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N is for ...

You know when you just have one of those days? Bright, blue skies, even though a cloud threatened, the power of a blessed day couldn't be overwrought. Except down here on the ground, my day was less than heavenly. Brilliant physio again, ready for the day. Rocket fuel coffee supplied by the generous Dixon who is Gary, although I rushed breakfast and yesterday's diary entry was delayed, as I just felt a little sorry for myself last night (back hurt and demons were playing their usual boring, repetitive tunes in my head). Regardless, my head was almost in the zone and I was ready and felt prepared for a decent run today. My body brought that idea crashing down after the first 20 yards. If it's not my hip, it's been my back. Today was a new one though. Hip is feeling smoother, back is feeling more flexible and less twangy but my hamstrings feel like egg noodles. Not the cooked egg noodles, no the egg noodles that you crack into smaller pieces before you drop them in the pan of water. For almost 20 miles overall today I've shuffled like a truffle pig with his snout to the ground. That said, that's another one out of the way.

Needed and necessary was the phrase I kept mentioning to myself. Do what is needed to get round. Every step forward is necessary to finish. Today was the only day I've not worn a base layer as it was a beautiful Brathay day. Tot-tot cream (for those not in the know, it's vaseline) was liberally spread over my 'mooby areola'. By Hawkshead, the 'smearage' had rubbed away, so much so that by Box 2 (about 7-8 miles in) I was beginning to feel the burn. More lubricant but swiftly this was wicked away too. So, I'm sitting with little coat hooks in front of me as I write this entry. Not pleasant I know, so if you are reading this with a meal in front of you, fair warning, the next part involves more disgusting aspects of what I've recognised or thought by inadvertently plodding.

You notice more when you run slower, suppose it goes without saying, beautiful houses, quaint cottages, tiny nooks and romantic boltholes, cuddly young Belted Galloway calves, deer bouncing through the forest, squirrels playfully circling the trunks and swifts swooping and swirling ready for mating. Magic scenes. That's where the natures magic stops I'm afraid. I feel like Harry Potter has pointed his wand at me, uttered the magic word 'N-gorgio' but instead of hitting my wand his spell has hit one of my tiny spuds. I seriously feel like a poor imitation of a lopsided Buster Gonad. Is this normal? No wonder my back is hurting down one-side.

The hair cut didn't streamline me today, it really was a treacle-like day. During the event, everyone gets one, even the eventual winner will have a tough day at the office, the difference is that they are hard-working, talented and trained individuals whereas I could definitely have done more preparation. Regardless, I'm chuffed that I've completed six marathons and (barring any other accidents or unusual swellings) still able to get to the start line tomorrow.

A few years ago the recovery food was almonds (apparently they have anti-inflammatory properties, they seem to work for Roger Federer), so I've a trusty supply of nuts of all shapes and sizes, not a euphemism. Overall, though the plan of just getting through to Day 10 is starting to take shape, especially as the resourceful Neil Jones (he asked his wife) has very kindly acquired my marathon breakfast cereal of choice - Sugar Puffs, thank you. Only they are not called Sugar Puffs any more but Honey Monster Wheat Puffs. What? Why?

Made a big boo-boo today though. Once we cross the line, we are encouraged to refuel with protein shake (within the golden hour when your body is most receptive to food and repair), only we grabbed a bottle which wasn't labelled (usually mine). Except it wasn't mine but Joni's. The devil's drink! What? Almond milk, how do you milk an almond? They'll be producing milk from rabbits next as the next super food. Not finished there though. Combined with the almond juice, chocolate (okay I'll give you that one) and mint? Mint? Sounds delicious, doesn't it? It's not. I was thinking mint choc chip, Nothing could be further from the truth. How does Joni drink it? Anyhow I've apologised and I'll NEVER make that mistake again. Force it down, said Georgia, hold your nose and swallow. I was nearly gagging. Hope it has actually aided my refuel and recovery.

Now armed with a secret 'power up', you never know I might get back to running to my regular pace. That is if my ageing, cranky knees, noodle-y hamstrings, abnormally formed 'nad, creaking back, and unhinged hip allow. What nastiness awaits us tomorrow...

Nearly forgot talking about creaking old men... the Norris! Pat ran his 200th marathon yesterday. Hero is a word bandied around occasionally, but please bear in mind his preparation for this event has been working as an NHS nurse during a pandemic. Now tell me that he doesn't deserve at least ten medals (he's got to earn them first). Thank you NHS!

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