Farnham Pilgrim Backwards

I love this half marathon. Utterly love it. Glorious views, a nice mix of surfaces to run on, lots of up, lots of down. Nothing too tricky, but the perennial potential to go flying over a tree root, which helps keep you on your toes (I didn’t fall over. I came very, very close). Cake and a brass band at the end, adequate loos, a changing room, and a rather nifty medal.

Mind you, on Saturday, I wasn’t entirely sure I’d be running it – and on Sunday, I still wasn’t entirely sure it was a good idea. LK has been very caring and sharing her cold germs. Both Grandpa and I were the lucky recipients of a really sticky, snotty cold this week. She’s been reasonably chipper about it. Well, other than two outbursts of inordinate tears, which is so unlike her that, actually, I had no idea what to do. We’ve twigged it eventually – snuggle next to her on the bed, but don’t try and cuddle her as she turns into a bucking bronco. Don’t try distractions, or singing, or a bath – just let her calm down in her own time with someone nearby. Having her vaccinations, finally, this week didn’t really help.

So. Back to the race. Full of trepidation, and leaving LK playing with Daddy (and not saying ‘Goodbye’ as if she realises Mummy Is Going then chaos may well ensue), I drove off to Farnham. Parked with plenty of time to spare, hauled myself up the hill to the start wondering if this was a Good Plan or a Totally Lousy Idea. Got my number, stood in the queue for the loo, changed, dropped off my bag, rejoined the queue for the loo a second time, and made it to the start with plenty of time to spare, and an idea of simply enjoying the race. No music. Just eavesdropping on other runners. I do like a good eavesdrop.

Practical upshot – 22nd in my age category (out of 61), in the top 25% of female finishers, 5 minutes faster than the last time I ran the race in 2017, although the route was backwards this year, 5 minutes slower than in 2016, when I was at peak fitness pre-Berlin Marathon. Didn’t need a loo stop (Hurrah! This is only about the second long run since having LK which hasn’t required a loo stop!). Saw one of my Guides marshalling, which made me feel all toasty lovely.

And a rather nice ice cream at the end of it all before I drove home for cuddles.


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