It’s odd, because it’s a sentiment I felt more than once amid the highs and lows of this emotional weekend.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt so stomach churningly nauseous before a run – to the point I was physically sick the night before.
It began by taking my dad to the care home on Friday. The hardest drive of my life.
Pulling away from the cottage and farmhouse he’s lived in with my mum for more than 20 years – wondering would he ever come back – I felt like the biggest heel on earth.
Dad had no idea where we were going. I had no words to tell him. The sorrow was overwhelming enough without me giving voice to it.
Once at the home though, I did manage to haltingly explain that he was going to be staying here as mum was too unwell at the moment to look after him.
“I know,” he said, looking at me sadly.
He sat quietly taking it all in, as his favourite chair, pictures, mementoes of his life were laid out in the room around him.
I tried to be bright and upbeat.
“Look you can see sheep out of the window, dad, and a tractor.” Plain truth in that statement, covering the veiled lie: “It’s just like home.”
Dad took it all very calmly, with a look of puzzlement but also understanding, never once complaining, but never taking his eyes off my mum as she sat quietly on the bed.
Shortly lunch was served – fish and chips – one of dad’s favourite meals. We sad a brief goodbye as he sat contentedly munching. No tears. No stress.
I’ve phoned the home every day since – even halfway round on the run – and each time the staff have said how well dad is settling in.
When they told me that, I felt such pride in him to think how he’s coping with and accepting this huge change in his life.
My family have been amazing too – all ringing and offering help and support to mum and each other. Also friends, who’ve been so concerned and understanding.
Their shared love and concern have been among the highs of the weekend.
And, of course, it was a high being away in Dublin’s fair city – it’s not called the friendly marathon for nothing – people generally were so helpful, and the support en route was as warm-hearted as I’ve ever known.
It was also a chance to meet up with my brother and his family – we spent a delightful couple of days shopping, sightseeing, and eating some delicious food.
My gorgeous niece, who’s 16, told me of her plans to complete the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, having already successfully achieved bronze and silver. My brother showed us around his plush new office – looking so smart, capable and in charge, I could hardly believe it’s the same little bruv I used to race through the woods on my bike.
As I sat at the airport eating my large Irish breakfast, I couldn’t help but feel proud of them all – and know too, how proud my dad would be.