The glass door.

It’s been so long since I have written. I do daily blogs in my head and change my mind about posting them or forget the content by the time I have access or time to sit down and type. I find myself having more of a conversation with myself and not wanting to see it reflected back off w screen.

I have had a crazy year. I’ve moved into the world of triathlons and have learnt that even though I hate my body for not being able to do what all woman can ; have babies, I can still push it to its max and achieve amazing things.

I have taught myself to swim front crawl, braved the scrum of open water swimming. I have cycled 112miles with out training and run marathons. I completed the Long Course Weekend in Tenby and managed to secure all 4 of the medals even though my Saturday cycle was sound tracked by the “can’t do this”  Demons.  I cycled in France, although this was punctuated with emotional brakedowns and I came last out of my friendship group, and I recently completed Snowdon Marathon YET I still feel completely placeless in the world around me.

Ive had this nagging voice that always tells me I don’t fit in ever since I can remember. When I was younger I managed to find people with similar musics tast, interests, books and then running to quieten it down. But then I turned a certain age and the people around me have become husband and wife and inevitably parents.

I find myself desperate to relate and saying stupid things like “my friends daughter, my friends son does blah blah blah” I want to be able to fit into the conversations. I want to have life experiences to share but I don’t and if I don’t have a friends anecdote to share I make situations up just to be able to say something and not sit in w out of my own misery.

On the weekend we had a family Bonfire and fireworks. One of my husbands cousins was there with her little boy and my brother-in-law’s ex (who he is still amazing friends with) was there with her little girl (not his, just clarifying hahahahaha). I say talking to the ex for a while heard the drivel coming out of my mouth, the cloying “oh your a wonderful mum” “oh she is so beautiful” “she is so clever” etc etc not that she isn’t but it’s like a reflex with me now. I over compensate for my barrenness by being overly complimentary about other people’s children or parenting skills. Of course she absorbed it oblivious to how I sounded in my head and the pride and love radiated out of her towards her perfect little girl and back to her.

when the party moved indoors the women sat in the conservatory. I could hear the mum stories, the both stories, breast feeding nappy changing, bed time stories and I had not one thing to contribute. I sat on in the next room with the men. I didn’t belong to the whole world of femininity, motherhood and sisterhood that was taking place next door. I intensely felt my alienation and it’s something I am feeling more and more.

i feel I don’t have a place in the world. There is a door made of glass that I can look through, hear through but I can’t walk through.

 

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I’m not dead, at least I don’t think so

so I haven’t stopped running and have done some pretty cool runs including the Seansea 10k night trail a few weeks back. Anyone who likes trail running, hills and more hills this is an amazing test of endurance. I loved every second of it, my only grumble is I wanted to sprint home in the dark, head torch on and the light from it streaking behind me! It was just getting dark as I spluttered home but with me b ring clumsy as I am it’s probably s good thing.

I have also hit a new 5k PB of 24:18 which I’m really chuffed with, specially in light of my lack of speed work since Christmas. I’m doing a lot of weights and weight based circuits at the moment to strengthen my weak glutes and hips as that’s what has been causing my knee pain, my knee turns inwards when I run or squat and it’s the repetitive motion of that which is causing me pain. It’s hard for me to rectify as I’m not the most coordinated but I’m getting there.

sunday our club was involved in the Rack Raid relay. Phenomenal event similar to the Castle relays but I promise to come back and blog about that.

and finally I’m hill training like there is no tomorrow in prep for The Tenby Half. Going ok at the moment but we will see on race day. Should get sub 2hrs if I feel good on the day but at this stage it’s about getting around.

Reason for lack of blogs? Work. It’s sucking the will to live out of me. I work till 11:30pn most nights and don’t have the energy to write. I went for an interview last week but not sure if I want the job. Frying pan fore springs to mind and if I’m honest in calculating how much Run time I would gain or lose!!!! Not the best way to decide if I want a job or not is it.

 

 

I’ve only gone and done it!

Bank holiday Monday and as the world prepares to recover from its hangover I’m sitting on the toilet applying for the London Marathon!

