• Day Twenty-Two

    Last night wasn’t my best night’s sleep: I woke up a lot and then when I did sleep I dreamt I was running (!) but I fell off the kerb and put all my weight on my bad leg. I did that thing where you land in bed with a bump. When the alarm went off at 4am I was surprised to find I didn’t feel too bad and I was looking forward to the marathon.

    I did sleep soundly for the hour that I go back to bed though, but unfortunately that meant that I woke up feeling a bit sluggish and I then had to steel myself for the day ahead.

    At the start we met David and Steven; they work together and had decided to come along for a run. We had our official start from The Palace (“3, 2, 1, go”) and off we went. I was so slow today that Edd caught us up at the first roundabout, but as things eased off my pace improved a little bit. As usual, Anthony Roberts joined us on the first mile; Anthony is still the most regular runner, returning every day for a short jog up the Mile.

    After Anthony left, myself, David and Steven kept on our way. It is great having company from so early on as it means I get a fair few miles covered before I even realise it. David had to leave to go to work after a few miles so Steven and I carried on, chatting about travelling, running and motivation. I explained to Steven that one of the aspects of this piece is to look at the ways that people motivate themselves to do something; how do you keep getting up and doing things, even if you don’t know if you can achieve them or if they are hard or boring or you just don’t want to do it? Steven said that by asking David along today that had motivated him to get out of bed and get to the start. We also spoke about telling people what you are hoping to do; once it is public knowledge you then feel more motivated to achieve your goal, although you are probably the only one that really cares about it!

    After a while we were joined by Noel. Noel is Canadian and is visiting friends in Edinburgh at the moment. So the three of us continued running up and down the Mile. Before long we bumped into Dodd and Megan. They had flown in from Dublin and had just arrived at the Mile, wondered how they would find me and just at that moment we ran past. We said a quick hello and Dodd went to get changed before joining us.

    So then there were four of us running together.

    Dodd is a theatre director and he was telling me about the piece that he and Megan are working on at the moment (http://makingstrange.com/). It deals with memories, instilling objects with memories, mourning, filling the gaps left behind by lost memories/objects. It sounds like an incredible piece of work, and one that has a lot of research, thought and care underpinning it. Dodd was very passionate about the work and it was interesting to think about memory/time/space. Over the course of the marathons I have lost time as a concept, in that the time taken to run has become so irrelevant as time doesn’t even feel like it exists when I’m running. Instead I am running in space; in a continuous moment that constantly evolves and shifts.

    Gradually Steven, Noel and then Dodd have to leave to go to work/holiday/meetings and I was left to run on my own. Whilst running in company I was aware of the pain in my leg but I was also (mainly) able to ignore it. This is harder to do when there is no one there to distract me, so I went back to my counting and my mantras to get through it. After just 3 miles on my own though Chris came and ran with me during his lunch break. It was good to see Chris again (he ran with me at the weekend too) and we picked up our conversation easily.

    A lot of my conversations with today’s runners centred on me being really nosey: I was asking about their partners and how they met and so on. It was fascinating to hear about these people without having met them, especially as the men were speaking so highly of them in a very natural way. It gave me a small glimpse into their lives outside of the Mile, and I could also see their character reflected in the way they spoke about their partner.

    At the 24th mile Chris has to leave to go back to work so I carried on down the hill. But by the time I got to the bottom I was shocked to find that my world had narrowed to become extremely small and I was having trouble breathing; I was starting to panic and I couldn’t work out why. I touched the pillar at The Palace as usual and all I could think about was getting back up the hill to Edd. I didn’t know why I was panicking, I didn’t know why I was struggling to breathe, but I knew I had to get back up the hill. I counted my way up the hill and really concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other until I reached Edd when I just crumpled. Edd gave me a big hug and I started to calm down and my breathing became more regular. I still didn’t know what had happened but I was less than a mile from the end. Luckily Andrew (from Jog Scotland) had just turned up and he took off his jacket and ran the last stretch with me (in his suit trousers and nice shoes) and I was really grateful that he was there to distract me. I still felt a bit fragile but we managed to cover those last steps together, and my 22nd marathon was over.

    I felt a huge sense of relief and then started craving salty crisps. There had been a haar all day (sea mist), which hadn’t lifted so I’d run in damp conditions for the length of the marathon. It wasn’t particularly cold, but you soon cooled down when you stopped. I don’t know if this contributed to the sense of panic or not, all I do know is that it came on very quickly and it frightened me. I was very glad that I was able to talk myself back up the hill to Edd and Andrew and that they were so supportive when I got there.

    Tomorrow is a new day.

    7 Comments

    • 1. Aug 22 2013 7:53PM by Chris Highcock

      Sorry that I left you to the panic. You are strong. keep on keeping on

    • 2. Aug 22 2013 8:55PM by karen davey

      oooh scary one today glad you managed to grrr yourself back up the hill and that you have such a supportive presence around you , for some reason your blog made me cry today ,i was really proud of you i think lol ! well done , not many to do now strong legs for tommorrow !!

    • 3. Aug 22 2013 8:06PM by Andrew Jeske

      Vicki is indeed strong and she should also be proud of herself getting through another less than ideal day. HUGE positives to be taken into day 23. See you there!

    • 4. Aug 22 2013 9:08PM by Filomena Cristallino

      Poor you. That did not sound like a very nice experience at the end there. Sounds to me like your body is craving salt so indulge in those crisps, you could do with putting on a few pounds!

    • 5. Aug 22 2013 8:30PM by Jane Malcolm

      We were out at lunchtime today Vicki and it was really warm and close despite being misty, you most definitely sound like you ran out of salt! Take care - 4 to go. You are such an inspiration. You are keeping me inspired with my own marathon training. Good luck with the last four. x

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