Today I ran 7 miles with Vicky Weitz. She is an artist who is running 26 marathons in 26 days in the Edinburgh Festival, up and down the Royal Mile, between the Palace of Holyrood and Edinburgh Castle. When I heard about this I felt really drawn to go and run with her. I suppose I wanted to support her, because people who put themselves out there pushing themselves to their limits deserve support. And perhaps because she's not from Edinburgh, she deserves supported for coming to the city where I live.
I dropped the kids at school and tried to recruit another running mum to come with me, but she was planning a half-hour run with her friend. At that point I was feeling nervous, overly full of breakfast and wishing I hadn't resolved to go. Even the run up Easter Road felt difficult - how would I manage up the Royal Mile?!
After running once up the Mile and 3/4 of the way back down, I spotted Vicki. I was impressed by how fresh and relaxed she looked, because she's blogged about being in pain and finding it difficult. Even 7 miles later (by which time she's run at least 16 miles) she still looked fresh - I was sweating enough for both of us (quite embarassing and further proof that I'm doing the right thing by always running at 6am when nobody can see me!)
I'd been a bit worried that I'd struggle on the uphill half of the run, but it was fine - not least because the Royal Mile is dotted with roads that need crossing, so there were lots of stops. Also Vicki stops each time she passes her support crew outside the Storytelling Centre.
Vicki was very chatty and really easy to spend time with. I had wondered what I could tell her about to raise her spirits if she was flagging, and as she'd blogged about missing her children I thought I'd keep off the subject of my kids. But after a few miles, Vicki's children appeared! They had arrived the previous night and they both ran with her today. I was so impressed that they were so supportive of what their mum was doing.
I was fascinated to hear about Vicki's running history and her art - she was very friendly, chatty and open. When we stopped at her crew's stop, Vicki had a re-fuel by opening a tupperware and taking a jelly baby from a selection of sweeties - no sports gels or technical kit, just good old jelly babies, chocolate and mints! I loved that.
Vicki was getting supportive smiles and cheers from her regular supporters up and down the Mile, and when she stopped for a refuel a lovely man called Ken stopped and asked for a photo with her. He was from the Bronx and said he'd tell his running club at home about her! I was quite emotional that this one woman's run would become an international topic of conversation - wow.
|Grinning like a chuffed person, feeling a bit embarassed to be sweatier than the athlete!!|
By the time I got home, I'd run 10 miles in 2 hours and 15 minutes. They were 2 of the best running hours I think I've had. I enjoyed being part of Vicki's work but mostly I enjoyed her company. I had a cold bath, made an omlette and chips and a pot of tea, and thought about Vicki who would still be running.