• Day Ten (!)

    Yesterday was yesterday, today was a brand new day and I wanted it to be different. The low of yesterday actually gave me confidence as despite the pain and the tears I managed to keep going. I was overwhelmed by the support I had from everyone and it certainly fuelled me to the finish. As I've been advised, to appreciate the highs you really do need to feel the lows.

    But onwards and upwards. I slept better, only waking once because of pain in my foot and in the morning I was pleased that my foot didn't feel any worse. If anything it felt a fraction better. I dosed up on painkillers again and determined to start/finish with a more positive feeling.

    It took a while to find my rhythm when I started running so I started singing to myself (not out loud, that's not fair on anyone!), and stepping in time to the music. I began with 'rolling, rolling, rolling, rawhide'. This is one my Dad often sings, and always in a really low voice, which makes me laugh. And I was supposed to be thinking about placing my foot slightly differently to give the tendons a chance to recover, so this also reminded me to roll my foot from the back instead of landing on my toes the whole time. From this I moved on to the song we sing as Clown Doctors. The Clown Doctor programme is run by Suffolk Artlink (http://www.suffolkartlink.org.uk/clown-round.htm) and is funded by Children in Need. I work with Dr Fillie Fidget and Dr Christobell Misschief with hospitalised children and their families. We use clowning, bubbles, story-telling, improvisation, puppetry, circus skills, magic and balloons to help the children deal with the fear, boredom, loss of control, anger and confusion that can arise when they are in hospital. We also visit some of the East Anglian Children's Hospices (EACH). I am in awe of Dr Misschief and Dr Fidget; they are incredibly strong, kind, intuitive and funny women and I have learnt so much from them since I joined the project. Singing our song today kept them in my mind and allowed me to draw strength from them. Part of the magic of clowning is that you live in the moment; you allow yourself to find wonder and magic in the smallest and most ordinary of things and I have used this technique when running; it helps you to accept that what is happening is transient, it is in the moment now but will soon be replaced by something else. It encourages me to find wonder in the horizon in front of me, the people beside me, the ground beneath me and the sky above me. Thank you doctors!

    Anne came back to run with me today as well, and we picked up on conversations we had the first time we ran together and explored new topics and shared new experiences as the miles flew by. After a while we were joined by Rich, a friend of Greg's (who ran yesterday). Rich has just had a short break from running to recover from The Comrades Marathon he completed in South Africa. This is hardcore! A double marathon, the first 27 miles are uphill and the second section is through a mountain range. You have to finish in 12 hours. If you finish in 12 hours and 1 second they put you in front of a microphone and ask how it feels to be the first loser of that year and you don't qualify as an official finisher (even though you completed the course). Rich shared his highs and lows with me and offered me advice on coping with, and accepting, the lows and appreciating and relishing the highs. We chatted about the drive to run long and punishing distances; the need to keep weight gain at bay; the challenge of completing something that not many others have; the opportunity to travel that running can offer.

    And then, the BEST thing happened! I was running along and saw someone that looks like a very dear friend from home. That's funny, I thought, I must text her later and say I've seen her double in Edinburgh! I carried on running and got to the top of the Mile and began to run back down. Then someone jumps out and starts running with me with a big smile on their smile. It took me a minute to realise what had happened! My dear friends from home, Teresa and Tony, and their fabulous boys, Kieran and Jamie had travelled to Edinburgh! Cue for massive hugs all round! I was absolutely delighted! Tony even ran with me for about a mile (he's been training for it this past week). The grin on my face stayed for the rest of the marathon, and I was even more delighted when they were there to celebrate the end of the marathon with me (Tony even ran an extra half mile). They had kept their visit a surprise from me so I had no idea they were coming and it was the best present ever. The feeling from seeing them not only puts a grin on my face but it lightens my heart so my whole body feels like it is smiling. What a lucky person I am :)

    The difference between today and yesterday is staggering. Yesterday is in the past, and today soon will be, so like a good clown, I'm revelling in the moment, channelling the positive into tomorrow. As they say, laughter is the best medicine ;)

    1 Comment

    • 1. Aug 25 2013 6:44PM by Heather

      Vicki, the quality of your friends is a measure of the quality of you. Remember that for the rest of your life, whenever you feel down.

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