As good a day as any to run a marathon! But I decided not to....
As promised a very last Challenge 30 blog for you.
- How do you feel? - surprisingly okay. No different from any other post marathon day.
- Your legs must be sore? - no, not really. My right ankle and left shin will need a couple of days or so to be fully restored but no real stiffness or muscular problems
- What was it like? - hugely stressful!
- In what way? - having to maintain the same routine day after day with food, time, recovery, icing, stretching, elevation, communicating, sleeping. Knowing that one deviation, one relaxation would probably lose me Challenge 30.
- And? - well obviously the running as well. Because you don't test yourself before you start - I never knew until the first 100 yards or so whether I would be able to run again that day. Nerves of anticipation were almost overwhelming - hence my need to be introspective from getting up to starting each day. I needed every ounce of mental control to keep the Challenge on track each morning.
- What are you most proud of? - my on road focus and ability to dig so deep physically every day for 30 days. I concentrated on time and parameters. I walked every hour to take on board drink and food - and at each hour on both courses I had a worst case location and a best case location. I was able to keep to reasonably tight parameters every single day. Some days I had to dig very very deep indeed - but never to the extent of total depletion otherwise the following day would not have happened.
- What's your secret? - there isn't one really. Remember the iceberg effect. When you witness something that appears extraordinary in sport, the arts, science, business etc you are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. There will have been countless hours of unseen, unglamorous work beforehand. In my case hour after hour in the gym and on the road.
- Really? - If I have a secret at all I am more blessed than most with my ability to recover. I'm no great runner - but even after a huge effort where I have given absolutely everything I am fairly well recovered after 15 minutes or so.
- What next? - at 54 this was it! My huge Challenge of a lifetime. Okay - it didn't defeat me, it didn't have me on my knees, I could have done more. But there's no way I can put myself through the first 30 again to try to do more!!!
- Nothing at all?-There will be other adventures I'm sure - but that's what they will be - adventures.
- Are you sure? - yes. Although my celebration dinner was attended by Joss and Mary Naylor. See the section on this website about Joss if you don't know who he is. Joss is 77 and still tackling huge challenges. Aged 70 he did 70 Lakeland peaks for example. So there will be something out there for me but it won't be multi-day marathon running.
- And finally? - finally the other fantastic part of Challenge 30 is that I have raised over £40,000 for Brathay. Without having to run 40 marathons - just the 30! "Your miles change lives" was on a banner as I rounded the final corners yesterday. I do hope so - and I trust Brathay to make this happen more than anyone else. Your extreme generosity cannot have been better placed - and I will continue to do my bit to ensure that this remains the case. A huge thanks.
Finally some summary stats- of which I am very proud (and cannot quite believe myself - remember no physio and I carried my own food and drink throughout):
|1st 10 Average||4:51:24|
|2nd 10 Average||4:56:18|
|3rd 10 Average||4:39:42|
And my over and out photo once more: