MY mum’s birthday was on Thursday last week. With it being a school night we celebrated with a few cakes and a cup or two of tea. It was during the cake and tea celebrations that I suggested a meal out.
Always up for a celebration, the family whipped out their diaries. “No to Sunday,” my sister said. “I’m at a wedding.”
“No to Sunday,” Mum said. “I’m babysitting as a result of the wedding.”
“I’m doing the patio,” Dad said.
“I’m easy,” Chris said.
“Saturday then.” I consulted my diary. Saturday is the day when I try to fit everything in on account of having no other time at all during the week. “Right,” I said. “I’m sorting the horses, having my nails done at nine, and then the farrier’s coming to shoe the horses at one. At six we need to leave for Leeds because we’ve got tickets for the Playhouse. And at some point I need to fit a run in.”
Mum thought about it. “So we have a window between two fifteen and six?” She looked round the table. “We’ll have a late lunch then.”
Everyone agreed. A late lunch it would be.
On Friday evening, I looked at my diary. A lot of things to do. It would need coordinating. I would have to get up early to run, sort horses, have nails done, meet the farrier, all before going out for Mum’s birthday.
I set the alarm for seven. Seven o’clock came and went. I did not leave my bed until twelve minutes past eight, by which time I was already behind schedule, and the chance of a run was looking slim.
Then I got a call. “Lunch is cancelled,” Mum said. “Livi’s not well.” My niece was running a temperature and not feeling great. Lunch was off. We’d do it another time. On a positive, I’d be able to run.
Then I got a call from Livi. “Uncancel lunch,” she said. “I’m feeling better.” Lunch was back on. Immediately I went into panic mode, trying to get everything finished before the meal. A run was definitely not happening now.
Half an hour later, I got another call. This time from my sister. “Never mind uncancelling lunch,” she said. “Liv’s still not well enough.”
“I am,” Liv said. “Uncancel it please.”
“What shall we do?” Mum asked.
“Just make a decision!” I may have even shouted. ‘I need to know.”
“Off then,” Mum said. “We’ll do it another time.”
By this time my patience was running a bit thin. I needed to run. I put on my trainers and off I went.
At the end of the road, I bumped into another runner. A man. We ended up running side by side for a while, but I didn’t want him to beat me so I speeded up. My first mile was seven-thirty pace. I could hear him huffing and puffing behind, so I went a bit quicker, pace down to seven-fifteen. Not having done much training I thought I’d do a mile or so and that would be it, but after all the frustration from the on-off lunch I just kept on going and going. I did not ease up. Five miles later I was still going strong.
My pace on a normal run is never seven-fifteen average. Never. Eight-fifteen if I’m lucky. I went home feeling rather pleased with myself and looking forward to telling Chris all about it. But when I opened the door and stepped into the kitchen, Chris looked panicked. “Your Mum’s called,” he said. “Lunch is back on!”