• Day Twenty-One

    At 4am this morning I felt quite grumpy. I struggled to put weight on my leg just to get out of bed so consequently I sat eating my porridge in an irritated slump.

    Luckily after going back to bed for an hour, I felt a lot more positive and my head was in a much better place so that I was able to feel that I could take on the marathon.

    The walk to the start was still quite slow as I had to find a new way to put my foot down without it hurting too much, but thankfully, just like with my foot, I find it more comfortable to run than I do to walk.

    At the start we were met by Alastair and after a quick introduction and some stretches we were ready to go. As usual one of the Palace guards started us (“Are you ready? Off you go then”) and off we went. I was incredibly slow today but Alastair was happy to go at my speed and we chatted about all sorts of things. Alastair wondered if running was a class issue (what do you think?) and he also asked me how much of my performance was me being an artist or being myself.

    I said that before I had started I thought it would be more about me as an artist. I’m a lot more confident when I’m aware that I’m a ‘performance artist’ and I’m able to initiate conversations with people I don’t know in a way that I can’t do as myself. Normally I only have that sort of confidence with family and close friends. Generally I have anxieties about phoning people (anyone), meeting new people or going into a new situation.

    But the line between myself as an artist and as a person became blurred very quickly. I have remembered things about myself that I had forgotten; I have discovered new things about myself; I have found that things I thought were true are actually false; I have a stronger sense of what my values are and how to achieve them in day to day life and I have a greater understanding of what my limits are and how to look after myself.

    Despite this line becoming blurred (or maybe because of that) the artistic reasoning behind the project has become even more important and integral to the action. I’m finding that I’m excited about the direction my artistic practice will take in the future; I’m really interested in the concept/reality of endeavour; using repetition to highlight a moment or ask a question; the notion of challenge, performance, participation, commitment, fear and motivation.

    Alastair stayed with me for 12 miles and I really enjoyed his company. He told me a lot about the history of The Royal Mile, which I found fascinating. Lynn also joined us for a short while as she was out for a run anyway; her positive spirit was really infectious!

    Whilst running on my own I counted myself through the pain, or concentrated on the feeling of my ribcage every time I took a breath. The painkillers were also a bit more effective today so that helped too!

    I was lucky enough to be joined by my eldest son Zach again for 10 miles; my youngest son Noah ran 6 miles and my husband ran another 7 miles! I really enjoyed chatting to them as we run up and down the Mile, away from normal daily distractions. Dot Howard and her husband Will Teather joined us for a few miles too so at one point there were 6 of us trotting up and down the hill.

    I had lots of people shouting encouragement to me on the Mile today as well; this gives me such a boost so thank you very much!

    My physio session was also less painful today; for the first time since it started playing up my foot didn’t need to be taped up as it has improved! And even my leg wasn’t quite as swollen as yesterday, though it is still taped for tomorrow. I do have a small tear in the muscle at the back of my right leg too but nothing too serious. I think that, much like my foot, I will need to concentrate through the pain for the next couple of days and then hopefully it will ease off.

    I’m still just taking it one day at a time, one step at a time, reminding myself to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

    1 Comment

    • 1. Aug 25 2013 5:25PM by Heather Jones

      The power of love (cliched, I know) but wonderful your family joined you in your running. Strong bonds...and you are inspiring your boys through your commitment and dedication to this project.

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