Monday, 1 June 2009

Marathon Madness

Well, this is gorge weather we've been having, isn't it? My flat is like an oven and the cats have melted into greasy blobs of fur on the carpet. It's interfering with my mojo a little, as my brain is too sluggish to function, which is a pity as I have THREE classes to plan ASAP. And therefore no cards to show today :o(
Looking on the bright side, however, I have spent a very pleasant weekend outdoors, beginning with a long walk through Almondell Country Park with my Work Friend and her sweet collie pup on Friday evening. She has boundless energy (the dog, not Work Friend - although we both felt we benefited from the workout our legs got during the trek!) and I suppose that's why I'm not so much a Dog Person - I really like hounds but I'm much, much too lazy to have one. Even though I enjoy walking. But not so much at all hours of day and night. In all weathers. And dogs knock me over easily. Even chihuahuas. Sad, I know, but true ( a bit).
Saturday I sunned myself in my parent's garden with Father. Then we washed our cars and had chip butties for tea. And yesterday I had an interesting new experience; namely going along to cheer on the Sister of Himself as she took part in the Edinburgh Marathon. We took a position alongside crowds of others at Longniddry (mile 15) and I was amazed at the sight of
hoardes of runners flowing past us - they seemed never-ending and you had to admire the pluck of these people willing to put their bodies through such torture in the name of charity or self-achievement. Especially the ones dressed in furry costumes. With the temperature exceeding 20,000 degrees fahrenheit. We clapped and cheered continually to "spur" the runners on, and if they had their name written on their vest it allowed us to make it personal: "Come on Dave! You can do it! You're doing great Fred! Keep it up!" Etc. We cheered Sister and then crossed the road to wait for her coming back (mile 20) but after standing for ages, with increasingly-knackered runners staggering past us on their return journey, there was no sign of her. An hour and a half later, it became rather worrying and we were unable to believe we could have missed her. Much panic ensued when we finally received news that she had collapsed with heat exhaustion at mile 19! So off we set, on foot, to find her and luckily by then she'd rallied, although her collapse had sounded rather dramatic and scary (unable to feel her nose, lips swelling, falling over into a bed of nettles, eek). She was, however, more gutted that she'd failed, and so, as she was now upright, we suggested that she WALK the rest of the route and we would accompany her for moral support. The rest of the route was 7 miles long. And I was wearing flipflops. But, undeterred, off we set. Himself and I were apologetic whenever the watching crowds cheered us ("we're not actually competitors! We deserve no glory!") but there was a little bit of a thrill gained from taking an active part in the event. You really had to hand it to those poor folk who were hobbling valiantly to the finish line. The heat was relentless. And the water stations had run out of water. I really hope no one was seriously affected. At mile 25 Sister decided she felt able to run the final part and so she crossed the finishing post in respectable time, despite her earlier mishap. We felt proud to have helped her achieve this. And I didn't even have any blisters! (My only after-effect is a slightly sore hip today.) It was amazing - although we nearly vommed when we saw Sister's falling-off toenails - blech!
After the excitement of the day, it was nice to return to the house of Himself's Parents and to be fed a delicious vegetable lasagne. Ah, it was good! And, despite my misgivings about pushing One's body to the limits of endurance, I'm now wondering if I should be making an effort and entering some kind of charity run next year. Maybe Race for Life. Never say never. Today really inspired me. Well done Dave and Fred and the other 15, 998 folk who took part! Your medals were well-deserved!

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