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Brathay 10in10 – Chapter 3 – Obtain the Girdle of Hippolyta

Now, before anyone starts thinking that I’m trying to compare myself to Hercules (Heracles), the reason for naming each of these blog entries during the 10 in 10 is to simply refer to the personal efforts of myself and my compatriots, each one of whom will no doubt have to come toe to toe with some sort of serious challenge along the way; defeat a deceitful demon or slay a metaphorical monster along the way.  I liked the point of reference of the Labours of Hercules and thought that I could hopefully reference, compare and pull the strands of some sort of a story together.  That’s the only reason, I hope you appreciate the analogous nature regardless of how tentative it is.

Yesterday, I set off to the sounds of The Waterboys, Fisherman’s Blues in my head, which at various points I sang out loud to myself to serve as a little pick me up.  I didn’t and don’t want to run to music simply because I want to take in the beauty of Windermere and soak up the atmosphere and remember as much as I can without distraction.  Today, Aimee helped me in physio and we also did some dynamic stretching, I now love to ‘feed the chickens’, I felt great (8/10) and retired for pre-race briefing in the athletes’ room.  Flicking through my playlist on my I-pod (the eclectic mix ranges from Chopin to Sugababes and from The Alarm to Prince), I happened on Kenny Rogers, The Gambler.  It was fortuitous and I needed it.  There was a need to remind myself that this was only day 2 and regardless of how I felt, there was still a need to rein it in, be sensible and enjoy it.  The reason to start each day is to finish.  And repeat each day right through to Day 10.  So in the reverent words of Kenny, there was a reminder that you’ve got to know when to run, but equally, never count until the dealings done.

My amazing little big sister turned up today to support me, this blog is dedicated to her.  she loved Wonder Woman when she was young child  (Hippolyta is Wonder Woman’s mum, this just shows how tenuous the links to Hercules Labours are in this blog).  Thank you for your support, I really needed your encouragement after Bowness, have to admit I was a little flat.

Hamstrings were a tad tight today, which probably helped me to ensure that I keep running/plodding at a pace within my comfort zone.  Hydration was sensible around the course, the weather was beautiful, the views glorious.  There has to inevitably be a but.  At the risk of sharing too much the awkwardness I’ve encountered has been through gas, lots of it, I’m farting like a child who’s just learned how to blow raspberries for the first time and wants to annoy his parents.  I can’t stop.  Hopefully, it is the gels, which for the relief of everyone I am going to dispense with tomorrow.  My pre-race preparation didn’t quite go as planned either, usual toilet habits require a thorough evacuation pre-run, it didn’t happen.  This bothered me somewhat, I needn’t have worried as a ‘Paula’ Pitstop was required, do bear’s crap in the woods?  What would have been beneficial are Welfare Stations (or bogs for the boys on the black)?

I’m sure I put a bloody banana in the box after half way (Newby Bridge) but could I find it?  Could I buggery?  Little details, make a difference, but thanks to Mac who was cool, calm and collected, with provision of said curved yellow delicious boomerang and four or five miles later I felt the benefit of its fruity goodness.  Even better still, there was a strong finish, with a gentle run up the hill to the Hall at Brathay and a promise fulfilled at the finish line with a rendition of ‘Old Macdonald’, don’t ask?  Thank you for another great day, let’s hope there are more to come…

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