I’ll get the important things out of the way first, shall I? I did it! I didn’t fall and I didn’t stop, I ran the whole thing. And I ran it in 30 minutes. (Ok, maybe 31, but that’s because all the slow coaches, pacing themselves held me up at the start.) No, I didn’t meet or even see Ray D’Arcy. I did hear him, however, welcoming 2000 plus people to the last 5k of the week, in the Pee-nix Fart. (Mister Husband spent the car drive to Maynooth telling the Awesome Foursome that’s where the race was taking place.) The craic was mighty, the atmosphere was buzzing and everyone from every walk of life seemed to be out today. There were hard core runners, learner runners, and people with their dogs, daddies with buggies, solo participants and small groups of people. It was just one big melting pot of people running in the Phoenix Park. I travelled with my sister who lives in Maynooth. I thought it was best to go from her house and leave the Awesome Foursome with their daddy, as my morning would be filled with toilet trips, requests for food, breaking up fights and fielding answers of when are we going home if we arrived together. Also this way I knew I would be in plenty of time as my sister was hell bent on finding a body double for herself. We had a few questions when we got to our destination. What should we do with our bags; bring them or leave them in the car? This debate went on much longer than was strictly necessary. What if I needed the bathroom? (I’m no Paula Radcliffe!) it was almost comforting, and certainly a relief to see 10 port-a-loos lined up at the warm up area. Not the most pleasant way to spend a penny but there’s always a laugh to be had in a queue. My sister and I passed a pleasant few minutes chatting with two ladies in front of us. We covered shaving our legs, Home and Away, Penney’s and the red t-shirts they had already picked up. It’s true what that horrible ad on the radio says; women will talk about anything except their own constipation. The dilemma of where to put our luggage was solved; there was a baggage area. This comprised of a cordoned off patch of grass onto which you chucked your stuff. On top of everyone else’s. Oh-kaayyy. A nice day’s work for an unscrupulous person. But thankfully, they were fine. It was time to find the starting line. This was easy to find. It was a sea of black and red as everyone seemed to have donned their I Ran with Ray t-shirt. At this point I was like a jittery horse at the starting gate. I just wanted to get going! I was also slightly a feared that my bladder would start whining about needing the bathroom again. It doesn’t like the chill! And then Ray D’arcy’s little girl set the wheels in motion with a cute “Ready? Steady? Go!” and we were off. The crowd was a tightly packed bunch and being totally honest, my inner bitch wanted to shout at them to get out of my way. But I issued a stern reminder for her to pace herself and I soon found my rhythm. I couldn’t believe it when the 2k sign appeared. Where did that distance go? I was flying along. I did need to get off the road and run on the grass verge a couple of times. But I was fearful of tripping over a tree root or finding a hole, so I kept the grass verge strictly as the overtaking lane. Also, my music wouldn’t work. For some reason I couldn’t get radio reception in the park so I had to run with just my thoughts for company. And the other 2000 plus competitors of course. Because I was running in an unfamiliar area, I didn’t have my usual markers and had to use how my body was tiring to judge the distance that was left. The 4k sign almost got a hug when it came into view. It must have been strategically placed because just around the corner, there was a clear view of the finish line. I put my head down, arse to the wind, summoned every last ounce of stamina, determination, drive and grit and sprinted to that finish line. Crossing it was the best feeling ever! (After holding my boys at birth, of course!) People clapped and cheered and shouted well done. It was a great feeling. My last questions were; where is the water and my boys? There was no sign of my cheering squad. I didn’t see them but Mister Husband was a bit more eagle eyed and took a few pictures of me crossing the finish line. Was there a hill? Yup, but only a little (ish!) one. Am I glad I did it? Absolutely! Would I do it again? Tomorrow! Am I tired? Oddly enough the most relaxed I’ve been all week. Would I recommend it? Hell, yes! Get out there, put your running shoes on and give it a try. It’s free, it’s keeping fit for life and it’s fabulous. For me it’s not run fat bitch run, anymore. Now it’s just run, bitch run!
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