Monday, 31 May 2010

Magnificent May

There's something about sunshine that just makes us feel better. That first sensation of warmth on your face, your skin, especially after a long, hard winter. It makes you pause just to drink it in and appreciate the wonder of nature.

Race For Life day (my challenge for this month) dawns exactly like this. A beautiful May morning, warm but with a slight nip to the air which would keep us cool whilst running ... or jogging ... or walking. Of course, I had intended to pitch up fit and fabulously healthy, ready to run 5km easily and effortlessly. But, in the intervening months since we booked our places, somehow my fitness plans have reduced to a couple of hours in the gym the week before.

And so we arrive at the magnificent Hopetoun House  and follow the queue of cars winding through the estate to the makeshift carpark. We are four, but we have already agreed to split as necessary once the race starts and take it at our own pace.

We join the gathering at the front of the stately home, and I can't help but read the messages for loved ones pinned to everyone's backs. I feel unexpectedly touched by the poignancy of reading the long lists of people lost to cancer, and I briefly and surreptitiously wipe a tear away.

Thankfully there's not much time for deliberation as we launch into our warm up and all too soon it's time to race and we are through the starting gates and running. And what a great feeling it is! Running in a sea of pink tops, heads bobbing all around us. Two of our team pull away ahead but we are pacing ourselves. We run for a while and then slow to a walk once we are out of sight of the house. We keep a comfortable rhythm as we walk, jog, have a chat with the neighbours, and put the world to rights. We jog past the groups ahead of us and when we slow to a walk, those same people jog past us with a friendly wave.

We pass the one and two kilometre markers quickly. The 3km sign seems to be evading us until we round a bend at a run and there it is. Once we pass the 4km marker, we start to push ahead, watching our time to make sure we come in on target. We come round the house and all of a sudden the crowds are there. We run up to the last bend and then with a final effort come charging over the finish line feeling very pleased with ourselves.

Our fit friends have come in ten minutes earlier, but we are happy with our effort. And we feel fantastic for the rest of the day. There's nothing like a bit of exercise to get you going and leave you feeling fab. I just need to remember that next time I choose to watch last night's recorded TV over a workout at the gym......

Next year, we may do the 10km race. And we might even run it! 

1 comment:

Sharon McPherson said...

Well done Susan! An amazing achievement. And what's ten minutes between friends. lol