Monday, 14 July 2014

Staying Grounded.....

Some people develop a love of running at a very young age, others are born into families with a background of sport, and then there are some, such as myself, who are definitely not "sporty" kids. I still remember being last to be picked for every team, having marks taken off for not "trying" at rounders (when I just couldn't sprint), and even taking a computing class for a term instead of PE.
Being selected not only to run at the Commonwealth Games, but at a Home Games, is therefore way above and beyond anything I could possibly have ever dreamt of doing. Some athletes have had the luxury of the time and opportunity to get away from the stresses of the uk (and the added benefits of being able to train at altitude), but my way of dealing with the pressure of it is by simply carrying on with my normal life. Yes, I have had to focus my training, but I've also been going to work as usual - nothing keeps you grounded like seeing sick people walking into your surgery every day, and then going out and visiting those who are too ill/frail to come in!
Even so (especially after last weekend in Stirling), events can catch up with you, and you suddenly realise the enormity of what you are a part of, and it can threaten to overwhelm you. In order to avoid this, I decided to have a weekend Not thinking about it, and just doing what I enjoy doing. Therefore, this blog update is not about running - although I admit that most of the people in it do have links to me via running.
After finishing work on Friday, I started the weekend off with a visit to my good friend Ian (we went to run across the Atacama Desert together, and he was also in the New Orleans marathon when I first broke the 3 hour barrier). Running talk was put to one side as we caught up over tea and biscuits (and looked at plans for the new hospital to be built in Dumfries) but I made it home in time to watch the Diamond League on TV. I wanted to watch the races live to avoid hearing the results first, but rain was forecast for later, so spent the evening doing shuttle runs from mowing strips of my lawn in to watch the TV and back out again!!

The 800m and 1500m

Doug at the Diamond League

Betsy Mae at 24hours old with her supporter's pin

Another good friend couldn't make it to Saturday's continuation of the Diamond League, and so offered to sell me his tickets. Who better to go and watch world class athletics with than Doug, who has been a friend, sounding board and mentor to me since I started  this running m'larky (we ran Mountain Marathons as a team and went out to my first Comrades together)? It was great to see how Hampden has been converted from a football stadium into an arena for athletics, and there were some amazing performances that day. The highlights for me were the funny antics of an American high jumper, the Brits in the ladies' 800m, the Brits (well esp the Scots) in the men's 1500m and David Rudisha in the 800m - he was amazing, pulling away from the field, while appearing to be out for a jog!
When the athletics finished, we dropped in for a cuddle with Betsy Mae McDonald (Doug's granddaughter) - who must be one of Team Scotland's youngest supporters!!

On Sunday, Scott (another running friend) had offered to be chauffeur for the day, though he probably regretted that offer later. After picking me up bright and early, we set off for a drive into the countryside, only to be greeted by signs that the roads ahead was closed and that there was a "diversion" in place. The signs weren't exactly placed very well because after an hour of driving down tiny winding roads, we were back to where we started. We thought that mayeb the signs were old and so risked carrying on the original route anyway, but no....the road was actually shut and the roadworker there told us that the drive round was >60miles.
To fortify ourselves for this, we had to stop for coffee and carrot cake (a lovely new cafe discovered, so there was a silver lining to that cloud). It also meant that we missed seeing some friends finish a half marathon, but at least got there to catch them for their cool down and encourage some of those running their first race!

My "Games Moment" of the weekend

By then it was time for a very late, but very nice lunch - how lovely it is to eat seafood while sitting looking out over a harbour/the sea with a chilled glass of wine! A chickflick in the early evening and I was dropped back home in time to watch the end of the World Cup (and celebrate a joint win in the bank sweepstake!!).
It was a great stress-free weekend, with only two token "Games Moments" - trying on my Opening Ceremony outfit, and checking out the location of the Scottish Athletics holding camp - so now I feel able to concentrate on the next couple of weeks, as I think there may be some upcoming sporting events in Glasgow!

1 comment:

  1. Your opening ceremony outfit is really lovely! Can't wait to see you run! (so proud of you!!)