In for a penny in for £2500 if I decide to go down the charity route!

The thing is I’m not a fast runner or a particularly great runner or even a good runner but I do run. When I ponder races I convince myself I am an athlete, that I can run any distance as long as I’m not badgered about time. I get that swell of excitement and I find my fingers hovering over the keyboard and before I know it jn signed up. Then I have a bad run and in unceremoniously thrown down that path of self doubt. I seem able to run down that path 100 miles an hour.

I have probably mentioned my running Pod before. We run every Friday together and it’s usually 10+ miles. Lately we have been doing a few shorter ones but throwing in a few sneaky hills. It’s paying off as I ran with another friend on Tuesday and my pace seems to be dropping.

Any way, back to my tale in hand. The Pod and I, fuelled on the success of the euphoria of London this year , have all egged each other on. We have decided it’s doable in a pod, that we can do it if we train and that we can raise the money needed!

Excitement coursed through me and I decided that I would run 10/13 miles with the husband today. Not the best idea after a Strength and Conditioning Class at Power Athletics.

My back hurt, legs ached, inner/outer thigh hurt and as I ran I felt my energy disiputate. From Mile 1 onwards it was a struggle. I wanted to give up at mile 3 and when I hit mile 5 I was beat. I rammed a gel down me and a rejected the offer of catching the train home.

I ran the 5 miles back home, replaced the flat route with a hill just to add insult to injury and felt absolutely elated when my watched beeped 10miles.

I didn’t give up, I didn’t surrender.  My mind wanted me to but I knew I couldn’t give up today. It’s the tough runs like this that will help complete 26.2 miles…. Best get use to it.

Fingers crossed for all of you who have entered the ballot 🙂

London Marathon

London Marathon

11 miles I walked yesterday! Exhausted from walking clapping and cheering I think we deserved a medal! 😉

Staying on Tower Hill we were in a prime location to see the runners. We got up early to get David to the red pen. We envisaged swarming crowds, over crowded streets and waiting hours for a train. Ok, so there were people all walking in mass towards the nearest tube station but that was actually quite helpful. At least we knew we were heading in the right direction.

The train was packed but we only had a few stops to go and by this point I was already caught up in the marathon fever. I was looking in everyone’s see through marathon bags to see what refuelling gels, foods they had brought with them. I was eyeing up everyone’s trainers and running kit and getting “running kit horny”.

Off the train in Greenwich and the Atmosphere was s mixture between a street festival and palatable nervous energy. There were stalls outside with coffee, shops with coffee and bagels, pastries and porridge for the runners to purchase on route. The coffee permeated my nose and tickled my senses until I honestly felt like I was the runner. Wired and over excited.

So 9am, David dropped off we headed for breakfast…. Well it would be rude not to!

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Fuelling for a day of speciation. Would be rude not to!

What shocked me more than anything was the number of runners who were scampering to the startling well after the 10am start. A few looked as if they had slept in and missed their alarm, others just didn’t seem in a hurry. I suppose the 26.2 miles isn’t going anywhere and it did take some 30 minutes to cross the startline so perhaps they were on to something turning up a little later.

After food and a poop we headed back to Towerbridge and found ourselves near the half way marker. We walked down the road and came to the 12 mile marker and a break in the crowds. Finding a spot on the curb we sat down and prepared for a long wait.

The London marathon app was a bit of a let down. It froze, some of our friends didn’t appear to have started and others were stuck on the same spot for ages. There was frantic texting back and forth between those watching at home and us on the  front line. We managed to spot David, Angie and Chrissie. The others must have gone past in some of the larger clumps of runners.

We were also lucky enough to see the elite runners. VERY VERY briefly before we chocked on the dust from their heels.

We shouted encouragement,  clapped and cheered our way around London. On and off tubes, walked bloody miles and got stuck for an hour on Towerbridge to see David run past us at mile 22.

We were getting off the tube near Trafalgur Square when my phone goes off. It was Tina and her wife Debbie who had travelled all the way from the Rhondda, on a bus with their children just to support David cross the finish line.

Tina and Debbie lost their little girl Lacey-May to trisomy 18 a little over a year ago. The blow to the family is indescribable. Both Tina and Debbie knew that Lacey wouldn’t live long but wanted their little girl to know life and to know love.

Debbie carried Lacey for 9 months only to bury her a few weeks after she was born. At her funeral we set off pink balloons with hand written messages. I saw devastation, loss, wordless pain in the faces of Tina and Debs but I also saw love, devotion, strength and a determination for Lacey not to have  been born and then to have died in vain. That tiny white coffin broke my heart and the inarticulate scream of pain resonated around the chapel. Id have done bay thing to spare them that.

They battled on.,

They fought to have her and then they fought for Doctors to change the expression “incompatable with life”. They clung together and turned the gut wrenching grief into a drive to help others and to raise Money for Softuk so the small charity would be able to continue the work they do raising awareness and helpjng other families going through the same thing Tina and Debbie have.

Im so proud of them. Words can’t describe how much I admire them and their children. Their eldest Viccie said to me Saturday.

“I’m glad it happened to us and not another family as we are strong, we love each other and we love each other and value each other more now than ever.”

I challenge anyone not to shed a tear at that.

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Encapsulates Love 

Above David and the Mountjoys. What an incredible family.

3hrs 6mins after the race begins.,

“He’s finished.” Tina screamed. I screamed and cheered and cried. Everyone around us looked in with smiles on their faces and strangers congratulated us.

I didn’t give two shits about his time or him running for running sake. What I cared about was the balm it offered Tina and Debbie, I cared that  Lacey-Mays spirit flew that day. I cared that Debbie and Viccie had struggled to catch a train, travel 4hours, battling with anxiety and depression and a fear of crowds to support a stranger upon whom they had pinned so much. I cared that I had been able to help my best friend find a tiny bit of comfort from another friend lacing up his daps. I cared that David had finished the race on the back of his own breakdown and when he had finished he was able to see what it meant to this beautiful family and see that if they could struggle on so could he.

We took photos, had a few drinks and cried, hugged and cemented our friendships Through a new shared experience that was bitter sweet for all involved.

Excuse the pics but I don’t have the words to encapsulate the day X

#myfamily

 

if people say why run? Why out yourself through 26 miles of agony? The answer should be clear. To help others not have to suffer a life time of agony x

 

oh and did I say we met Linda  Robson 🙂

London Marathon Saturday

PARKRUN PB 25:07 does it count? Does it feck. And I will explain why!

here I am in London with friends, one of which is running the Marathon. I get up early, set my satnav and walk to the nearest parkrun in SouthWalk Park.

im feeling proud I was able to find my way there when I realise I have forgotten my barcode! I panic and message friends to help me find my NO and feel confident that the parkrun people will do a missed barcode for me.

Im so excited to be here and when I see some Pontypool runners who call over to me (I don’t know them but we are all related in Wales) I am gagging to get off.

The start is announced and off we go.

Its a 3 lap course and the park was stunning. I ran past a duck pond, a play area and some of the nuttiest marshals I have ever come across!

Everytine I passed one of them they had changed the distance left to go. One minute I had 3k the next 26k.

I went off pretty quickly and wasn’t sure I would sustain it. I decided not to worry and just go for it. My breathing was a bit annoying and I have to say my glutes hurt from running Caerphilly mountain yesterday but all in all I felt OK.

I crossed the line at 25:07 parkrun PB!!!!

The only thing that soured it for me is that they were a stickler for the rules and wouldn’t take my number to log the run for me. I stomped off head right up my arse and disappointed!

As a friend pointed out

“The PB doesn’t count …. You know the rules…”

I won’t bore you with the language I used!

a weekend of Pen y Fan and Brecon trail.

WOW nothing quite like going off road to restore the soul!

