-3 Degrees is all I’m saying…
So this was a very disturbing weekend for me. It was my 25th birthday on Friday which was perfect, my fabulous Aunty was home from France for the week and as I wasn’t working I got to spend every day with her. My Mum, Sister, Aunty & I went to Bluewater for the day, did some shopping and came home to go out for a lovely Greek meal – I have no complaints for that day.
However waking up at 5am the next morning to drive up to Lancaster is something I wasn’t too happy about…
Leeds was always going to be Decembers run, and then the more I thought about it, the more I convinced myself to change the race to another one so I could enjoy my birthday and have some drinks with friends etc. So I found another one to do, and this time my cousin Emily and her fiancé were planning on coming up to Leeds to surprise me with running it as she hasn’t been able to make any of them yet. So a big debate happened in our Family Whatsapp to see if anyone could make any other dates and no one could so I took one for the team and stuck with the original Leeds run.
…We arrived at Aunty Helens for breakfast where we had Lynda, Laura, Alfie & Arlo joining us and where we discussed the plan for the weekend. Now I’m sure you all know the UK was hit with a lot of unexpected snow which was predicted to be particularly bad in Leeds and the roads we take to get there. The weather forecasts were saying ‘Do not travel unless you have to’ and seeing as this was my 11th run, we all decided we HAD to try to get there – snow or no snow! – turns out the roads were absolutely fine and there was no danger. We went for a small walk in the afternoon (obviously as my family cannot sit still) & Saturday evening we had our traditional curry round my cousins Sophie’s house and we got to spend time with gorgeous little Tommy.
Sunday morning comes and it is FREEZING. I had 4 layers on which for anyone that knows me knows that I am a very hot person so if I needed layers…it was really cold! We set off for Leeds about 6:30am stopping off at a service station on route to get a Greggs breakfast (porridge of course) and made it to Leeds in perfect time.
With my millions of layers on I was getting hot, and I was braving the cold with 2 pairs of leggings on (one were Christmas themed so it was a must to wear them) and my normal top (plus Lynda’s, about to be rubbish, knitted cardigan to throw away at the start line).
We walked to the start line with about 15 minutes spare until the race started where we were having a chat with other runners, taking pictures next to the logo of the race when we realised that there was only 15 of us doing the half marathon to which me and Lynda panicked thinking we were definitely going to be last. We then heard people cheering so we assumed this was the 5 & 10k runners as we were starting at different times, a marshal then walked past us saying..”you better hurry up they’ve already set off” – great thanks for the warning! So off we all went running after the starters to join the race – it had started without us even knowing.
(sorry Aunty Helen I had to post it)
The course was actually a perfect run, it was flat, along a canal and back again. I started to get warm so a mile in the cardigan came off, then about 3 miles in my legs felt too restricted in 2 pairs of leggings so my Christmas ones came off – in hindsight this was ridiculous as I don’t think I have ever been so cold but I will get to that.
Around mile 3/3.5 there was a drinks station with 3 marshals, a dog happened to come over to them at the same time I was running past and they were feeding it treats so I didn’t want to spoil their fun so I grabbed a drink and kept running…and running…and running until I thought…I’ve just seen people who weren’t that far in front of me, surely I couldn’t have been that far behind everyone. So I turned around and saw one of the marshals walking back to the water station. I carried on going and saw a man and I asked if he had seen any runners with numbers on… he hadn’t meaning I’d run too far. So back I went to the water station where the man said he didn’t see my number so he let me keep going but that was the point where I was meant to turn around and start going back again…😑👍🏻.
With that hiccup sorted I started to run back, getting more and more cold but it was ok, it was bearable. Around mile 8 it started to snow..brilliant! And it didn’t stop. Luckily it wasn’t settling but the floor was icy from the previous days snow so we had to be careful – this is when I realised the temperature was -3 degrees which was just ridiculous.
At mile 9 me and Lynda passed each other (she was on the home stretch) and she said to me “Becki, I am absolutely knackered”. Now this woman had been in bed for the whole week due to her bones hurting (weak bones is a very common issue from the aggressive chemo that she had) but she doesn’t know I knew this – she almost didn’t run she was in that much pain. But there she was, no moaning, no tears, she still had a smile on her face and she was still praising me on my efforts. This gave me the strength to keep going through to the cold, if she could then so could I! The last little sprint was so painful as my whole body was numb from the cold and I was so happy it was over! Can I just add the goody bag was AMAZING, (dads favourite so far) A Terry’s Chocolate Orange & a bottle of Beer! Not a nut or energy bar in sight and on the finish line were homemade cakes and buns and sweets for us all.
The 7 runners all got changed and went to pizza express after the run (another family favourite) where I stayed in my jumper, Ugg boots and big fluffy coat the whole time. I was so cold but I only have myself to blame for thinking I could have braved the cold (it’s not called the grim up north running for nothing) It continued to snow until we all had to say goodbye and start the long journey back home through the sleet and snow. Thank you Dad.
I cannot believe I only have 1 run left, what an absolutely amazing journey I have had this year and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world as I have had some life changing memories.
I will see you all for Race 12 – BARCELONA. The countdown to the end is on! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my amazing readers and supporters. I Love You all!!