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I is for ...

The sun 'as got 'is 'at on,

'Ip, 'ip 'ip 'ooray

the sun 'as got 'is 'at on,

and is coming out to play

Daft, old geezer, that was yesterday. Today, was damp-ish, well, moist, in fact at some points through the 5 hours or so we were out there, it might have drizzled a little, no more than a light shower really. I'll get myself shot at this rate, it was incessant rain. Uninterrupted, from about 11am, the heavens opened and basically let us have an interminable dousing. Thankfully the forecasted 40mph winds didn't arrive, although there's still tomorrow, big sad face emoji!

Some of the 2021 team had 'one of those days'. We all get them, even the eventual winner will have an off day, a period where they might grizzle or grouch a little, it's the body's way of letting you know you are doing something slightly strange and wacky or another word might be, interesting.

Now, enough of that. Today, was one of mixed fortunes. Greg Thorley usually up in the mix had 'one of those'; he was really kind when in one of my disorganised moments earlier this week he loaned me his spare inhaler. With the change in weather from yesterday to today, it seemed he was suffering, it was luckily in one of the support cars. Michelle Atkins to the rescue. For those not in the know, Michelle is one of the legends of the 10in10 and now provides smiley, support and loads of photographic evidence of everything you go through during the event. Another having an irregular day was Catherine Higgins, but now we are in the business end, almost everyone is digging deep. You find things about yourself when you do this challenge, you realise you are capable of so much more than you think you are. Okay, I know it's only running, just putting one foot in front of another. It may be uninteresting to some, inspirational for others, all I can say is that I believe I'm not the man I once was, and therein lies the hope.

Claire Harrison, Paul Mayson, Avril O'Donnell and Malc Collins were all warm and waiting in the physio room, the pummelling attic, the massage loft and all chilled and relaxed they were too. At this point their reverie was disturbed by some lunatic high on caffeine or life? And there I was thinking I'd actually got my ingestion plan right today.

Bottles in every box, bananas in odd numbered boxes and Voom Pocket Rocket Caffeine Kick in Box 1. Only weird thing was I only had the one bar! I was fizzing when I got back. I'd almost had a decent run, just a tough bit with my 'ip hurting between 13 and 16 miles but after some elderly bald bloke passed me at mile 17 I decided I ought to stop grumbling and splash on through the puddles (which my sister would have loved). Each of my three children love jumping in puddles, even if they are in their Sunday best, courtesy of one well-intentioned (because jumping in puddles is fun) aunty, even getting saturated today, you can't help but find even the smallest memory, a reason to keep going, just keep going.

Just before mile 7, there were a couple of gentlemen cyclists, all the gear on, but slightly older than the regular MAMILS you find stretching their lycra and legs. I'm under the ill-informed illusion that when approaching or passing another person exercising, a gentle nod, smile or even cheery hello generates a camaraderie, a shared appreciation of effort. Not for the ignorant buggers I came across.

'Good Morning' I cheered in my most friendly manner. Blanked me. They could have been deaf admittedly but they weren't blind. I'd raised my hand to say 'hi' too. Should have used a finger sign rather than a hand signal. A smile is the minimum isn't it? So next time you decide to venture out for a run or a cycling just be kind to one another, there's a message we've heard before, for some it's still not sinking in...people should smile more?

You know, I can't get away from some of the unpleasant aspects of what the body does over the course of these ten days. Ingestion of anything and everything, peanuts, snickers, almonds, satsumas, electrolytes, Sugar Puffs (thank goodness), nutella, bananas, pasta and then some and so it continues. The downside to this consumption is that for input there has to be output. Everyday, several times a day, I'm shifting whatever I'm putting in. The downside to this is, things are starting to get a bit itchy...hopefully I'm not getting piles (you never know, I'm probably the right age for it)? Best ask one of the other oldies who are looking their age ... any advice Davey Green, Paul, Pat, Greg, Scott, Neil, Malc or Gary?

This morning on the massage plinth was a hand written note. In my usual inquisitive way I asked Georgia oh, what's this? She's a procrastinator like me. I guess she's constantly writing notes for things she's going to try and do but might get distracted from, until she then inadvertently has to rush to complete all of the things she had every intention of originally doing. Except it wasn't necessarily a list of things to do but more an insight into the students' day. Each and every one of them gives so readily. They are up before us, prepare us for battle each day, put us back together again, clean and clear up after us, organise food for us, put up with our yelps, tears and tantrums, they share our ups and downs but all the while they are still finishing off assignments and those all important third year dissertations. I know Cumbria Uni and Brathay are providing an experience which is rich, varied and rewarding but I'm indebted. I'll always be grateful to my physios; they will always be welcome in my home and I'll do whatever I can to repay their generosity of spirit. Aimee McDonnell, Aine McAleer, Sam Kennedy and now Georgia Clark, you've helped me more than you will ever know, thank you.

Following treatment today, I was advised, as I am still a little sore, in the hip, back and hamstring, that now my feet are starting to swell too, I should try and rest with my feet elevated. I'm therefore trying to type up my thoughts in an inverted position. Not ideal as all the blood is rushing to my head and who knows what daft thoughts will spill forth tomorrow...

The difference 24 hours makes! Yesterday sunshine and monstrous tantrums, today incredibly, incomprehensibly, invigoratingly wet with inadequate smiles to express my gratitude for life with all of it's ups and downs. Uh, oh! What will tomorrow bring?

My last 'I' was a little bit of fun but now I'm thinking better of it. Just after Bowness, I followed inaudibly the stride of Pat, it meant that I could very softly and stealthily creep up on him. It was not entirely deliberate but I did wonder how incontinent he might be? As I stepped in time behind him, I placed my hand gently on his back in an attempt at encouragement (he had a storming run today after a similar experience to me yesterday), unfortunately I seemed to scare the bejesus out of him. He fair shot up and forward in shock. Suppose I should be grateful that he is neither incontinent nor did he suffer from cardiac infarction.

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