Session Time: 47 minutes
Distance Covered: 3.39 miles
Total Time: 27 Hours 44 minutes
Total Distance Covered: 132.27 miles
Today I woke up feeling great. Today I was on a mission.
I had a feeling that today was going to be a very good run…
…when I first got out of bed I had one song running on loop in my head – Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream”
It seemed quite fitting as today I would be running for a very special teenager – Alice Pyne.
Alice is 15 years old and lives with her parents and sister in Ulverston in the UK. She has been fighting cancer for almost 4 years and now she knows that the cancer is gaining on her and tragically (in her own words) it doesn’t look like she’s going to win this one 😦
Alice has a blog which shows her bucket list, which she is trying to get completed before she has to go, even though there are some things on there which she knows she won’t be able to do now due to her condition. If you haven’t already read it, please check it out here: http://alicepyne.blogspot.com/. Alice really is one of the most inspiring young people I’ve ever come across, in fact both Alice and her sister Milly have been nominated in the 2011 inspiration awards for women…please take just a couple of minutes and vote for them here http://www.inspirationawards.co.uk/voting/index.php
One of Alice’s passions is spreading the word of Bone Marrow Donation.
Now as a lot of you know, until very recently I had a complete phobia of needles, to the extent where (although it has been one of my lifelong wishes to give blood) the blood service actually asked me not to come as I got so woozy when I went along when my mum gave blood that they said that I would be more trouble than a help(!)
However.…thanks to my firewalking instructor training, I not only walked on fire and glass, broke arrows and bent bars with my throat, broke blocks of wood and paving slabs with my bare hands…I finally (in quite a dramatic fashion!) overcame my fear of needles (I’ll save you the details in case there are squeamish people among you…if you want to know PM me 😉 ).
Unfortunately due to the technique I used to over come this fear I have to wait 4 months until I can finally give blood (as I discovered when I arrived at my appointment all set and ready to donate!), so the appointment is booked for the 30th of November.
Having read Alice’s blog though, and followed the links she has posted I realised that this is not enough. Not by a long shot.
So when I go to give blood on the 30th I shall be requesting to join the bone marrow register (if you want to know more about joining then you can find out here: http://www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/bonemarrow/qa/index.asp) I might not be a match, but knowing that I could potentially save someone else’s life means it’s a total no-brainer.
In addition I took 2 minutes to check that my MP has joined the #GET10 initiative (for each MP to get 10 fit young healthy men on the bone marrow register by November 2011. If you would like to give your MP a gentle reminder / kick up the @ss to get involved then you can do so here: http://www.anthonynolan.org/What-you-can-do/Grow-the-register/GET10/Contact-your-MP.aspx
So as you can see, Alice has had quite an impact on me already…so I thought it was time to do something to pay her back.
Today’s run was going to be for Alice….legs ready to lend…tunes ready to blast….Morning! Colgate Grin Combo ready to deploy.
As training buddy had to work this morning, it was down to Bubba and I to party on without him…so we grabbed our training gear, and hit the streets.
Now as you all know, when I do a run for someone I like to see it as just lending my legs to them for the session, so I like to do something on the run which makes it ‘theirs’. Having written to Alice’s team, one of them kindly replied and told me that I could wear her favourite colour (purple) to make it a real ‘Alice run’…and having seen several pictures of Alice (and knowing that she’s very excitedly waiting for the arrival of her new real-hair wig from Andrew Collinge!) I thought the addition of a bandana would be appropriate too 🙂
Even better, as I know that Alice is a fellow dog lover I decided that my virtual training crew would consist of my usual canine companion Sam, and that I would also visualise Alice’s golden Labrador Mabel joining us for the day.
Stretches complete we set off on our warm up power walk with the theme from “Legally Blonde”, the song “Perfect Day” ringing in our ears…and I had a very big smile on my face.
As we powered around the top corner of the road I suddenly realised….I had forgotten to put on my bandana!!
That wouldn’t do at all…so we pulled a U-turn and headed back to home (much to the confusion of everyone in the house!)
Two minutes later (with bandana in place)…we set off again…with a very big feeling of déjà vu! (In most sports they have instant replays…I figure this was just my version 😉 )
It was a lovely morning…early enough that the weather hadn’t quite made up it’s mind what it was going to do…meaning that the sky was covered with tiny little clouds, each with a yellowy-pinkish tinge to them…it was gorgeous.
I think someone somewhere must have known that I was running for a dog lover today…because I saw more dogs this morning than I EVER do normally! There was a collection – some of which I didn’t even recognise (and subsequently looked up when I got home!) – King Charles Spaniel, Doberman, Bedlington Terrier (which I’d never heard of before – I’ve included a picture below for others who have never seen one!)…the list went on, it was great.
So power walk complete it was time for our first run of the day…it was wonderful. Doing this run as if I were lending my legs to Alice really made me appreciate every single second of it. The teeny tiny tiggers were in full force and I even got a couple of ‘organic high fives’ from the trees over hanging the path as I ran.
