Tuesday 20th December
This one is for my wife. In week 50 I did two half-marathons so I asked my wife to decide if I could use one of those as my week 51 run. If she’d have let me off the hook I’d have thought less of her but I knew she’d say no… She knew that I knew that she would say no. And so today was an extra one for Katie and for week 51 she came with me. Judge, jury and now executioner. She pushed, pulled and cajouled me into running myself into the ground. There was no sympathy. You chose to do this, don’t complain about it has been a common sentiment of our year. We set out on a cold, crisp afternoon in Yorkshire along the Beryl Burton Way from Knaresborough to Ripley. In my 20+ years living in Knaresborough I never knew this path existed. So many times this year I’ve delighted in finding paths, roads and views that I would never have otherwise seen. This was one of the best. The cycle path cut through the countryside and the sun illuminated the hills around us. I felt strong and ran as fast as I could from minute one, chasing a 1hr35ish kind of time. It was a direct out and back route from Knaresborough to Ripley. We finished along the riverside in Knaresborough at 1hr41mins and I couldn’t have run any faster.
Once it’s done Katie offers no gushing or overreaction, just another one done. It’s not that she’s not supportive or proud but the response is conservative. I feel like she can see right through me and knows that a good chunk of this challenge is for me. These runs have been something that I’ve just had to do for myself. The motive is not entirely alturistic and I know that she knows. This girl has been my compass as I’ve yo-yo’d up and down throughout 2016. She constantly reminds me of the things that matter; contributing to our family and our family home. 2hrs of running a week and posting it on Facebook doesn’t make me a good father or husband. Laying on the sofa tired, sore and feeling sorry for myself after running is just unhelpful at best, self indulgent for sure. None of this she’s told me. It’s just what she makes me believe.
We’re totally opposite, in fact we couldn’t be more different, but I respect her deeply and she makes me want to be a better father and a better husband. Today my best effort was dedicated to you XOX