This evening I met my nemesis.
I went on my second rambling run this evening, with no real idea of where I was going or where I would end up apart from it being, hopefully, home. The navigation in between was a beautiful mystery. The last time took me up the Soho Road and various vaguely familiar side roads leading to and away from it. Tonight though took me away from any good knowledge of direction and terrain, up through Sandwell Valley towards West Bromwich, ending up at the farm and heading back through Hamstead. And there it was, Hamstead Hill. Does every runner have their own local nemesis of a hill? Well if they do, this is mine. I can remember fearing this being the next turn running with Dad, as he knew where he was going and I never did. I only remember how painful it was.
So I met it and conquered it, ha! At the top I was able to carry on and had a big, stupid grin on. I think it was because it hadn't beaten me. I had made it up the hill even towards the end of a 6 mile run, I had kept putting one foot in front of the other. It may have been being pain free again after a rest week from the knees again. Partly it was because the GPS had finally worked on my app to track the run, but mainly I was grinning because I was able to be out there, it had been beautiful being lost in the valley, and in all these runs seeing places and being in places I would be missing out on if this 10k run hadn't come around.
All of these experiences I am grateful for. Meeting up with Hector and his Dojo running group, it just wouldn't have happened without the events of the last two years. I would not have received Hector's masterclass in real handshakes, nor how he introduces himself as "Mr. Handsworth, MBE" or the SAS style warm ups and warm downs. I would not have met all the wonderful people from Handsworth and nearby through the Boathouse Runners and Hector's group.
Thank you for all of the encouragement and everyone who has run with me. Thank you to everyone who has entered the run, or volunteered, or everyone who has donated to support others. It's not long until 14th September, I think I'm more or less there. It will be great to join everyone else and help everyone else through it.