‘Ooh, lovely!’ I say as Bee bestows two big wet slobbery kisses on me. She’s quite frugal with her kisses so I can’t help but melt with love even though Bee has a stinking cold, a very runny nose and it’s only a few days until I run my half marathon! Ma’s here too and is thrilled to see her great-granddaughter but we still take the precaution afterwards of stocking up on First Defence and snorting it like crazy.
We’ve had something of a respite after so much sadness; Ma’s been here this week and we’ve had some wonderful weather to enjoy getting out and about. I’ve also been able to show her my second article for The English Home this month which arrived in time for her visit.
And so the day of the Llanelli Half marathon dawns - a dawn we see as we’re out the house by 7 am. Despite the forecast for mild weather, I’m so used to running this race in half a gale and driving rain, that I overdress and by mile 8 with the sun in my face I’m beginning to swelter. I think about stopping to strip off but that will add at least a minute to my time whilst I faff about. I push on but a horrible swirling sensation in my stomach suggests I might be calling dinosaurs at any moment! At the next water station I take a few sips then pour the rest of the bottle over myself and hope that I’ll get round. By mile 13 there’s so little in the tank I have to drag myself to the finish line but, gosh, the sight of Ma and Tom looking so proud and pleased doesn’t half cheer me up! I’m so exhausted that I can’t work out how to stop my watch so at first I don’t register what time I’ve done. I'm not optimistic as I fear the heat has taken it’s toll. Later that evening when the official results I’m amazed to see that not only I have I run pretty much the same time as last year, 2:03:39, but I’m the runner up in my category and my overall position is well up too. All those miles of running in the cold, in the rain, up hills and through various health glitches have paid off and it looks as if I’m eligible for a prize … a free entry to next year’s race!
|All smiles - despite being photobombed by a hand pouring water into my head|