So we are sat in the ‘Athletes’ Room’ this morning and Janet and John (no, this is not a Terry Wogan radio fable) are sat next to one another looking very sage. It was almost as if they sit there knowing something. I’ve always admired managers, directors, owners of businesses, confident people in general, they emit this ‘I know something you don’t vibe’, well that’s how I feel and think any way. In fact the four elder states-people of this little Fellowship (Janet, John, Diane and George) have quietly and confidently been getting the job done, day in day out. Why would I think they know something? Perhaps because they do. They know what it takes to complete a marathon and they go about it each and every day with a quiet, confident, methodical manner. No screaming in the treatment room like yours truly, no dramatics, like yours truly, they are simply accomplished. They still join in with all of the fun and antics with a dry witty line here and there but to me they ooze confidence and it is about time they were acknowledged for their professionalism and conduct. Still, it takes all sorts and everyone fits one way or another.
Adrian achieved his 100th marathon today which was fantastic. Aimee and I decided on day 4 that we were going to recreate the dress of 118-118. Why? Just for a giggle. Except in my twisted way I decided to make it more complicated than it actually was. In explanations to my compadres, I’d suggested that today was Day 8, it was May 18th and 1+1+8=10 and 1+1+8=10, both 10s multiplied together equalled Adrian’s 100, a homage to him. Apologies for boring everyone with the convoluted story. We are two marathons away now from achieving the 10in10, a little light-hearted relief was perhaps needed? The giggles really flowed when we found out that Aimee can’t pronounce ‘Poirot’.
The shin splint treatment has now officially been abandoned, the daily agony of trying to release the inflamed muscles over my shins with two to go, not required. Screaming in agony today and even the extra jokes to stimulate laughter and endorphins did not help, perhaps the jokes need improvement? What do you call a bird without any eyes? BRD! Oh well, can’t say we didn’t try.
On the plinth next to me this morning was Linda, who is fast becoming a legend. She hardly winces (to me it looks like she doesn’t) when she is clearly in some discomfort and pain, either out on the course or when receiving physio. Her comment the other day was something akin (you have to do a slightly Geordie accent here to get the full effect) to ‘it’s just a little ache in me leg, man’. Her legs are taped, ankle to hip and she’s still banging out marathons and never giving up. To me she’s like the Black Knight from Monty Python, ‘ tis but a flesh wound’. Amazing. She is not the only one, all of us are steadily falling apart and yet the determination is more resolute, whatever we are built on seems unshakeable. Twenty out and twenty in, eight times, that’s 160 marathons complete or 4,192 miles, now try to be unimpressed?
Today was a bitter-sweet day; the first two ‘boxes’ incredibly painful, until the pain in my shin dissipated, or I got used to it, or the pain relief kicked in, or the muscle warmed up, or a combination of the four. The relief was relatively temporary when at Box 10, the little pixies who were using mini walnut hammers evolved. Charles Darwin has a lot to answer for. The pixies have now got so clever and have honed their tool making skills so much that they have now made little clubs and are trying to use my shins as some sort of xylophone. Accompany that with their attempts to play strings on my achilles and hamstrings and you might get some idea of how dramatic I’m making this.
Forgot to mention, yesterday a ‘tourist’ (I think) stopped me at Newby Bridge to ask me, how far is it? ‘26.2 miles,’ I replied. Oh, so it’s a real marathon! I ask you?
How are you feeling? There’s a little pain in my hip, tiredness in my legs and my shoulder aches. That’s okay says Aimee we’ll sort you out. So another session trying to put me back together. Roll over and let me sort your shoulder out. Face down on the plinth with my head through the face hole and she sets to work. I tried to write the word ‘HELP’ on the floor below in dribble, but none came.
Why am I putting myself through this process day in and day out? Why do I want to be part of this so much? Why? Because I want to achieve something, I want to be part of the ‘family’ the Marathon Mafia (this is meant to be a joke, so please accept it for what it is), just two more days and hopefully I’ll have earned my stripes?