I started this addiction, in the main, because of my parents' dwindling physical health and watching the effect of it on them.
I started Week 9 thinking it would be just as straightforward as all the other weeks - hell no!
Firstly, battling horrendous heel pain thanks to rapidly growing spurs in the general direction of achilles tendon - not pleasant BUT thanks to Sue's stretching exercises I'm still going :-). The other gremlin showed itself during 9/1 saying "you're not getting away that lightly" and decided to niggle my previously, neatly arthroscopied knee.
Sooooooo with gremlins in tow I prepared for my week which included a trip to the UK to bring some cheer to my parents (whose courage in the face of all the indignities associated - for some - with being over 80 is amazing) and then back to Austria but having a 3 night stay in Vienna before heading home to our rural Idyll.
I can't remember 9/1 BUT 9/2 was along the beach at Walmer/Deal on the Kent coast at sunrise. I went out for a run while my parents were struggling to lever themselves out of bed. I went to each of them and said "I'm running this for you - thank you for giving me the spirit of adventure and courage to face the unknown".
It wasn't the best of runs as the old knee started complaining but it was a beautiful run and I managed to 'steal' 3 beautiful dogs who left their owners and decided I looked like a better bet for some fun :-)!!! When I got back and had showered, my parents wanted to know all about it. I was so worried that getting out there and running would be deflating for them but no.... in the face of all that they have lost they REALLY wanted to be part of this experience :-).
Taking the beauty of that time with me back to Vienna, I then embarked on THAT RUN. For the first time, I was surrounded by other joggers (Delia, Viennese runners don't smile whatsoever!!!).
With the spirit of my parents and the words of Gayle's last Blog in my mind I ran for all those people whose health has been diminished in ways that leave them unable to enjoy the freedom of movement with confidence which we are all lucky to experience.
I RAN 5 KMS IN 30 MINUTES (oh... and 33 seconds).
Thank you, all of you for the support that has allowed me to feel part of something courageous and liberating.
I'm sorry this isn't a laugh a minute BLOG but it is heartfelt and the way I feel about graduating right now.
Hugs and love