|Mum and Me - Rhyl Beach - 1985|
Normally I find running is good for my brain. There is a particular kind of peace at the end of a long run that puts the stresses of the day/week/year at the back of my mind for a good few hours. But sometimes, on particularly long, cold and lonely runs it’s easy to get caught up in the hugeness of everything ahead of me next year. Such thoughts as “what am I doing?! I’m never going to make it!! Why couldn't you just host a coffee morning like a sane person?” swirl around and around until it becomes a physical effort just to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Suddenly running the 3 miles home, never mind the 26.2 of a marathon, seems impossible. But I always manage it. I slow down, take some deep breaths and think about where I was this time last week, last month, last year. I think about the progress I have made, and the injuries I've overcome. I think about how I feel seeing my pace get quicker and my breathing get easier. And I think about who I’m doing this for. My mum always has, and always will support me in everything I do. When I wanted to see Boyzone (age 11), she bought me tickets. When I wanted an undercut (age 16), she helped me shave my head. When I got in an assortment of trouble at school (age 6-18, mostly for having the worlds biggest gob – nothing changes), she always took my side. When I went to uni and got my nose pierced within 2 weeks of being there, she still sent food parcels. When I came back from Canada covered in tattoos (age 21), she winced, but brought me home from the airport anyways. When I said I was going to abandon my career and raise money for cancer research by spending a year running, cycling, and swimming my way across two countries, she didn't bat an eyelid, just said for goodness sake wear a bloody helmet. So then I think, jeez suck it up princess. Compared to 29 years of dealing with a rebellious, opinionated tomboy of a daughter, who refuses to grow up and get a sensible haircut, who may never settle down and pop out the grandkids she deserves, 26.2 miles is really not such a big deal. Now move your ass.
Happy Birthday Mum, this weeks miles are all for you xx