That’s much more like it. I’m back in the game.
Today the sun shone, and I managed my first pain free run around the Lake. It felt good too. A nice relaxed first 12.5 miles down to Newby Bridge saw me running like myself for the first time this week. The next section (to about mile 21) is tough and requires you to knuckle down and simply tick the miles off one by one. I took this part a bit easier today. Not because I had to, but because I was fully aware that I still have another 7 of these to complete before I get a well earned rest.
The final 5 miles are amongst my favourite on the course and I enjoyed a great run-in through Windermere and into Ambleside. Job done in my fastest time to date, and other than some tired and achey muscles and a painful blister, nothing drastic to report in terms of my physical fitness. It felt good, and I rewarded myself with a beer as I headed to the treatment room with a spring in my step. When I emerged 2 1/2 hours later the spring had been painfully pummelled out of my legs and I hobbled up to our lodge for a shower and to prepare my gear for tomorrow. The Brathay 10in10 gives, and she takes away!
But it was a good day and my best so far. Day 2 had started in difficult circumstances. My ankle injury on Day 1 had really scared me and I spent a restless night worrying about it. Pre-race massage and taping helped provide a little support but it was with great trepidation that I set out. A real blend of physical and mental anxiety. I took the first 4 miles at a very steady pace and enjoyed some company along the way. Seeing Liz at about mile 6 really helped lift my spirits (and the other runners too) and as time went on I felt happier that my ankle was strong enough to get me round and I slowly picked up the pace a little.
During the second half of the marathon the pain started to slowly increase, but nothing approaching the shooting pain that had made me stop on Day 1. What did make me slow down and ‘enjoy’ a few walking stretches was simple fatigue. The worry over my ankle had stopped me sleeping or eating enough and I just ran out of energy. I did get round, and enjoyed the last couple of miles as the route hits the side of the lake and there are stunning views as you run into Ambleside. Job done. Home without too much mishap. No serious pain and my confidence restored.
There’s still a long way to go and there will be plenty more ups and downs during the next week. But the last three days has seen me cope with the physical demands of three marathons and get my head round the mental challenge of the 10in10. It won’t be pretty, but supported by my fantastic Brathay family I will reach the finish.
And so it’s onwards to Day 4, and it’s going to rain…a lot.
All of this is for an amazing cause – and I’d be grateful for any donations.