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Brathay 10in10 – Chapter 6 – Slay the Stymphalian Birds

Ladies Day, yippee!  Except for Ladies Day here at the 10 in 10 involved the male physios donning dresses.  There are sights that can now never be unseen; looking down to see how my k-tape was being applied my eyes wandered uncontrollably to the cleavage of Adam Smith, except the view revealed stubbly chest hair over his glistening, muscular pecs.  And no, I’m stating fact not being impressed.  The image will unfortunately be etched in to my visual memory banks.

When I applied for the 10in10 I listed as my ‘running achievements’ a few marathons and half marathons.  Taking into account I have only actually completed, one ultra marathon, St Bees, SBU 35 and four marathons, at the end of today I have now doubled that total.  Today, I’ve completed five marathons, that’s ten in my whole career.  In the last five days I’ve (as you may have guessed, I’m avoiding the word ‘run’) completed as many marathons as I’ve done in the last 27 years.

Tomorrow is Wednesday, I can’t bear to think it is Day 6 (regardless of me writing it), tomorrow is simply Wednesday and we are taking it day by day.

The shins were not great this morning, Left rated 8/10 for pain/soreness which had only dissipated from 8.5 yesterday.  My right leg had improved from 8/10 to 4/10.  The marathon was as expected, frustrating, upsetting, long and a whole 26.2 miles.  The strategy we’ve adopted is just getting from Box to Box (there are 12 drink stations located at the same strategic point around the course).  If we can get to Box 1, we aim for Box 2 and so on.  When I was a young footballer that was my game, so I can get from box to box.  We just need to ‘Never Give Up’, ‘Enjoy Yourself’ and ‘Try Your Very Best’.  I’m doing what I can.

Some git around Bowness actually nicked box 10.  Can you believe it? Why?  For what purpose?  We are just twenty 30, 40, 50 and even 60 somethings trying to do something positive; achieve a personal goal and more importantly raise money for a worthwhile cause.  I don’t understand what sort of retard thinks it is amusing to steal 20 water bottles.  But, I’ll let you decide how intelligent or amusing they are?

K-Tape was something I’ve used the last two years since I’ve been running again, except earlier this year someone mentioned to me that there was no proven medical benefit for using it, so I stopped.  Today, it helped me.  Being somewhat of a closet sceptic (I really worried that I was going to be pulled today, and not permitted to start or finish) I watched the tape being applied and my shin felt a little better.  Certainly, my right did but left was a little sore still.  Each mile held something different, a good old sing song (thank you Aly Knowles for the loan of the Bone Conductors, the music helped today), high fives from the Children of Hawkshead Primary School (Oggy, Oggy, Oggy, Oi, Oi, Oi), the usual land marks, and now a new game of Marathon Deal or No Deal – I put different food, drinks or nothing in the drink stations so it is a bit of a surprise or disappointment when I get to look inside and find what’s there, sometimes there’s a banana or not.

Getting to Box 12 and ambling into Ambleside, I managed a gentle jog/run/plod (delete as appropriate) from the athletes portaloos (last-minute needed distraction) in the car park and up the hill back to Brathay, crossing the finish line with a forward roll and a little rendition of ‘Hi Ho Silver Lining’ in memory of old Smokey.  Unfortunately, Aimee didn’t know the words nor got the tenuous reference.  Not sure whether I’m the right person to help educate her in quality music?

Regardless of whether K-Tape works or not, I care not one wit.  I trust the physios and the support team here at Brathay who have not steered me wrong, not once, amazingly I have listened and co-operated (I think).  So another Labour completed and even if K-tape is Dumbo’s Feather, I’m going to hold on to it, to get through to the end.

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