As good a day as any to run a marathon!
Well here we are at day 20! And what a pleasure to be running it for our old and dear friends Jean & Chris Squires.
I know I've always said the weather doesn't matter - but it does begin to get into your bones when it is so persistently wet. And today I was looking down on the clouds after the first climb. Then cold - my right thumb doesn't work properly when it gets cold so opening my ruck sack every hour was a source of growing frustration. Small ruck sack, great in every other way - but why such small fasteners?
I never know how well I'm going until I can realistically estimate where I'll take my first hour food. And the answer was better than I thought although a nagging problem was already coming into play on the steep downhills.
Left shin muscle bruising. Frankly amazed I haven't had this problem before as it is the curse of hilly ultra distance running and is brought on by stress load on the downhills. The danger is that it can become serious.
So now being careful with my right ankle on the uphills - and careful with my left shin on the downhills! Anyhow as I was finishing the first lap I had 2 great surprises - a chat with Rod Berry, the legendary organiser of the Great Langdale Marathon which happens on Saturday and who has kindly given me number 22. And then, in the pouring rain, fantastic cheering from Jean& Chris. Chris had also recruited the guys putting up the marquee for Saturday to give me a cheer.
As before a decent 1st lap allowed some leeway on the 2nd - including a stop to tape up my left shin. It even stopped raining for the last 3 miles and I saw the magnificent Langdale peaks for the first time in over a week. Coming in to finish in 4.51and a lovely cup of tea with Jean & Chris at the ODG courtesy of Neil again.
Then straight into cryo cuff treatment when Scott arrived with new ice. I decided that my shin was more important than my ankle - a bit of amateur triage on myself!
Frankly I don't know what the future holds with my ankle and shin. If I can contain them and the irritating pain then I'm in good shape otherwise and should be capable of at least a few more decent times. If not then so be it.
I've had an extremely hard first 20 marathons - taking all my focus, strength and reserves. But the results have been more than worth it. I've done 2 lots of 10 in 10, with no physio, carrying all my provisions, on a tough and extremely tough course - and have done both in under 50 hours (under 5 hrs per marathon on average).
And unlike A to B runs - each one is a guaranteed official marathon with a time attached to it. No diversions, no shorter days (no longer days), no days off. I've exceeded my expectations and I suspect those of everyone!
Of course thanks to your incredible generosity I've also raised over £34,000 for the wonderful work of Brathay with young people. This too has exceeded all my expectations and I'm so grateful. I will earn all of this even if I cannot run all of the remaining 10 - I will get round each and every day somehow!
Here are some stats:
|Cumulative Time||Distance Countdown|