Today was the longest run I’m going to do before the marathon itself – and I did it, 22.5 miles in the grey cold, rain and wind. Golly gosh!
On my way around I realised that this is how I’m spending the International Day of Happiness. Am I mad?! I’m sure there must be less painful ways to enjoy the happiness I’ve lucky enough to have. (As I’ve written the full day-name twice now, I’m switching to IDoH now – you’re bright enough to keep up, I know).
But are there links between happiness and today? Yes, of course. For one, I can officially say I am ‘tapering’. A mystical status of which I’d only dreamt and which felt as far away as Narnia a few weeks back. Today was my longest run, and next weekend I can chuckle as I attack a mere 14 miles. What has happened to me?! So that achievement felt like it belonged in the IDoH.
Then mid-run, I got what I thought was a delightful little story. As soon as it happened, I thought ooh, blog material! But before I wrote it up, I thought I’d just test it with my mum. You see, she and I are very good at laughing and enjoying stories, so if she liked it, you’d like it. So on the phone I got, telling her what I thought was just the best story. Turns out my story-telling judgement is seems to be directly but negatively correlated to my energy levels!
Basically a tourist asked me for directions at 4miles. Then at 21 miles, I saw her again and she was flabbergasted to see I was still running. That’s it really.
As I write it now, I can understand, this is sweet and quite a coincidence, but not really that good a story. But I’d just run 21 miles, and I still had a bridge and two corners to go, I LOVED it! I grinned like a Cheshire cat, I chuckled to myself, and I found I had a cloud to carry me the last bit! After a shower and some food and a sit down, I’m back with my mum on this one, it’s a bit dull. But, with this going on, I think I should warn my family that if a total stranger interrupting me can get that kind of frankly over-the-top reaction , I’d steer clear of me on the marathon day itself, I’ll be blubbing and wailing if I see any of you lot! IDoH scores again, I was so happy to see her.
Picking up on an earlier blog, I have to say, those two SUPERB foot tunnels, the Thames Barrier, the airport and this time the added joy of Tower Bridge all played their part in making me happy again. IDoH hit three.
Then I’m going to mention again what’s helping me get around these training runs, the sponsorship going to the Divinity Foundation. I have, as expected, had quite a few comments and chuckles about the ‘Jogging for Genitals’ tagline. And in the last few years, lots of people have said to me how difficult my job must be. Well, sometimes yes, because it can be very hard because FGM is absolutely rubbish, nothing good from it, no need for it, so yes it can be hard. But we’re doing stuff to end FGM! That’s good news!! Many days the bureaucracy and paperwork are what can make me extremely grumpy – apologies to my wonderful colleagues who put up with this. But this is something the world is making good progress on, rates are dropping in many countries (though overall numbers continue to rise in part due to overall population increase and newly understood populations). So we can smile, we can let ourselves talk about tackling FGM and smile all at the same time, and jog for genitals even if that sounds a little cheeky. For me, I’m honoured to be part of a global movement helping my fellow women stop something so unnecessary, and that hope for the future is another thing that makes me happy. So that’s a bit more behind the title of this blog, and my final thought for IDoH; it might be hard running that far (it is, it really really is….) but it’s worth it. And it makes me happy to be able to, and it makes me even happier to think that the end of FGM is in sight.
Perhaps that chasm between IDoH and my marathon training isn’t so deep after all.
Link to sponsorship (nice and clearly stated) www.goldengiving.com/fundraising/astrids-marathon
To make you happy today or tomorrow or whenever you’re reading this, have a look at this adorable video of our wonderful dog, Ruby. She’s a Border Terrier and singing along with a lovely bit of jazz saxophone. It makes all of us happy, I hope you enjoy it too. www.familysuperpowers.com/videos/1197/ruby-jazz-singer
Miles today: 22.5
Strava miles this year: 256!
Days to go: 20 – I’ve dropped down to just a day-countdown!
Brighton Marathon, 9 April 2017