• Day Thirteen

    Goodness me, where has the time gone? Thirteen days gone, just thirteen to go. Before I know it this will all be over!

    When I woke up this morning I was really pleased to discover that nothing ached! My foot still hurt, but everything else felt good. My foot is no worse, but the tendon is still swollen, so each day my lovely physio (www.e-physiotherapy.co.uk) gets the swelling down for me and tapes it up ready for the next day. I had a bit more ultrasound on it too today. Putting my foot down differently when I run has also helped as the pain now eases off a lot whilst running, only to return on the walk home. I can tell it's better when I run as I'm now able to realise when other bits of me are hurting!

    Dan, the American runner from yesterday, came back today and stayed with me until I reached the halfway point. Dan said he felt that it was one thing to run one day woth me, but coming back two days in a row would give him a slightly clearer idea of what I was going though each day.

    Joanne from the Edinburgh Running Network also joined me after 3 miles. She planned to stay for about 10 - 12 miles but she stayed right until the end! People really do achieve more than they thought possible on the Mile!

    I was delighted to have a visitor from home today as well. Dr Murray Griffin, who is the sports pyschologist I have been working with at The Human Performance Unit, came up for the day. Murray has worked with Marshall Ulrich, the man who ran 3000 miles across America in about 50 days and he has also crewed 1000 miles of ultra-running races. I really appreciate having Murray to chat things over with and I value his advice, though sometimes it's hard to hear when I know he's right but I don't want him to be!

    Murray thought that I was still running strongly considering I was on my 13th marathon, so the rest should be easy! The shuffle that I have developed is not a sign of being broken (as I had begun to think) but it is becoming the efficient shuffle of the ultra-runner. It can be hard for me to remember that when I'm joined by fresh runners that I'm doing an ultra run, particularly when my pace is slow and I can see that it's hard for others to run as slowly as I am. But I'm starting to see that I can go from being the girl who talked about running 26 marathons in 26 days to being the girl who did it. There's a shift in thought there that I need to accept, but each step that I take brings me closer to it.

    On the whole though, my mood was fairly low today, although it didn't drop below -2. The scale goes from -5 (really bad) to +5 (really good), with 0 being neutral. This is the middle column of numbers I fill in each mile. The column on the right of this records the intensity of those feelings: 1 being low and 6 being high. So I could be very happy, +5, but quite calm, 1. Or very happy and elated +5, 6. The column on the left is how hard I think I'm working. The scale goes from 6 - 20, with 13 being somewhat hard and 20 being maximum effort.

    Today my mood was affected by pain in various parts of my body (it shifts around) and also because I felt nauseous for a lot of the run. but after the run, and after talking to Murray and feeling more confident about my achievement so far I've decided that I actually spent a lot of energy feeling miserable, and instead of directing my focus inwards on what hurts/aches/doesn't feel right, I'm going to use that energy to distract myself instead. I'm not a runner and the act of running doesn't come naturally to me. But I do enjoy being outside and seeing people and buildings and nature. I love the feeling that I'm becoming part of the Mile: it's story and it's history. This is such an opportunity that I'd like to stop moaning about and start appreciating. Pain is inevitable. I know that. But it's not that bad: I don't even need to take painkillers now.

    So the plan for the next thirteen days is: stay calm; keep positive (where possible), and be accepting of the times that I'm feeling down/angry/sad/terrified; count down; accept I don't have to be superwoman; rest; recover; eat lots; keep putting one foot in front of the other; make the most of this opportunity; finish 26 marathons in 26 days.

    3 Comments

    • 1. Aug 13 2013 7:49PM by Chris Highcock

      Sorry to miss you this morning - I was in early - but I chatted to Murray for a while which was interesting! It is all downhill now....13, 12, 11, 10 days left.......

    • 2. Aug 13 2013 10:31PM by Michael (Dickie) and Eve Barton

      This is not just a great effort, it is superhuman. Keep believing, keep knowing that we are all with you every step of the way. When you have a runner beside you, remember that he or she is just a metahpor for the thousands out here cheering you on: a number that is growing by the day. Keep strong Vickie... keep the faith. Like you say, every step is a step nearer the finish line.

      x

    • 3. Aug 25 2013 7:24PM by Heather

      Hi Vicki, thanks for telling us about your score card. Will you keep score on life when this is finished, noticing how happy or sad you are and how much that means in the moment?

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