Day 3 – Anything Can Happen, And Probably Will

Finish Time — 7:01:14
Average Pace — 16:04 per mile
Steps Taken — 63,940
Mantra of the Day — “With a spring in my step and a smile on my face”

Because of my long and difficult day yesterday, I decided to join Toks and take an early start today at 8am, instead of the main field start at 10:30am. Physio treatment went on a little longer than planned, so I did not get on the road until 8:10am, but it was definitely the right decision.

The daily routine at Brathay is somewhat frenetic — breakfast; balance and proprioception testing; pre-run physio treatment; run a marathon; post-run stretching; protein intake; lunch; balance and proprioception testing again; ice bath; shower; prepare next day’s drinks and fuel; laundry; dinner; post-run physio treatment. In some ways the marathon itself is the calmest time of the day!

Running early means there are no drink & food stops between mile 6 and mile 18, so fuel and fluid strategy is completely different because you are carrying everything you need for almost half the race. No problem though – I much prefer to deal with this in return for arriving back at Brathay with a couple of extra hours in hand!

Last night I slept longer and better, so I started today’s run feeling calm and re-energised. In fact I made it as far as Newby Bridge (13 miles) before feeling any real fatigue, and even then it was nothing out of the ordinary. My running stayed strong all the way past Bowness (mile 20) and I was on pace to finish in about 5:50, about 40 minutes faster than yesterday.

Then suddenly from nowhere came a really disagreeable pain in the front of my ankle, that basically made me run so slowly that I was able to power-walk faster than I could run.

Within a couple of minutes I made the tough decision not to run any more at all, but rather to walk the last 5 miles and give Roxy’s miracle workers at Body Rehab the best chance of putting me back together.

In the end I finished in just over 7 hours. Absolutely infuriating after making what I thought was a strong comeback from yesterday’s performance. Still, I finished — if not with quite such a spring in my step, then at least with a smile on my face!

At physio tonight I was treated to poking and prodding and ice and laser treatment that hopefully should get my leg back in shape by tomorrow morning. With a bit of luck all I will have to deal with is the traditional Lakeland weather that has now rolled in from the hills…

This event is gruelling by any standards, and demands respect. At all times you have to listen carefully to your body and be prepared to make tough decisions in the field based on getting through several more days, not just today. Most of all, you must never forget that even on a day that starts well, anything can happen and probably will!

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  1. Keep going strong Rob. By now you have more than doubled the marathons run before this event!
    Hope tomorrow is a better day and that the physio has worked its magic.
    We’re all rooting for you here

  2. Checking the blog daily and willing you onwards. It sounds incredibly tough but I know you are a fighter and can take the knocks.

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