After our first running stint it was back to a power walk…and a bit of a boogie as we went. The iPod was doing it’s thing and so we bounced up the road, with plenty of bum wiggling, grinning and a couple of turns for good measure. 😀
Then it happened…when doing my new ‘punching the air’ dance moves and smiling like a Cheshire cat…I got another in-car dance partner! There was an older guy in a car coming down the road and inspired by my rather ridiculous dancing down the road he started bopping from side to side in his car. BRILLIANT!
I waved to him as he went past and as he drove past me I got a grin and a wave back in return…I love it! 😀
So, energised again it was time for another run.
Taking a moment to appreciate the lovely morning we powered forward…and before we knew it we were at car-weaving central…with our best airplane moves we jogged in between each of the cars (getting a very curious look from someone pulling into their drive as we went!)
Now…this is where it got interesting.
Usually I run to the end of this road and then break for another power walk. Well not today.
Alice was really inspiring me. I imagined what she would do with this opportunity…I’m guessing she would make the most of it.
So, protests from my legs well and truly ignored we kept going…and going…and going…all the way to the park. No spatula required! Yay! 😀
Now given my canine theme today, I decided to extend my usual route and do a quick lap of the park where all the dogs go for their morning playtime. It was great. Looking across the park I could see at least half a dozen dogs all running, playing and chasing each other – now THAT will bring a smile to your face first thing in the morning! One of the little guys even came over to say hello 🙂
I left the park absolutely brimming with gratitude for my life and the ability to be able to do this.
Park lap completed (and a couple of conkers collected) we were back on our way…and back to our run.
(Sidebar…to other runners out there PLEASE remember to stay safe…this morning I was crossing the road and all appeared to be clear. I was momentarily distracted with my iPod and when I looked up there was a car coming my way. I had plenty of time to cross safely, and apologised to the very smiley driver (who had slowed down for me) with a smile and a wave but the mental note was reinforced…no getting distracted by ANYTHING while crossing the road. Naughty Puffin.)
Along our next running stretch we passed a young man in school uniform plodding along in the other direction…I was guessing that he was probably about Alice’s age, and he seemed thoroughly and completely fed up.
…but he was no match for the Morning! Colgate Grin Combo….with a cheery “Morning!” and my best 1950s Colgate advert grin (complete with the little ‘ting!’ and sparkle on my pearly whites!) his face burst into this fantastic smile. Yay! 🙂
Now, normally I run to the end of this road and then swap to another power walk…but Alice was doing her thing…there was no way I was stopping.
I ran all the way to the horses, with every intention of stopping to feed them.
Well…I stopped. But the horses were all the way over the other side of the field walking and running around in circles.
So I tried to call them over.
I tried again.
I jumped up and down waving my arms in the air.
They stopped in their tracks and looked over at me with this “What on EARTH are you doing?!?!” look….and then went back to what they were doing.
Thoroughly amused at being judged as a little bit bonkers by a set of horses, I shrugged and decided to keep going (I’ll come back and feed them for you another day Alice! 🙂 )
So, having run further today than I usually do (and extending my route a bit as well) my legs really were wondering what was going on….but I was not going to ease off…we were going to run all the way back home.
My legs were a little bit wobbly and I was in danger of moving (momentarily) from my nice relaxed running style back into my uncoordinated lolloping…but we kept going.
Then something amazing happened.
As I came through the alleyway by the house I saw that training buddy’s lift for work had been early and they were driving off around the corner! I was hoping to be back to say goodbye and wish him a good day before he left, and was quite disappointed when I saw them driving off.
Then I realised something.
The layout of our road means that about 30 seconds after a car leaves the bottom of the road, it will actually pass the top of the road (as our road is a “P” shape).
If I sprinted REALLY fast I might be able to get to the top to wave as they went past.
Wobbly legs totally ignored, I ran as fast as I could to the top of the road…and got there just in time to wave and blow a kiss to training buddy as they drove past.
It just goes to show, when you think you haven’t got anything left…you’ve got more than you think.
So I walked back to the house with a smile on my face and finished off Alice’s run with a VERY happy and grateful dance on our front lawn…to Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream”.
I jumped, I danced, I wiggled, I spun around…hello neighbours, your early morning entertainment has arrived.
Bubba and I were back, elated and very very pink in the face!!
So I would like to say a very sincere thank you to Alice for being my inspiration this morning. You are one of the best training partners I’ve ever had – I ran more today than I have in weeks…and just when I thought I’d done all I could, it turns out I could do more! 😀
…and in return I would like to ask each and every one of you reading this to PLEASE contact your MP about the #GET10 initiative…and to please consider signing up to the bone marrow register yourself, no matter where you are in the world.
This is Alice’s legacy…please do YOUR part to make it as successful as you can.
Another step closer x