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Brathay 10in10 – Chapter 5 – Steal the Mares of Diomedes

Laughter really is the best medicine.  The last ten minutes of physio today was (for me, who likes a giggle at his own jokes), laugh out loud funny.  Now I guess you had to be there, but whilst we were going through the final bit of hamstring work, Aimee recounted the story of her childhood horse, Smokey.  ‘I used to have a horse but he died because he farted too much.’  Sad I know and I’m sorry for your loss.  Losing a childhood friend is never easy.  But, seriously tagging on trump reasoning at the end however accurate sent me into a tailspin.  It helped because I didn’t feel a twinge whilst both of my hammies were being manipulated to loosen the tightness in them.  Thoughts raced through my head, which unfortunately, were vocalised, to the amusement of some and perhaps derision of others, apologies for my impropriety.  The first song and idea that pranced out of my head and missed the appropriateness filter was ‘Champion the Wonder Horse’ the next idea was that Smokey had attached a hose from his ass to his mouth to die of suffocation from noxious vapours.  Sorry, I sniggered, guffawed, snorted, neighed and uncontrollably laughed out loud, a little like the gas blowing and billowing from Smokey’s anus.  The actual cause of death, regardless of how vaporific Smokey was, apparently his bowels became tangled.  Please bow your head as a mark of respect, rest in peace Smokey.

Some facts; to my name before this week I had only ever accomplished 4 marathons (only one of which was earned in the last two years, the other three back in my 20s), I have now completed four of the Brathay 10in10.  That means I’ve doubled the marathon total on my running CV.  Over the last four days we (because to be honest without the support we get, we wouldn’t get anywhere, well I wouldn’t) have accomplished a running distance of 104.8 miles.  The song crossing the finishing line was, I would walk 104.8 miles and I would walk 104.8 more just to be that man … (sang to the imagined sound track of The Proclaimers, 500 Miles), we nailed the chorus ‘Da,da,da,da, da,da,da,da, da, dadumm, dummid, dum da, da da la’, though.

The fourth Mare of Diomedes was called Deinos (terrible), today could have been terrible, but it wasn’t.  It must easily have been the hottest day so far.  My running was okay, going up hills was fine but coming down them, it felt like the suspension was going.  Mrs Warren passed me at  ‘marital aid cottage’ (there is some beautiful topiary but shaped in well, I think you can work it out) around mile 9 or 10 and mentioned as she glided by me in her best honest Yorkshire twang, ‘you run much better up hills than you do down them’.  So, regardless of both wheels falling off, we put today down as a bad day at the office, something to learn from for the rest of the week.  Everything happens for a reason.

My reasoning today was that if I didn’t complete the fourth marathon I couldn’t take part in five, six, seven, eight, nine or ten.  Today was all about being sensible.  Not doing too much damage and finishing.  The resolution approaching Box 8 was to get to Box 9, once at Box 9 get to Box 10 and so on.  The muscles in my shin failed me, which allows me to plant my foot in a position to move forward, quite useful for running up hills, which if you hadn’t worked out, round Windermere there are just one or two.  The lower leg muscles are like your landing gear, mine were locked in an uncomfortable position, so each footstep was like a tiny walnut hammer hitting the muscle at the front just above the ankle.  Needless to say Box 8 (mile 16-ish) to the finish line is quite a way, so my ‘time’ went out of the window, my mood didn’t and we finished with a smile.  No horsing around tomorrow, we start to get into the business end, tomorrow will be another milestone, once we’ve finished we are half way there and if we can get half way we can do it.

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