Three weeks today and at 12noon Thursday 17th September I make my debut in a Scottish vest!
After qualifying a year ago, I knew it was going to happen and I’ve been focussing and training for it since January 1st. But I still find it hard to believe that it’s me! There are loads of girls faster and stronger than me and I keep thinking there’s been a mistake, I’ve always know my place in running and it’s at the back! I’ve never won a prize except old foggy at Glenrothes 50km (small field) and I’ve brought up the rear making up numbers for a team prize at Lochaber Marathon occasionally. Pauline has often told me I could run “better”. I think better what? Numbers on my watch? In front of A.N. Other? But don’t think I take it easy, I’ve pushed so hard that I’ve been ill after races I’ve even thrown up during a couple. I will say that during 23 years of running I have never had a disappointing race, even when the numbers on my watch were not what I was looking for. It was the best that my body could do on that day and how can you ever be disappointed with your best effort.
I’ve been quite emotional when thinking about what I get to do and it’s been building up a bit these last few weeks. But it is not pressure just sheer pride in what I get to do and thinking back to my state of play four years ago. I was lucky enough to have survived a brain haemorrhage but asking doctors when I could run again, I was given fudged answers like “Oh, I’ve never been asked that one before.” Another smiling reply was “We doctors are a cautious lot and would only advise you to stay wrapped in cotton wool and never leave your house!” Doesn’t help your confidence one little bit! So it was with just my own determination I got back to “normal” and a bloody good job I did of it too! It was after running the WHW fourteen months later was when I decided I was fully recovered, (the medical profession are still being cautious and my next MRI is due around next March, hopefully my last, and then they will finally agree with me.)
So at Keswick I’ll be running the hardest effort of my life, it is not just for myself but for the team and for my country. It’s not my physical strength that counts but the determination and my heart and soul that has got where I am today.
If you are at Keswick and happen to see me crying, don’t worry I’ll not be in distress it will only be pride.