Today was tough, really tough. More mentally than physically, and I had to talk myself out of a couple of mini-meltdowns. But I pushed on and ticked number 6 off. This is a punishing challenge, but it’s for an amazing cause and I can’t lose sight of that.
After physio yesterday, I had a little niggle on the top of my left knee-cap. It didn’t get any worse overnight, but I could feel it walking down the stairs at our lodge this morning. I went to morning physio slightly earlier so that Martyn could have a look at it to try and fix it before I started running.
This involved a good bit of poking and prodding, and a diagnosis that tightness in my left glute was pulling down the outside of left leg and leading to some slight misalignment. To loosen this off, I had Martyn and fellow physio Trent, each digging into a glute, rocking me from side to side like they were trying to saw me in half! It was pretty painful, but seemed to do the trick and the knee was much improved.
The knee was certainly playing on my mind before we started, as I had no idea how it was going to cope. Head physio Adam said he would go out to mile 4 at Hawkshead and if it was hurting at that point he would tape it to relieve the pressure. Fortunately, after a little bit of discomfort right at the start, it was feeling good when I saw him, even after the long downhill. Adam said my running style looked fine so I kept going.
I was under strict instructions from Martyn to take is easier on the downhills to protect both my knee and my quads, which are still taking a lot of hammer and are quite stiff as a result. I was well behaved and did that, but was still struggling to enjoy myself. It was just head down, game face on, and I wasn’t my usual smiley self when I was taking my drinks bottles from the support team.
I had Rich and Lucy on their bikes today, and they kept whizzing past on their way to the next drinks station, so that helped take my mind off things, and then friends Martin and Lesley were on the hill just after the centre of Bowness to cheer me on. That was exactly where I needed them.
Crossed the line, a few deep breaths to compose myself, and then started the stretches on the lawn so got a chance to talk to Rich, Lucy, Martin and Lesley which was nice. Then into the ice bath (17 minutes at 6 degrees today) and onto the physio table. I ended up in recovery for almost exactly the same length of time as I was running for today – 3 hours 15!
Photo: Icing the knee
Another one ticked off, well over half-way and four to go. I’ve done four in a row before. Should be fine…
I’m also now over £9,000 on my JustGiving page, this is just wonderful. Every day I get back to more fantastically generous donations and it gives me such a massive lift. When the going gets tough, thinking of everyone who has supported me gives me so much strength. Please keep it coming!