Tentatively, I pen this, partly because I am touching on the memory of an individual who I was never fortunate enough to meet, the only thing we shared was a love of marathons, fund-raising for Brathay and the hospitality and catering industry. I am of course talking about Matt Campbell, who tragically died whilst running the London Marathon last year. Doing last year's Ten in Ten, it was a privilege and an honour and the chalked mark at White Cross Bay in support of the pledges to run 3.7 #milesformatt and #finishformatt served as my reminder to struggle on and complete every day last year. As a mark of respect I remove my running cap whenever I reach the bus stop at White Cross Bay. Surely, we should remember Matt with a permanent marker at this point, remember him, someone who was proud to be Cumbrian, someone so talented and so young who died doing something he enjoyed, whilst raising money for a worthy cause (Brathay Trust), something he and his family believed in.
I feel I have no right to go any further other than to ask anyone reading this, that Matt's passing was only a year ago and we should spare a thought for him and his family, please remember him in the last 3.7 miles you run this weekend, especially if you are due to take part in the Windermere Marathon. It goes without saying that today's disciple this diary entry is linked to is Matthew.
This part of my blog is meant to be jovial so I hope I don't appear crass or insensitive to Matt by continuing in my usual vein. Following on from yesterday's Cow Man and gravy theme; I had a beef with today. This was the day and point at which I got injured last year, somewhere around mile 17. It was important that I slaughtered today, put the carcass of Day 4 to rest. So, as per the previous days before, I listened to the advice, I followed the advice and with Sam and Áine's support resonating and their physio care planned and executed with professionalism, I began today inwardly thinking I could make mincemeat of 'Day 4'. And, so it proved. Another comfortable run, very steady to begin with, walk down the hills and take it steady when I needed to, the day was sliced into a nice sub 4 and half hour portion. Tomorrow, I start Day 5 injury free. Tomorrow is 'Hump Day'. After tomorrow we are half way and every step we take after tomorrow is nearer to the finish (wise words loaned to me by Jonathan Carter, last year's Ten in Ten runner).
Today, was glorious weather again, we really have been blessed, the children were out at Hawkshead School to provide us all with some amazing enthusiastic encouragement. The high fives and 'Oggy Oggy Oggy' is just before my most favourite part of the course; the few miles to Esthwaite Water. I find it peaceful, beautiful and I'm always happy here. I've chatted with a few 'athletes' this year and one of the thoughts I shared was about half marathon runners who say that they can't do a full marathon. When I run an endurance event (you've perhaps heard of the phrase of 'How do You Eat an Elephant), and I appreciate I've not run that many when compared to others, but tackling an event of this size I like to break it down into what I call a type of binary fission for marathon. I'll try to explain. This course is broken up into the start, 12 fuel boxes and the finish. I figure that if I can get to box 1, I can get to box 2, if I can get to box 2 then I can get to box 4, if I can get to box 4 then I can get to box 8. Make sense? Well to me it does. The reason that this type of binary running fission works is that I believe if I've got half way to somewhere, I can get to complete the other half on sheer will power alone. Back to half marathon runners. I've spoken to some that say, 'oh, I can do a half marathon but I couldn't do a whole one.' To which I think you could you know, will power, your human spirit will get you there. And besides, would you ever eat half a Snickers? Admittedly, sometimes, on a run it can get boring, it can get tedious, but equally that's when a certain part of you which begins to ask questions. Perhaps you might not like the question or even the answer but for me it is the opportunity to find out.
Physio was good fun today, another chance for a giggle. Áine was trying to get the knots out of my calves, Sam was doing the same with my quads (not at the same time). At the point it was hurting, there was me crying out (not as bad as last year, thankfully), 'There, there.' At that point there was a mention that this therapy was like hitting a painful G-spot. Childish giggles ensued.
Before my run this morning I noticed with interest that we have instructions on how to go to the toilet in the portaloos. Thinking to myself, I know we get tired but really do we need the instructions? Blokes tend to be experimental and often do the opposite of what they have been told not to do. I'm not daring any of the blokes reading this to attempt urinating in the manner that is ill-advised, please subscribe to the green ticked methods.
I dedicate my run today to my other little sister, Alys. Amazingly Alys has become the voice of 'reason' to a certain degree. She's had to face her own personal marathons (demons, trials and tribulations) and she is always there. I've let her down badly in the past, partly alcohol induced and partly becuase I was a selfish idiot. Now, I'm proud to call her my sister, I just wished I'd not missed so much of her life. One of my 'fondest' (definitely vivid) memories of Alys was listening to her sing the theme song to Disney's Robin Hood