Saturday was Pen y Fan day. After finishing work late and running 10 miles in the Friday, I really couldn’t be arsed to drag myself out of Bed. I text Mrs R and said “Legs dead after yesterday’s 11miles, not coming.” 5 minutes later I was hunting for base layers and jumping in my car to meet the crew.

It was a gorgeous morning with sunshine. Perfect was a little run up South Wales highest mountain Pen Y Fan. We all joked about how stupid we were, how early it was and then suddenly out of no where snow fluttered down into the windscreen.

Excitement buzzed around the car along with a few apprehensive looks.

The base of Pen y fan was just waking up for the start of the day. The sun wasn’t quite out but the air was clean and fresh and you could hear the birds all calling out to each other. As we crossed the bridge to start our run you could hear the babbling of water over the stones. It was idyllic.

The sudden and very vicious incline was not. We started as soon as our feet crossed the bridge and I have to be honest and say I immediately enjoyed the burn in my chest and legs.

I tried to keep my heart rate as low as possible by going slow but steady and didn’t worry to much about getting up to the top just about moving forward. I could see the two lads ahead of me and knew the Mrs R and Max were behind me so knew we were all ok.

But no sooner had we conquered one section of the incline the next was upon us. In the distance the snow drifted in. The sky was a steely grey and the wind blew sideways and we could feel the snow whip at our exposed skin.

To make it easier we set small goals. We ran walked between little streams that cut across the path and have to say we stopped for a few photos.

Hard to believe that we were in the same country as we had been at the base.

Max stopped and waited for us at top of the ridge and thank god he did. The icy fog that had descended shrouded the way forward and knowing Mrs R and I, we would have gone off path and been found a few days latter frozen in a huddle Hahahaha.

My catch phrase of the day of “it’s just over the next ridge” turned out to be less motivating than it sounded in my head. That may have been because 10 ridges later the peak still wasn’t visible.

It didn’t matter how much my legs burnt, my lungs protested at the thinness of air and my hands tingled with cold I felt elated. I looked around at the dipping and rising crest of the mountains all dappled in white powder with the blackness of rock slicing through and felt so excited that this was part of my country, my home turf and I had ran where some people struggle to walk. Slow speed wasn’t an issue. It wasn’t about breaking records it was getting together and creating memories from challenging ourselves.

The lads Carl and Glynn waited in the bitter cold for us to have a group shot at the monument and it felt amazing to have reached the peak.

 

The decent was quick and we rewarded ourselves with a hot chocolate and felt a certain sort of smugness at people saying how “mad” we were to have run it.

Sunday was a 10k trail run in Brecon.

I wasn’t suppose to do it as my hubby was running the Llanelli Matathon but work had conspired against me and I had to work.  That kind of worked in my favour as I then inherited a place at this in I wanted to do anyway.

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We stopped on the drive over for a few team pics and then arrived at our destination. There was an Ultra and a half trail marathon taking place at the same time and as I saw the Ultra runners climb up the hilly roads I felt a twinge of excitement and jealousy…. God please don’t let that thought form in my head lol!

At the venue we were given our numbers, tee shirts and maps!!! Maps! Maps! Oh god woukd we make it back!

“Don’t forget to dip your dobber to record your time.”

I could see the shoulders of S shaking uncontrollably. The marshal giving us the pre race info kept saying Dobber over and over and everyone around us started to chuckle.

When we set off we created a pod of 4 and decided to stick together. I was worried that my legs wouldn’t carry me after the hills I had ran that weekend but it was as if I had warmed them up and I flew up the first incline not even phased when I saw the next.

alongside  us on the right was the most beautiful reservoir and I really wish I had taken my camera. The water sparkled in the sun and the greenery around it made it look spectacular!

Some people struggled to get up the hills, well there was 3 miles of them (I mean 3 continuous miles)

When we raced holding hands the atmosphere was electric. Our team mates were waiting for us and we were filled with euphoria and the free sweets.

I do have to say that we were a little bit like the poor relatives at a free buffet. We filed our faces with the free jelly babies, jelly beans and crisps. We went back for orange pieces, squash and water until the only option was the dog water from the canni cross runners lol

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