So a while ago I mentioned that I wanted to do 25 parkruns before Christmas. When I told Andy, he thought I meant run a sub 25 minute parkrun (although he did think that was possible)- but no, I meant run a total of 25.
But, for the last few weeks I have done no running at all. I had a cough, it cleared up, I did the Hatfield 5 mile race, and a run on the Tuesday and Wednesday of that week, and then the cough was back with a vengeance. One Thursday I could barely speak (made for amusing times at work asking the children with the loudest voices to say things like “tidy up time” ), and from there it got worse. I even went to the doctors last week but depressingly was told that I could have it for 6 or 7 weeks and not to worry, just do the steam inhalations to help get things out.
Anyway, by the end of last week I was feeling loads better- I actually had energy again, and after seeing my dad on Friday night we agreed to go to parkrun in the morning.
I felt fine, and I wrapped up warm as I knew I would be doing a gentle jog at the back, no chance of warming up. But as soon as we started running, I didn’t feel so good. Every step was hurting the back of my ribs- I think they are a bit bruised from all the coughing, and because of that I was then not being able to take really deep breaths. The parkrun course is beautiful, and again it was lovely weather- sunny for the most part but cool. I felt like I was right at the back, but I kept telling myself that it didn’t matter where I finished- the lovely volunteers would wait. I was trying to take longer strides to minimise the pain (it only happened when my foot hit the ground) but that didn’t really work. I did feel a bit fed up when I got to the 4k point at the same time as when I usually finish, but quickly talked myself out of that negative thinking.
When I got to the finish line my dad was waiting for me- I think a bit worried as I was so much slower than usual. But once I stopped I felt OK, and we had a good chat on the walk back to the car and the drive home. I still can’t decide if it was a good thing or not, but it did help me decide about what to pack. (Andy and I are off to Spain for Christmas, and I was considering taking running things just in case, but after that I decided that enforced rest would only be a good thing).
Anyway, I do love getting the text results through, and when I got mine this week I felt pretty pleased. My time was 35.35 (I do like repeating numbers) and I was 125th out of 133 runners. When I first started running, I did a 5K race for life, and my finish time then was 35 mins- it was the first time I had run without a walk break, and the furthest I had ever run, and I was so proud of myself for doing something that I didn’t think I could do.
I think what I realised this weekend is that finally my mindset has changed. Even though I have now been running for years, I still felt like someone just starting out, and a bit of an imposter at races. But this weekend I felt like, even though I had not run for a few weeks, in fact I am a runner, I have just been out with a bad cough, and once I am back to full health I will be running regularly again.
And here, for fun, are candy cane cupcakes that I made last week. They are chocolate cupcakes (the Hummingbird recipe) and then butter icing with some peppermint extract and pink colouring. I saw on TV how to do swirls, and thought I would give it a go. Inside the piping bag you paint strips of colouring (which got very messy indeed) and then put the pink icing into the bag. Then, as you pipe, the swirls appear.
I am not the best at piping, but I thought they looked quite pretty. I added some crushed candy canes to the topping, and then sprinkled with edible glitter (or non-toxic glitter as I think it is officially called).
Wow, look at that, a post about running and cupcakes! Who would have thought it?