Sunday, 11 May 2014

My run run for gun gun

Hi from the world's most erratic blogger.

I know I've been quiet, but in the last three months a lot has been happening. My family and I moved from Perth to Sydney, I uprooted my kids and got them settled in a new school, we rented a house and I have been job hunting. Its been an unsettled but weirdly happy time, but its clear I've been out of my routine both with writing and with running.

Until yesterday...

When I took part in Sydney's glorious Mother's Day Classic 8km fun run. I've actually done this event once before, around four years ago I think. Its a lovely not-too-undulating course with gorgeous views of Sydney's many spectacles. The threatened rain never eventuated and the harbour sparkled in her jewelled godliness and I had joy bubbling in my throat and eyes for most of the run. There is just something about a sparkling morning and an open road ...

The run was more than just another race though. I ran with one of my dearest friends who has been on her own running journey, conquering first 5km and then yesterday's 8. She did brilliantly and we both had the privilege of running with our children on Mothers' Day. More about that in a minute.

My friend, I'll call her Sarah, lost her mum about eighteen months ago. Sarah's mum Marianne was a bit of a fairy godmother in my family, acting as an honorary granny for my children at Grandparents Day (since their own grandparents live overseas) and moving in to my house to help my husband when I spent a protracted three months in hospital during a very difficult pregnancy. Marianne was diagnosed with melanoma which had metastasised in her brain, and she passed away around four months after diagnosis. She was an unspeakably selfless, twinkling and thoughtful lady and her passing has left a gaping hole in our lives.

The new's of Marianne's diagnosis hit me hard, and I have written about it before. I was once again shaken from my cushioned platform of complacency and reminded that a healthy body is at best temporary, and is always a phenomenal blessing. I really wanted to give myself a period in time when I knew I had tested and enjoyed a strong, healthy and happy body so that when I no longer have one, I will at least have the blessing of remembering that I once did, and that I used it well. Marianne's nickname was 'gun-gun,' a result of a grandchild who couldn't quite pronounce 'granny' and the name stuck. My 'run-run for gun-gun' was a tribute to everyone's cancer journeys, but Marianne's in particular. She is one of the reasons I took up running and in so doing she has given me one of the biggest joys of my life.

The added blessing was that my ten year old son wanted to run with me, and completed the 8km course in a staggering 47 minutes. I am constantly amazed by his capacity to surprise me, and reminded that I can never predict where this motherhood thing is going to take me.

After several months of being distracted, displaced, out of routine and inactive, it was a glorious return to activity and the added bonus was that I ran a PB of 50 minutes, averaging just over 6 minutes per km. Today I am smiling like a hamburger.

I spent the morning planning a few more running goals which include another half-marathon in around July. And if that goes well, I might even see if I can go further ... a marathon maybe? Do I have it in me? Time will tell. And I am going to enjoy every step of the journey!