It has been a couple of months since Parallel and I am sorry this blog is so late but I do have a good excuse, I have been in hospital having the Fibrous Dysplasia in my femur bone removed and filled in with bone concrete and titanium. We found out about the surgery just a few days before Parallel but decided that after months of gym work, physio and wheeling around my local park we were not prepared to skip the race, the training had been keeping me going and I had significantly improved my upper body strength, reducing pain in my back and shoulders. It was what gave me the motivation I needed to push through painful and very dull physio exercises, I wasn’t going to miss the best part of all this hard work!
We arrived at the Olympic Park a little late after getting lost and circling the site a few times but we made it to the start line in time for the warm up. Run by Commando Active, the warm up was pretty intense and a bit tricky from a wheelchair. I gave up about half way through and decided to save my energy for the race. There was a lot of excitement and a party atmosphere at the start line as we waited to go. They let the 10K participants go in multiple waves so that there was enough room for wheelchair users to get to the front if they wanted to. We watched those in racing chairs zoom off into the distance as we waited our turn.
The first 1.5 K went pretty smoothly, I was self-propelling comfortably, feeling confident in my jazzy leggings, and then we hit the hills.
The route took us around the edge of the Olympic park and the tarmacked roads
were tough on my wheels. After about 3K I took a break and my lovely husband jogged while pushing me. We also perfected the jogging/wheeling hand hold.
We were lucky that the weather held and the cooler breeze in the second half of the run was very much welcomed.
We had a couple of moments where it got really tough, around 7K I was ready to sneak into the 5K route and head straight to the finish line, but the cheers of the Parallel volunteers and the encouragement from all the other participants kept us both going right up to the end of the 10K.
Affectionate and practical, the ‘Jog/wheel’ hand hold.
We sprinted the end so arrived at the finish line absolutely exhausted and massively grateful for the water and snack bars that were in our goodie bags. They also contained some Dove bath products which was a lovely touch, we certainly both felt we deserved to be pampered by the end of the race.
Our time was 1hr 36mins, about 4 hours less than we thought it would take!
Despite there being lots of free tasty goodies around, we couldn’t find anything we fancied for lunch (and I needed some serious food!) so we wandered out to a café and came back to look at the festival later in the day. Luckily I arrived just in time for an amazing Arts Base dance workshop. The class encouraged participants to explore their own range of movement and their excellent instructors worked to help people use their mobility aids to enhance their dancing, it was such a pleasure to watch such beautiful dancers excel in a supportive environment.
We raised £920 (and donations are still coming in) or Wheels for Wellbeing. I am overwhelmed by h
ow generous our friends, family and work colleagues have been. Thank you so much to you all for your support.
The best news about Parallel is that it will be going ahead again next year. Anyone can take part, it doesn’t matter if its 1K or 10K, pick a distance and start training now!