• Day Eleven

    Phew! Today was the first day that I was sorely tempted to get back into bed. It took a while, and some stern talking to myself, to get my head in the right place and get out the door. Then all the way to the start I moaned to Edd about how tired I was. Sorry Edd.

    Philip was my official starter today; he normally sits inside the Palace and checks all the monitors so he has seen me coming at 7am each morning and trotting backwards and forwards throughout the day. There is a lovely cold stone pillar at The Palace gate which I use as my turning point, and at some points I lean quite heavily on it before taking a deep breath, turning around and running back up the hill. But today Philip was out by the gate, so he wished me luck and sent me on my way.

    Just like yesterday it took a while for me to find my rhythm as I tried to find the way to put my foot down with the least amount of pain. And just like yesterday, this meant that the calf on my other leg soon started screaming at the unfairness of the extra burden it had to endure! I regularly stopped to stretch it off though, and kept this up all throughout the marathon so that by the end it really wasn't too bad at all. On the whole the change in the way I put my feet down has worked well; the muscles at the front of my legs are complaining a bit but they are also adapting fairly quickly. The new style of running is much more like a shuffle but it feels like I could run like this for much longer periods of time. I'm aware that I'm leaning forward a lot though, particularly when running uphill so I need to try and be a bit more upright next, otherwise I'm likely to end up flat on my nose!

    I had quite a lot of people running with me today, which helped the miles to pass by quickly. Chris was the first runner. I met him yesterday on the Mile and had a chat with him about the project and he joined me for a couple of miles today before heading off to run The Salisbury Crag. After a little while I heard some footsteps approaching from behind (considering how slowly I run this hasn't often happened!). The footsteps belonged to Richard and he joined me for quite a few miles. We chatted about lots of different things and shortly afterwards Chris came back to run with us, having already been round The Salisbury Crag. He didn't look out of breath at all! Having company meant that the miles just kept ticking away. Some time later Chris left to go back to his hotel, then Richard peeled off to catch the train back to London and I had a couple of miles on my own. Today I kept chanting to myself: 'positive mental attitude' in time with my footsteps which helped to carry me up the hill, despite my tiredness.

    Dot Howard came back to run with me too. She had received a really good review for her show in Three Weeks so she was full of energy and keen to run. At one point we were joined by Leah and her dog (!) Murdo. Murdo is the first dog to run with me and he was a delight. He took the hill in his stride, excitedly looking around for anything that might be good enough to eat! He comfortably managed just over a mile and a half, before he and Leah went off to explore some more rural hills.

    Jane Malcolm came back today. She's just found out that the 17th mile of the Loch Ness marathon is a two mile hill so she wants to get in some extra hill practice. She did a couple of laps of the Mie with me before shooting off to run up Arthur's Seat, and she'd already run 11 miles before she got to me! I really enjoyed being a part of people's runs today. It was great to hear where they had come from and where they were heading off too and I really appreciated them making an effort to include some trips up the Mile too.

    Tom also joined in again, quite literally tripping up The Mile again! He is proving to be a fantastic support and a valuable member of my team.

    And my friends from home came back for the end of the marathon today. Tony ran the last mile with me again as did Jamie, their youngest son. At 10 years old, Jamie has been the youngest runner to accompany me so far and he did brilliantly. It was wonderful to share the end of the marathon with them. It has meant the world to me, having them up here and sharing the experience with them. I'm looking forward to celebrating with them when I get home!

    Today was the first day where physical difficulties didn't cause a low mood. Up to now, when I've struggled physically, my mood has also been affected. But today, although I was extremely tired and kept thinking of my bed, my mood stayed fairly positive. I knew that it was difficult, but I also knew that there was an end in sight and every step I took was bringing me closer to my bed!

    There was also quite a high level of vanity and ego in today's run. Murray (the sports psychologist) has told me that showing off won't get me to the end, but also that each day I do takes me into a smaller and smaller group of people that have done anything similar. And today I was thinking about both of those things, and using it to drive me to the end. I've been thinking for a couple of days how my emotions have generally been heightened whilst running. I don't have the spare energy to hold back anything, so, for example, when I'm sad I'm really sad. And everything that I'm feeling is exposed for people to see. When things get difficult for me, I start to draw into myself and become much quieter. I've noticed that on the Mile, instead of looking ahead to where I'm going, I start looking down, to where I'm at. Today I was conscious of being in a large public arena, feeling exposed. At the start when I looked a lot stronger this wasn't a problem, but now that I'm getting tired I'm becoming more self-concious/vain? And I have a bit of a struggle accepting that I'm doing something to be proud of, against not being a show off and a bore. I'll have to think about this (i have plenty of time to think at the moment!) and find a balance :)

    My eyelids are drooping now so I'm off to do a final few stretches before getting into bed (yay!!!!!!!). Goodnight, hope you have a good night's sleep.

    1 Comment

    • 1. Aug 25 2013 6:40PM by Heather

      Big shout out to Murdo the dog from Dallas the dog. Dogs make great running companions, and life companions in general.

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