• Day Twelve

    I woke up scared today. The enormity of the task has finally hit me. Up until now I have taken each day as a separate entity, but somehow the whole lot managed to worm it's way into my pysche this morning. I've done a lot of running these past few days, but I still have more to do. In fact I have more to do than I've done. And now I'm tired. How on earth will I manage it?

    I was met by Ali, just before 7am and we walked round to the Palace Gates together. Ali had on an Edinburgh Marathon t-shirt as she'd run it just this year, and as we chatted we saw another girl with a half marathon t-shirt on, also from Edinburgh this year. I love the t-shirts; I know that they are only clothes, and that they are clothes that label you, but what a positive label: I've committed to run this distance, I've trained and I've achieved it. And I shared that experience with all these other runners... I've reached out and connected with other people that ordinarily I would never have met; never have looked twice at, but now there is a common bond. And when that bond is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other over various distances, it can be very powerful.

    Philip started us off again today, though I might not see him tomorrow as he will be back inside the Palace. It didn't take as long to get into a rhythm today and Ali was generous in her running. My pace is incredibly slow now (I do think you could walk beside me as I run), but she had the good grace to at least look like she was still running. A little way up the hill we were joined by Dan, an American visitor to Edinburgh who had seen the piece listed in the daily schedule and decided to come along. Dan chatted about all sorts of things, such as how running in different cities is a good way to get to know them, to chatting about his training schedule and his work, which ocassionally allows him to travel.

    Ali stayed with me for nine miles before heading off and she tweeted later to say that her 4 mile run home had been at target pace which had given her a lot of confidence. I was so impressed with Ali, she was gentle, kind and thoughtful and a real pleasure to run with.

    After a few more miles Dan headed off to get ready to go and watch another show, and I settled back into a rhythm of running on my own. It normally takes a little while to shift from running in company to running solo again. I'm finding that by about mile 16 my body starts to accept that it is going to be running for a little while and settles down (in terms of aches and pains), but equally this frees my head to start thinking about other things. And today it crashed in the most spectacular fashion as I was crushed by a massive sense of self-doubt: I'm not good enough; who am I to think I could do something like this? how could I ever have thought I might be good enough? By the time I got back to Edd my head was all over the place and I couldn't even articulate how I was feeling. But with perfect timing, Jamie Moakes walked round the corner. Jamie is another performance artist, running the He Said Talent Agency (http://www.hesaidtalentagency.co.uk/). It wasn't long before both Jamie and Edd were covered in snot and mascara (mine, not theirs). They both reassured me, calmed me down and helped me to get my head straight again. And then even though he was wearing jeans and shoes, Jamie then ran with up and down the Mile. It was just what I needed and helped me to get through those last few miles. I love sharing the top of the Mile with other people; it is so exhilarating to pick your way through the crowds, sometimes making eye contact; sometimes exchanging a few words or a high five, and it always lifts my mood to open this experience out to other people. Also, the Mile is so busy by this time that you have to slow down, which is no bad thing when you're a bit tired!

    So the day was a bit up and a bit down, much like the Mile itself. And when I got home and read all the generous messages of support from people on Facebook and Twitter I was in a fresh flood of tears. But at least this time they were happy tears.

    And a phone call with my nutritionist, Chris Mcmanus, helped to put things back in perspective and prepare my head for tomorrow. I'm going back to thinking about one day at a time: the rest of the days are too far away to worry about.


    • 1. Aug 12 2013 9:28PM by Maria Banks

      Hello Vicki, I'm a friend of Filomena and just wanted to let you know how inspiring you are. To know that you are not super-human is reassuring, I remember feeling something similar when I climbed Ben Nevis for charity many years ago now, not even close to what you're doing but a big challenge for me personally. It was THE best and worst thing I ever did but my goodness I did it and felt pride like never before. Know that you have so many people running right beside you, just not in the physical sense! Best wishes, maria

    • 2. Aug 12 2013 10:29PM by Chris Highcock

      Good to see you again this morning and good to see that you were looking happier.

      Please don't be scared. You are doing so well.

    • 3. Aug 12 2013 10:29PM by Chris Highcock

      Good to see you again this morning and good to see that you were looking happier.

      Please don't be scared. You are doing so well.

    • 4. Aug 25 2013 6:28PM by Heather

      Your mention of your nutritionist and your porridge this morning has put me in mind to eat...guess what? Some porridge. I had some when I got back from running with you this morning. And now I'm going to have some more, because I've been thinking how wonderful Scotland's most traditional breakfast is for keeping you going whether you are running, or blogging, or commenting on someone else's blog. :)

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