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Back to Normal. Almost.

There have lots of moments in the last few weeks when life felt like it was back to normal, making it seem like starting again has become a real possibility.

The sun has been shining,

There has been time for catching up with friends in real life (no screens involved), Mr T got a haircut, coffee and cake at a cafe, watching the newly-hatched ducklings swimming along the canal, blossoms on the trees, answering parkrun emails about barcodes, buying a new front door, even booking a few days away for a holiday

Back to normal. Almost.

Probably the most normal thing of all has been the return of club runs with the Potters Trotters. 

For an hour or so at a time each time we meet, we have returned to our old routines - lots of chatter as everyone arrives, tentative questions as we set off about how far we are running and how many hills are likely to be involved, conversations as we run about what races we might do, what's happening in Line of Duty, or what is for tea when the run is done, then the smiles at the end as the last hill is conquered and the run is done.

Back to normal. Almost.

This morning as we ran around Werrington, I remembered and shared the story of my first half marathon - Stafford 2012. Not the parts of following my training plan, or having a time goal and achieving it, or the excitement at running for the first time with a big crowd watching. Not even the rocky road cheesecake I ate as part of my post-race re-fuelling.

No, the story I shared and the one that makes me smile the most is all about jelly babies...

It was my first half marathon. I didn't really know all about that much about what I was doing. I listened to every piece of advice and tried to take on board every tip for success. 

Everyone was telling me about jelly babies. Emergency fuel for the run.

So of course I bought a pack.

And the night before the race, I opened the bag and carefully wrapped a handful of jelly babies in kitchen foil. Wrapped them individually in foil. And then put them in a sandwich bag. And put the sandwich bag in my race pack... along with goodness knows what else. 

My logic was faultless. I knew I really didn't want or need to carry a whole pack. But I didn't want them to get sticky.

So I wrapped them individually in foil. 

Now we are about mile 9 in the race, my energy is flagging a bit. I knew a boost of energy.

Jelly baby time.

No. Not this time.

Turns out unwrapping individually wrapped jelly babies at mile 9 in a half marathon is not that easy... at least not for me, not on that Sunday in March.

Jelly babies flying everywhere. I think I safely retrieved one, the rest were scattered on country lanes in Staffordshire. 

Not much energy restored. 

Lesson learned.

Never wrap your jelly babies in foil.

It's a happy memory.

It was part of a normal conversation, on a normal weekend run with the Potters Trotters.

It reminded me of fun times at races in the past.

And what's possible going forward. 

I'm looking forward to the next run.

Back to normal. Almost. 


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