Ice and encouragement.

This week was a challenge.

Following my first 10 miler last Sunday, I detected a niggle in my left shin. I chose to ice it and apply Voltarol and tiger balm alternately and run through it. Tuesday night’s run sucked and by Thursday the pain was so intense that it kept me awake. I didn’t hold out much hope for this week’s 10 mile run.

On Saturday night I rested, took ibuprofen and made sure I had plenty of protein to try and help the muscle recover and this morning when I woke up it was not too sore. I decided to risk it and try it over a small distance. If it hurt, I’d just turn round and come home.

I’ve been relying on advice from a few pals lately and someone who has been a massive help has been the very lovely @IronPugsley who, being an Iron Man vet has been full of advice and reassurance. Thank you, D. X

One thing I’ll say to anyone going it alone: read blogs and use twitter to find other nutters to help put your mid at ease.

So. The run…

Mile 1 and 2 were a bit niggly but after that I fell into a nice steady pace of around 10.5 mins per mile (not fast but hey, this is a marathon. Not a sprint). The weather was pretty apocalyptic. The gusts of wind behind me were exceeding 50mph and the rain was essentially millions of tiny, cold bullets.

All was fine as I passed 6 miles. Last Sunday you couldn’t move for runners, walkers and dogs but this week only a few hardy folk were out. We waved and nodded and flashed, what I soon dubbed, “are we fucking mental” smiles at each other. A look that can only shared by those who truly understand one another’s stupidity and balls.

It was only when I reached 7 miles that it all went downhill. By this time I was working my way back. Into the wind. Through the 7 circles of hell. With the tiny, cold rain-bullets hitting me in the face and eyes so I couldn’t see.

I passed a man who’d been blown off his bike. He was fine but I was beginning to realise that this was ultimately not going to end well. The More I pushed on, the more I hurt and I was absolutely drenched by rain, tears, snot and my soul trying to escape and run away.

Once I managed to somehow get to 10 miles without dying or drowning, I limped home where I wrung out my kit and collapsed on the floor.
I logged into my Facebook and discovered that my little sister had commented on my anxious status from earlier in the day.

I’ll leave you with what she said, because it applies to anyone undergoing the hardest training of their life to do something ridiculous and challenging.

“You can do it!!
I’ve sat here and read all these words of encouragement from your friends over the last few weeks but now it’s my turn.

We have been through more in a lifetime than most. We had to grow up fast, see things that will stay with us for the rest of our lives but through it all we have been together.

I cannot begin to describe how proud I am of what you have achieved and what you are achieving now. Despite the physical pain you are enduring everyday you find a way, when most would just quit, to push past it and keep going.

When it gets tough, don’t only focus on who you are doing this for but on the money you are raising and how it’s going to help, and potentially one day save the lives of people who are diagnosed or are battling cancer.

On marathon day we will all be there to push you forward and I will be the loudest, proudest little sister shouting you across the finish line!

Keep going G, love you x”

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