Good Times

‘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


Teresa said…
Spring had to choose that day to make a show ;)
In the end you did it wonderfully. No embarrassing for the camera. So we can - and will - continue hating your good looks, your bottomless energy and stamina and say GO CHRIS! But for the strip part as I'm sure you'd have been disqualified for distracting other runners ahahahahahah (Tom, just in case, get along the road and try to have that on tape will you?! ahahahahah)
If that precious little lady sniffles didn't floor you it isn't some number-already-forgotten miles that will.
Now do have a rest as I will too before you're up and about and get to tire us all ahahahahahah
Queen Bee looks exactly like Mum - Precious and Gorgeous!
You're Blessed,
Clare Chase said…
Congratulations on your race, Chris! I’m so glad about the recent good times, and wish you many more to come. Lovely photos! x
Pondside said…
There you go - still running like a 20 year old! Looking good, Chris!!
Bee is adorable, and shares her hair colour with two of my granddaughters. Those kisses aren't to be missed, even when they are more germ than anything else.
Unknown said…
Well done! Love the picture of your 2 lovely ladies.
Jean Helsby said…
Chris that's great news. Was worth all the training then!
Little Bee looks adorable and I can completely understand how you can't resist the kisses, even with the bugs.
I'm nursing sinusitis today but haven't had the good bits to go with it😂😔.
Enjoy every moment with mum and Bee. Xx
Frances said…
Congratulations on the marvelous race results, Chris! As I've mentioned before, I truly have never had a running impulse in my body, but do marvel who can do what you have done.

Lovely to see three generations of beautiful family females in these photographs. No surprise to me that little Bee would want to give you a kiss.

It must have been so stirring (perhaps even energizing) to see Tom and your Ma cheering you towards that elusive finish line.

The NYC marathon was run in October for many years, before that time of the year began to consistently be just a little too warm for the comfort, finish times, and even health of the runners. Now we wait 'til November. I guess that climate change might yet cause even the current marathon week to be pushed back.

xo to you and yours!
Irish Eyes said…
Well done you, you make it all seem so effortless. Bee is a little beaut and it is lovely to see the three generations. xx
Chris Stovell said…
I'm usually pleased to see the sunshine, Teresa, but gosh, I nearly melted that day! I love that photo of Bee and Ma - but then I'm biased! xx

Thank you, Clare xx

I so agree with you about the kisses, Pondside - I managed to avoid the cold but poor Ma, who avoided the kisses, went down like a ton of bricks! And thanks for your kind comments! xx

Thank you, Unknown!

Aw, Jean sinusitis is horrible and so painful - I do hope you've recovered now xx

It was absolutely fantastic, Frances, to see Ma and Tom there - the finishing line is suddenly the loneliest place in the world; you've run as hard as you can, you've emptied the tank and there's nothing left so to receive all that love and pride is so uplifting. I can see why the NYC marathon would be pushed back - i can deal with the cold and rain but the warmth on Sunday was a bit of a struggle xx

It was so hard, Oonagh, but Ma and Tom really picked me up - as does the thought of that little person when I'm running, Seeing her little face in my mind's eye always cheers me up xx

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