Sunday, September 03, 2006

Hydro Active Challenge 2006

The hydroactive challenge day finally arrived today. Last night, I went out for a meal with some of the Emily's Angels team. It was gerat meeting people last night and today, especially people who I have got to know very well through the message boards and blog. It was fantastic to get out and have a nice evening out. I spent the previous 3 days working William's TPN time gradually earlier so I could get ready, put him up and get out on time. So, it can be done!

What was even more amazing is that I managed to get William up and ready to go to the family fun day at Chase and myself up and ready before 8.00 to be on my way for the Hydro Active. It was a lovely fresh morning and I felt full of excitment and anticipation about the challenge I had set myself of running the race without having to walk more than a few seconds to get my breath. One thing I have manged to get nailed during the training is slowing the pace right down rather than walking to take my inhaler and to take it early as soon as the chest tightness begins. The trouble with asthma is that no two days are the same and, while on one, I may find an adrenaline fueled run not too hard at all, another may find me unable to even run for a bus. In the gap between high pollen counts and winter colds and chest infections, today felt good. The second, and most important reason for the anticpation was meeting people who have become such good "e-friends". I was looking forward to seeing those I had met the night before again and I was especially looking forward to meeting Shadow and Emma for the first time. I was also full of excitement for Emily and so hoping she had woken up well and ready to walk over that finish line (I don't know how to do fancy hyperlinks so amd going to have to resort to giving you the address to Emily's blog, together with a huge recommendation that those of you who don't already read her blog look at today's entry to read her inspiring and emotional account of her day today -

There were already some charity running vests to be seen at East Croydon station and the concentration of these increased the closer I got to Hyde Park. I walked from the tube station with a lady who has run many Marathons and runs for Chase and raised over £25 000 through her efforts. I felt like a child in a new country in comparison to her experience as we walked into the Hydro Active compound. I really enjoyed seeing all the people milling around in their kaleidescope of running vests and T-shirts, the charity stands, banners and balloons, hydration stations etc. My companion agreed how exciting each event is and how addictive it can be. I must say, I think she could be right.

I was worried that I might not have been able to find the other angels as they would be meeting at F and Chase at C - it turned out that the two charities were placed right next door! I bobbed between the two trying to meet as many people as possible.

The Chase Team (part of them - another picture was taken later when everyone was here)

Emily before the race, conserving energy and being incredibly still and quiet for an excited Em!

Finally, we were off. I was absolutely determined to run to placed myself at the back of the joggers. There was a bottleneck at the start so it took a very long while to get into stride. It was incredibly painful on the knees to run so slowly. The hardest bit was at 3K when the pain was beginning to bite and there was still a good chunk of the race to go. It was still hard work at 4K but, by then, there was no way I was going to walk having got so far and with such a little way to go. There was a hill towards the end - cruel! I still managed to keep going and was running on neat adrenaline by then. It was an amazing feeling to turn the corner and see the finish line. I even managed a sprint (well, sprint for me) and did not need the encouragement from the tannoy to wave and smile as I approached it. I had done it, reached my challenge of running the whole 5K and in, what I was later told was a respectable time, of 30 minutes. I was sad not to have seen Emily cross the line and was hoping to get back and see her. My original plan was to walk with her and the other angels but, somehow, I needed a personal challenge at this point in time and, I must say, the training has really helped with the stress. We have been living on adrenaline lately and "flight" is a much better way to get rid of the buld up than "fight" - Paul will certainly second that!

Emily shortly after walking 550 metres to cross the finish line!

Emily with her trainers (physios) after the race.

Lainy, Suzie and her sister, Livvy, Gill and her daughter after finishing the challenge.

After the challenge was over, we had a lovely picnic in the park where we got to know our "virtual friends" for real and relaxed in their company. The sun was shining and it really was a special time I will certainly never forget.

R-L: Livvy, Lainy, Gill and me

Emily and a very special angel

Emma (Emmie) being a very funky angel!

Andy being a fantastic sport and raising even more money for the CF Trust

Charlie and Abigail

Emily with the 'CF Mums" L-R: Lainy, Livvy, Shadow, Emily, Gill and Suzie

All in all, it was a fantastic day and I am suitably tired but for all the right reasons! Hope, Ellie and William also had a great day at the Chase family fun day with Paul's parents (while Paul had a nice quiet day at home alone) but that is a whole new topic for tomorrow as I'm sure that is enough of my ramblings for today and if I keep writing and add any more pictures I think this Blog will crash!


Jacarr (CF Trust forum) said...

Sarah, thanks for posting the pictures. I'm glad the day went well and that two excellent charities have benefitted from your support.

Best wishes,

~ James

Emmie said...

What a lovely account of a fantastic day Sarah! I had no idea when I met you that you had run the whole course in 30 minutes!!! You looked incredibly fresh for having done that. Its a brilliant achievement and I hope you are really proud of yourself. It made my day to meet you, you are really lovely. When you said goodbye I just thought "William may have a lot of struggles in life but one thing is for sure...he's got the most wonderful Mummy to get through it all with".
Love and hugs
Emma xxxxxxxxxx

MoO said...

It was lovely to meet you Sarah, it was a very special day, the pictures are lovely and it was a fantastic achievement completing the whole circuit running!

MoO xx

Tinypoppet said...

Fabulous photos Sarah, I cannot believe what an amazing time you ran it in, congratulations and well done for raising money for such a fabulous cause as CHASE, I was honoured to have you as one of my Angels. Much love speak soon xx

tasha x said...

Love the photos Sarah. It was lovely to meet u hunni, ur such a lovely person. Cant wait till the next time we all meet again. Take care hunni x x