Finding Happy

As some of you will know, yesterday I ran the 10K Race for Life.  For those of you that are new to my blog (and seeing as she’s a 191_14012647315_3750_nlittle newbie, that will probably be most of you), I ran the race for my darling Nan who sadly passed away about four years ago now.  My Nan was, without doubt, the most wonderful person in my life.  You couldn’t meet her and not fall in love with her; her infectious smile, her dirty laugh, her amazing cuddles.  No matter what, whenever she saw you she’d tell you how beautiful you were (especially when suffering from a manic hangover).  Walking into her flat you’d be greeted by the smell of freshly cooked bread, have a royal fry-up waiting for you and would not stop laughing until you left.  She was one of a kind. I remember the moment we found out her cancer had come back.  It’s a moment I’ll never forget.  But right through until the end, she kept her spirits, kept her banter and never stopped smiling. I’d been meaning to run the Race for Life ever since… but for some reason, something always stopped me.  Maybe it was the fact I couldn’t run for shit (especially as a podgy alcohol filled student).  Either way, this year I decided to take the plunge and sign myself up. 10502246_10152161623041300_2742083596081066394_nAnd training wise, I had been great.  It was so hard to begin with (I mean, seriously, I was a shit runner), but the motivation pushed me along.  And the donations did gradually start filing it – result, even more motivation! But then shit hit the fan last month.  Like the sad old sap I was, I used all the rubbish that was going on around me to get out of training.  Okay, maybe I’m being too hard on myself.  Honestly, I didn’t want to do anything for the first few weeks of my break up. Rightly so, I started to become nervous about just how much this bad boy was going to hurt.  Sure, to all you running pros out there you’re probably thinking, “pah, 10K?  I could do that in my sleep”.  But cawm on, GIMME A BREAK. I knew I’d be able to do it.  But I wanted to do it well.  I wanted to do it without stop starting (as I had done with the only other 10K I had run in training.  In fact, I probably stop started every other K).  I wanted to finish in under an hour and I wanted to feel awesome about it. And so we get to the race.  First of all, what an incredible atmosphere.  It wan an absolute delight to be around so many inspiring 10544337_10152161623081300_6867000626885090364_nladies all running for the same cause.  We all had huge smiles on our faces and were already on such a high.  Sadly, as I a single lady and family-less up here, I arrived alone and with no one to support me (woe is me!).  Luckily, my lovely friend Hannah ran the race with me (absolute mega babe!). So we scurried our way to the front (of course) and waited.  Here’s when the butterflies started to kick in.  As the countdown began, Hannah turned to me and said: “Remember, if you’re ever finding it difficult, just think of your Nan.”  It was exactly what I needed to hear. 3, 2, 1… and we were off! And what a feeling!  I shot off quickly (always a rookie error) with the crowds clapping and cheering us along.  The support from everyone… it was just something else!  So much joy and pride from everyone involved; it was the most humbling experience. And believe it or not, I actually stayed second place out of 1,700 for the first 2K!  Of course then I realised, shit son 8 more K, and started to pull back my speed a little.  But even still, I was staying in the higher section of runners.

rfl3rflrace for life

I can’t lie and say it was easy.  It was friggin’ hard.  The middle section nearly took me… but then as I neared the 7K mark I was given a burst more energy and soldiered on through.  Music was playing (personal fave – Mysterious Girl by Peter Andre… WINNER), people were cheering, bubbles were being blasted in our face.  It was perfect. 10522150_10152161623246300_112453024614503792_nAnd up to 9k… come on girl, you’ve got this!  500m… last leg now! And then finally, 55 minutes exactly (I beat my PB!) later, I crossed the finishing line with my fists pumped in the air.  And yes, I didn’t stop once!  I kept a fairly steady pace the whole way round and finished with my head held high. After a massive hug from Hannah (who finished in 51 minutes, superstar!) I just couldn’t wipe the smile from my face.  I’ve never felt such pride and inner happiness.  Knowing I had achieved so much (and it was a lot for me!) and raised substantially more than I expected (£370 and counting… yes, a small drop in the ocean, but still) was the most gratifying feeling.  I knew my Nan was with me every step of the way and would be so, so proud… she’d have been waiting for me with the most bad-ass fry up ever at the finish line! So if I can urge y’all to do one thing (and I’m sure a ton of you already do) it would be to SIGN UP!  Get involved, do something!  Find your inner happiness by doing something for such a wonderful cause. Next stop… the Cardiff Half Marathon.  Oh bugger. Big love, BB x

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You can still donate to my Race for Life here.

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