Wow what an incredible bunch of people the realbuzzers are. We all knew what we had to do this weekend and we knew why we were doing it.
David and I decided that we’d do our long training runs as we wanted something tough. David had 20 miles to do and me 2 ½ hours. Ideally we would love to have run together but we had my kids all weekend so couldn’t be out of the house for too long at the same time….so we hatched a plan as follows:- David would get up at 5.30 a.m. to get started on his run; he would meet me at South Manchester parkrun where I'd start my run and overlap running the 3 miles park run together; then he’d go home and I would pick up the baton do the rest of my run. Our good friends Stewart and Ali were joining us for park run so they gave me a lift there and gave David a lift back.
Angus texted the night before to say that he was in Manchester on saturday because his son was in a climbing event. We tried to arrange a time to meet up sadly but couldn’t make it work.
So on saturday morning the sound of the front door shutting as david left the house at around 6.15 am stirred me briefly from my sleep. We met David at parkrun just before 9.00 as planned. He was looking good for someone who’d been up running for over 2 ½ hours already! Quick photos then we were off.
This was the first time that David and I have actually run a park run together and it was lovely to be able to chat and enjoy it. We talked about the other Buzzers and of course Hollywood and Michelle. Both of us had to take it steady as he was finishing his long run and I was starting mine; but I was surprised by how much energy David had! We finished in just over 30 minutes. Our friend Ali was on course to finish in around 40 minutes so I went back for her to run with her for her last 1k or so. David was still a mile short of 20 miles so I insisted that he spend 10 minutes running round the park to get his total up to 20 miles!
Once we were all done I got my supplies from Stewart and Ali’s car; said goodbye to them all; and set off for the rest of my run. I felt a pang of jealousy as they all passed me in the car knowing that they’d all be having breakfast together back at our house whilst I still had nearly 2 hours of running to do!
It was a lovely sunny day and everything went well for me…at first. However it wasn’t too long before I started to struggle. It was hot and my legs were heavy (not helped by a tough kettlebell class the night before). I thought of you guys and took a picture just after half way through. I didn’t stop to read the messenger thread at this point but knew that it would be busy.
I listened to a ‘desert island disc’ of an amazing and humbling man called David Notts. He’s a surgeon who works in war torn countries and disaster zones. I’d recommend a listen.
I’ve been struggling with my long runs lately. My training plan for Snowdon is mainly based on time on your feet for many of the runs (especially long runs), rather than miles. It’s the first time I’ve tried that approach and I like it. Plus it’s pretty handy when I’m going as slowly as I was! I was hoping to get 15 miles done but didn’t even manage 14 miles.
Once I got to around 8 miles it was time for music to get me through. I did stop a couple of times to read the messenger thread as I needed it now. The sea of red and the achievements by all was wonderful to see.
To be honest I can’t find the words to sum up what we’ve achieved this weekend. My small part feels insignificant compared to what some of you guys have done…you know who you are. I've never known such a group of generous, encouraging, kind, gutsy, warm, courageous people.
Talking of inspirational stories I want to tell you about something not related to the weekend just gone. My friend’s brother called Mark. Mark has suffered with depression for many years and has battled with alcohol addiction for several years too which had caused his life to spiral horribly downwards over the past couple of years. So it was a surprise last week to turn up for a local half marathon and bump into Mark on the start line. I haven't seen him for a while. I said that I hadn’t realised that he was into running. He told me all about the fact that he woke up one day and decided enough was enough. He poured all of his alcohol down the sink and took up running. He was absolutely buzzing about how he was eating and sleeping properly; not drinking; and had caught the running bug. This was his first half marathon. He was aiming for a similar time to what I thought I might achieve so I was hoping to run with him, however, I lost him early on. He finished just a few minutes behind me and David and I were there to cheer him in. He has apparently entered another half marathon already. Running has quite simply changed his life. And that’s a story that makes me so happy and proud to be a runner
Incredible weekend everyone. Just when we think we can’t get any better. You are all ace.
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