A Very Personal Story of Courage – Part 5

A Very Personal Story of Courage – Part 5


Losing my friend gave me a renewed energy for life and for running.   

After my PB Parkrun at the end of June my next challenge was the New Forest 10 (miles) in July 2008.  My son took part in the children’s race there and got his very first medal!  This really is a most beautiful race, set right in the New Forest – we ran past the wild ponies and through the kind of scenery that makes you feel glad to be alive.   It was quite a warm day and I was pleased with my finish time of 1:33:24.  

I was feeling really well and looking forward to the school summer holidays with my children.   One special trip out we had was to the Crystal Palace Athletics.   These were held at the end of July, so not long before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.  It was a brilliant meeting, we saw some of the biggest names in athletics, including Usain Bolt, who really made the meeting come alive, what a showman!   Whether you like him or not he really knows how to work a crowd – my son thought he was great!

At the end of August 2008 I had my yearly appointment with my Colorectal Nurse – once again everything was fine, my blood tests were clear and I was in good health.

My next race was an absolute favourite of mine, the R4W Windsor 8K.   The weather is always glorious for this race and set in the backdrop of Windsor Great Park  I never fail to enjoy taking part in it.   And sometimes its good just to have ladies in a race!  Another finishing time that I was pleased with – 45:20, which stands as my PB for that race.  

Before my next race we had a lovely occasion to go to.   We have some very special friends in the Lake District and they were getting married on 4 October.   We decided to make a long weekend of it and travelled up North on the Thursday evening to stay at the hotel where the wedding would be taking place.  The hotel had a gym and pool so I made use of the treadmill and did a 5K run while the family made the most of the empty swimming pool.   Unfortunately despite the weather having been fabulous on the Friday the wedding day was grey with very heavy rain.  It was still a lovely occasion,  we were on the same table as two other very special friends Liz Yelling and her husband Martin and we had a lovely relaxing time.  It was such a happy occasion as the year drew to a close.

 Autumn was drawing in and I was ready for my next challenge – the Great South Run.  I ran for Cancer Research, what with my own cancer and losing my father-in-law to the awful disease.   Cancer Research included a short article on me in the Great South Run magazine to help highlight their work.  The day of the run was quite chilly and very blowy being by the seaside.  My husband, son and daughter were on the Cancer Research Cheering Bus which is always stationed on the route and it was such a lift to have them, and the Cancer Research supporters, cheering me on.   It always humbles me when I take part in the Great South Run, there are so many people running for so many different reasons.  I can’t remember precisely but I think I raised about £500 for the charity. 

 After the Great South Run I had an appointment of a very different kind!   I used to have to wear glasses for just about everything – I didn’t wear them out running but knew that I probably should!   So, I decided to have laser eye treatment.   This was booked for 30 October.   I t was unbelievable the difference it made.   I’ll admit it was quite a pain the first week or two, I had to put drops in every couple of hours or so and wear sunglasses, even on the cloudiest of days, to keep any irritants out of my eyes.   I also couldn’t run for a couple of weeks but it was worth it.   I still need to wear glasses for computer work/reading but don’t need them for anything else, not even driving.   Freedom from opticians bills as well!

I was back running as soon as I could and as the winter drew in I reflected on another year past and looked forward to the New Year.  

Next time – more races and another PB!

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