you, I can't belieeeeve you're already contemplating another one.) Finding myself wondering what happened to the fourth jelly baby and contemplating a trip to Cardiff to find out...

PS Another gorgeous painting - is there no end to this family's talent?

xx
Milla said…
missed this as on half term. Congrats on the half marathon. E enjoys them. Yes, really. He's given up marathons and LOOKS FORWARD to marathons. I find the trudge to the car quite far enough. Nice to hear you sounding so chipper. Great about the painting, comfort zones are for challenging. Lot of dullards out there.

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