Day 5 – Turning Things Around?

Finish Time — 08:25:21
Average Pace — 19:17 per mile
Steps Taken — 63,270
Mantra of the Day — “I may feel pain but I will not fail”

Today I decided early on that I had to adopt a strategy that will get me through to the end of this event — not just to the end of the day. The worst part of yesterday’s 8-hour ordeal was to feel everything deteriorate the more miles I covered. Psychologically this leaves you on a negative note at the finish line, and it is all too easy for this negativity to carry into the next day.

Sure enough, I woke up this morning feeling awful, and very unsure about my ability to complete the whole event. Roxy from Body Rehab was brilliant – during my morning physio session she sat next to me and helped me talk through it, so I was feeling a little more confident when I actually got out on the course.

My strategy, then, was to walk as far as I needed in order to preserve my ankle and give it a chance to heal. If it took me nine hours to finish, so be it. But more than anything I want to be running again by the end of the week!

The first nine or ten miles were very tough, but after another chat with Aly by the side of the road, I managed to toughen up a little bit. I took a leaf out of Stuart’s book and started alternating — 100 paces walking, 50 paces running. 100 paces walking, 50 paces running. Rinse and repeat. This was my entire focus until mile 16 or thereabouts, at which point I found the walking too long and the running too short. So I switched the count… and a mile or two later I dispensed with the walking altogether.

The net result of this was that after taking 4:42 to get to Newby Bridge, I made it back to Brathay in just 3:43. Painfully slow, but a massive negative split nonetheless.

I don’t want to jinx anything by getting excited too quickly, but in my body I feel that things are back under control, my ankle injury is healing (thanks again to Body Rehab!) and I may actually get back to the full running experience before the end of this event.

We’ll see how everything goes tomorrow, but this may just be the day I turn things around.

And in any case I have now completed 5 consecutive marathons, I am halfway through this adventure, and I finished my day believing again that I will complete it!

Thank you again to everyone for your messages of encouragement on my blog and Twitter and Facebook and email — I cannot begin to describe what a difference your support makes in the dark moments!

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