Thursday 20 March 2014

To run or to give up: fighting through sadness for happy running

So, it's been a while. Sorry about that - a few things have happened and I just didn't feel like writing. Or running for that matter. Sadness does that to you, I think; either you just don't want to function any more or you're someone who goes in to overdrive to cope. I'm the former, evidently.

Training had been going relatively well. I had 17 miles on my plan the weekend of valentine's day, and I'd planned to do 6 miles alone, pick up my friends Georgia to run 9 miles together, then run the final 2 miles home. It was a good run - all smiles at 12 miles form me, 6 miles for Georgia.

When I dropped Georgia off my phone rang - it was my mum. With a heavy heart she had to tell me that my Grandpa had passed away suddenly. I was stunned, devastated, and on the verge of a meltdown 2 miles from home. I needed to be home. I hung up and just ran.

For the best part of the next two weeks I didn't run again - I just couldn't find it in my to lace up the trainers and go. I was worried that I wouldn't want to run again, but slowly I started to come round and set myself a new purpose to run: for Gramps.

Image courtesy of Charlie Brown
Thankfully, I have a bunch of super-amazing running girls who can be relied on to be ready to run together and provide much needed moral support. Leah and Melissa had 18 miles on their plan and decided to do it on a Thursday night after work. A bit nuts, but the lure of company versus a lonesome weekend run was too much and off we went. 18 mid-week miles, starting running around 7pm and finishing about 10.20pm - I have to admit, we (at least I!) felt a bit like heroes when we were done. A major confidence boost.

Twickenham delicacy.
And a hot dog.
I was signed up for Surrey Half Marathon the following weekend but the boy was a bit jammy and won us a pair of tickets for England vs Wales at Twickenham. Getting my legs out versus watching a bunch of fit men getting their legs out - no contest really! So I headed out for a pre-rugby 8 sub-4h marathon miles on Sunday morning instead. Felt good :)

The following week was the last big push before the marathon - 20 miles. Along with Becs, Hilary and Alexa, I'd signed up for the Surrey Spitfire 20 miler. I figured that I was much more likely to actually do 20 miles if there was a medal at the end, and it would give me good experience of actually racing that distance versus training for the distance. If I could just get through this race, I was pretty confident I could run the marathon.

Well, I got through it! Not only that, but I felt pretty strong despite the heat and the hills (oh, the hills!) and even managed a sprint/dance-down-the-finishing-straight finish. Target: 3h20. Result: 3h09. Sweeeeet!! Surrey Spitfire was a great race, helped immensley I'm sure by the sunshine, beautiful countryside, singing birds and support of fellow running friends. I was elated and, even better, full of confidence for the marathon in 4 weeks time. Just another 10k on top of that and I'm home.

Don't get me wrong - while I felt strong and was elated to be finished those 20 miles hurt. It hurt when I had to run up those hills, it hurt at 18 miles when I thought my legs were going to fall off, it hurt when I sat down and tried to stand up again, it hurt when I got out of the car after driving home, and it hurt for 2 days after. A marathon will not be easy, but I feel confident that I can stand the pain and get myself round those 26.2 miles. Will I put myself through it again? Well, that's another question all together...

Surrey Spitfire complete with RAF jet. As you do...
And no, we did not plan the co-ordinated outfits, honest!
As I've written about before, I'm running in memory of my friend Sarg. Now - and I hope Sarg doesn't mind sharing - I'd like to add another on to that and run for Gramps too. 26.2 miles: for Sarg and for Gramps. If you'd like to donate to support two charities in memory of these awesome gents then you can do here:

Thanks for your support. Next stop - marathon! Well, actually next stop is Vegas for a vacation, but let's not talk about how that might throw a massive spanner in the marathon success plan...

Katy | City Girl Fit


  1. Sorry to hear about your grandpa x x

  2. Sorry about your loss Katy. Well done on the Surrey Spitfire- I'm sure you are more than marathon ready- enjoy the taper!

  3. Sorry to hear about your Grandad. I really hope all the best for your marathon, and enjoy Vegas!