This week, I was called 'inspirational' by one of my friends. I have never been called inspirational by anyone before and it kind of knocked me sideways a little bit - mainly because it was so unexpected and, to be honest, I don't really feel like I have done anything to warrant it.
I'd had maybe two weeks of not keeping up my (now) regular regime of running at least four times a week, and Shredding on the days between (or even on the same day). I got a little lax - there was a festival, a hen party and a whole bag of excuses I won't even shame myself by bringing to the table. I'd seen some epic results, losing just over a stone since I started training seriously - a mixture of Lean Body Challenge and sheer determination.
Anyway, I hadn't been out in a little while and that silly fear of running alone had crept back into my mind. I kept promising myself I'd get out later, or the next day. When I shared my fears with the wonderful world of Twitter, one person stood out amongst all the loveliness; Katherine had never run before but she said I was her inspiration for getting out there - it's thanks to her that I got straight out of bed and churned out one of the most painful 3kms to date, and followed it up with run club that evening.
Katherine's words were super kind, but I look around at what everyone else is achieving and I can't accept them - one person who has stood out this week is Taff - a crazy Welsh Army dude based here in Harrogate who is doing a 24 hour run/walk in aid of Help for Heroes, Diabetes UK, NSPCC (because, he says, he's a big kid at heart) and Cancer Research UK. Taff is basically doing (as we speak) laps of our regular RunHarrogate 3km route non-stop for 24 hours, starting at 2pm yesterday (22nd June) and finishing at 2pm today. Lindsey and I went out at midnight last night to run a lap with him but ended up staying around for a couple of hours. The weather was like something out of a film - think Twister meets Wizard of Oz - with rivers of water running all over the route and the wind blowing huge swathes of branches from the trees. Taff had been going for 10 hours and was almost at 100km by the time we got there; he had already hit the wall and come through the other side. His feet were absolutely screwed - he couldn't feel four of his toes anymore and had epic blisters everywhere, so needless to say running was no longer an option. We marched with him for over 7km and were knackered come 1:30am - I just can't comprehend the pain he must be going through all to raise money and awareness for such a great bunch of charities - that is proper inspiration right there.
If you want to donate, you can do it here.
In other news, the guys from Harrogate Park Run joined us at 1am - it was so good to meet Adam and his lovely daughter, and get some tips on marathon running for Berlin - Adam ran it back in 2010 and it was good to hear his thoughts on the race. He also recommended a book by Grete Waitz, one of the greatest marathon runners of all time (she won the NYC marathon NINE times).
Hopefully her words will help Lindsey and I cross that finish line in September.