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P is for ...

When I decided to re-enter the 10in10, I was working full time as a self employed driving instructor. One of the ideas I had when I was younger was to be a teacher, unfortunately, as I'm now 50+ and without a degree to my name it'll be very unlikely that I ever achieve that fanciful goal but I'm thoroughly enjoy helping to teach people to drive, so far it's been satisfying and fulfilling to see students pass their tests and give them the independence, freedom or opportunity that being able to drive affords us in this day and age. My fund-raising plan was somewhat flawed though as I was intending to donate part of my income from the lessons to the charity. Step in to the breach Philip Hoyle. I've no idea why Philip has chosen to support me, he has introduced me at a few Rotary Club meetings where I've been fortunate enough to speak about Brathay and my journey so far. I'm so grateful for his patronage but am at a loss as to how repay his faith in me. When someone does or says something nice for me I feel like Sheldon Cooper and his 'Bath Item Gift Hypothesis', I can't comprehend why and neither do I feel like the gesture I make in return will ever be enough to balance the scales? Even the donations I've received I am grateful but how do I ever say thank you to show that I really am grateful and that their/your support is so very humbling? Don't ask me why but I've no idea why I think like this. Is it wrong?

Yesterday and today I've ran in gloves. Now, that fact on it's own is not remarkable. Although it's cool, it's not cold and usually I never wear handwear. A few weeks ago out of the blue a previous 10in10 er contacted me to offer to promote my fundraising instead of his own as he celebrated his 60th birthday with a 60km run. What a pal! George Sherriffs always seems to run in gloves, so as a little homage to him , I thought it respectful to follow suit. I wonder how many days I can keep it up?

I received a compliment from a friend who is quite adept at taking the mickey out of me. Apparently, the finish line photo from yesterday I'm captured looking like a pirate. Immediately, I think of Captain Jack Sparrow but I suspect Steve actually meant Captain Pugwash?

Those who know me will and often are frustrated by my time-keeping, my organisational skills, my laid back attitude but overall general lack of planning. As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. With that in mind I'm surprised I've not had more DNFs. I guess there is still time to go as we've still got 8 days of plodding around a lake left. Admittedly, I had a good old vent after mile 8 today. I was told this morning that 'you really need to be more organised Duncan.' Don't I know it! You should have seen me more than 6 years ago, I was later, more frustrated and at least three times less reliable than I am now (perhaps even worse than that), how I had any friends or achieved the things I did only 'Them' upstairs know. Ten minutes before kick-off today I couldn't find my asthma reliever puffer. I don't often need it but I guess it's like my comfy blanket knowing that if I take it, my breathing will hold out during the event. Thankfully, Greg Thorley offered me his spare one, stress and potential disaster averted. Still, the comment smarted. I don't take criticism well, however kind and considerate it is intended to be. Admittedly, it was good to get the comment out of my system,

The mini sage of puffers and planning is still not over. As we strolled down to the start, I'm fidgeting around with the puffer and wondering which pocket to put it in. Oh, my life! Why haven't my shorts got any pockets? I thought all sports shorts had pockets even secret, discrete ones. I'm patting myself, hips and butt down like I'm on fire trying to feel for a zip, an indication that I've got somewhere to put the puffer I've borrowed. Can I find it? Can I heck as like. At dinner I'm reminded by one of the two teachers we have in our little congregation, 'have you found your pocket yet' asked the Reverend Michelle Woodcock? I'm such a child, I need a primary school teacher to help me, seriously I do, I'm useless without help and it's becoming more apparent the older I get, roll on my pensionable years, I'm sure my kids will throw me a home (or down a well) as early as they can. The pocket bothered me. But now, I have an answer. My kit has just been dropped off after washing, as I'm draping my shorts over the radiator to dry, there it is the secret sewn in pocket, the perfect size and shape for a phone or iPod. Daft as ever. Just goes to show how prepared I am!

That's another marathon ticked off, a little quicker than yesterday. A little pain in the hip but thankfully Georgia my physio (looked as ever by the amazing Dr Katie Walker-Small) has eased my pain, a little. Just praying that I remain injury free as long as possible. I'm as good with pain as I am with preparation, planning and pockets. I should simply be grateful for the faith and patronage.

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