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2017 Brathay 10in10: Days 6&7 – The good, the bad and the ugly

Seven marathons in seven days. So just a triple to think about now!

The good

Day 7 was sunny and bright – and so was I. I felt relaxed from the start and was feeling the benefits of the 4+ hours of physio I’d suffered the day before. With no company from other runners, and little sight of the support team (sometimes it just goes like that) I simply had myself for company on what turned out to be a very enjoyable run through some lovely countryside. I even had time to stop at ‘Ice-cream Mountain’ (mile 21) for an ice-cream (naturally) before a steady final 5 miles home, my favourite part of the course. Job done, and no new injuries to worry about. One step closer to the magic 10.

The bad

Seeing Mum & Dad helped keep me going on Day 6

Day 6 was when this course and this event really tested me. And there were times I thought I might fail. Sluggish, tired, achey glutes and sore calves, meant I struggled from mile 1. Even the cheers and high fives from the kids at Hawkshead School only provided a momentarily respite from the torture of running. I normal run well over the first half of the course, but even this was a struggle, although the support around the course from Mum and Dad did help a little.

When I finally made it to mile 21 I was ready to give up on the day/time and just jog/walk in to the finish. But then that competitive spirit in me stirred and I realised that I still had an (outside chance) of running sub-4 hours. Having never run that slow before I steeled myself to run home as fast as I could, in an effort to try and pick up the pieces of my day. What followed were pretty much my fastest 5 miles of the week and I made it home with a couple of minutes to spare. The Brathay 10in10 had tried to beat me, but I had fought back. A score draw!

The ugly

Physio. Lots of it. Twice a day. For hours.

We are being fantastically well served by students from the University of Cumbria who, day-after-day, are doing their utmost to get us into good enough shape to be able to face another day. It’s not always pleasant (and Day 6 was a particularly painful low point which didn’t help my mood much) but it is effective. And I have no doubt that the pain that Trent (who drew the short straw of looking after me for the 10 days) inflicted on me yesterday was the reason that I had such a good day today. Calves, glutes, quads, ankles and hamstrings have all taken significant punishment, usually after 12-14 minutes in the ice-bath. But they still work, and will get me round tomorrow.

Thank you Trent – you’re a star and are making this 10in10 attempt possible.

So that’s it. Seven down and three to go. And after today I can start to think (a little) about reaching the end. Just 78.6 miles to go.