Tuesday 19 April 2011

120 miles in 29 hours... Phew!

Okay, so in case you hadn't already heard, I have survived my run! I had meant to update the blog yesterday, but unfortunately the lack of sleep finally caught up with me...

I met up with Team Awesome in the car park of Tescos in Bar Hill, ready for the final 9 mile stretch of my journey. I changed back into my marathon running clothes (running number and all). The final section to St. Ives involved running on some relatively busy roads, and I wasn't sure how I would be feeling at this stage, so Dan's job was to make sure that I didn't veer off into oncoming traffic. As it happens, I was feeling pretty good, so instead we just used the time to chat and catch up.

This section was probably the worst of all, because I knew how close we were. Unfortunately my hip started to act up which made these few miles quite grueling. I suspect that people were, in a weird way, glad to see that this was having some effect on my body - Dan's comment was "you are human after all"!

Our conversation turned into a scene from Rocky, with Dan shouting inspirational comments at me ("You're a wrecking ball!"). We took a wrong turn, so ended up joining the guided bus way at Swavesey instead of Longstanton. As it happens this was probably for the best; I know that route like the back of my hand, so unfortunately I know exactly how far there is to go. It seemed at this point that we weren't moving any closer, and Dan's shouts of "nearly there" were ringing a little hollow, so I just put my head down and concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other.

We made it to St. Ives town center, and I spied everybody waving at me from near the Oliver Cromwell statue. I ran past some bemused looking market traders towards the finishing line that had been set up for me (purple for the Epilepsy Society, natch!). A sudden burst of adrenalin hit me, and I sprinted through the line, much to the surprise of everybody there!

I was greeted by David Hodge (the St. Ives town mayor), the members of my crew, some friends from work, lots of well-wishers, Nick Addy from the Epilepsy Society (last seen dressed as a giant seahorse at the charity cheering post at the London Marathon), and a number of photographers. It was a fantastic feeling to be cheered on through the line! I did feel bad that I was so late, but nobody seemed to mind!

I ran through the line at about 2.45pm - 29 hours after setting off on the London marathon the day before! I still need to get the final numbers from the GPS devices that I used, but the grand total was about 120 miles. Also, I now have my official time for the marathon, which was 3:47:45. Not bad, and far enough away from the Good For Age time of 3:10:00 (which would have given me guaranteed entry next year) that I don't feel like if I had gone a little faster I could have made it...

After everything had calmed down, the cracks started to show. The weirdest thing was that I started to shiver a lot, which was probably due to a massive come-down off of the sugar and adrenalin high that I had been on! Also, everything was seizing up very quickly, and the ache in my hip was still bad. Jen drove me home and threw me straight into an ice batch, I got some warm clothes on, and Dan and Zoe turned up with KFC - perfect for replenishing protein! I was finding it very difficult to keep awake, and dozed for a couple of hours on the sofa.

Chelsea stopped by in the evening (after a long day at work I might add) to perform some emergency physio to make sure things were okay. Obviously everything was pretty tight, and my right shin and left hip were particularly so. After poking my sore bits for a while (I am assured this was for my own good :p ), I was helped upstairs and put to bed.

I woke up this morning at 5am feeling nice and refreshed. I felt good, but wasn't sure if this was like the feeling you get after a heavy night's drinking, where you feel great until you stand up... But get up I did, and... nothing. Things felt good. I still have an ache in my hip, but other than that I don't feel any worse than after any other run! Jen was particularly surprised to see my come down the stairs on my own. I'm not going to get ahead of myself though, and I know that things could change over the next couple of days, but with such amazing care what could go wrong!

This morning has been a bit crazy, and my phone has been going non-stop since 7.30 am. So far today, I have had a live interview on BBC radio, an interview with the Hunts Post, been on the front page of the Cambridge News, had a photo shoot for a media company who supply stories to national newspapers (so keep your eyes open tomorrow!), and I am currently waiting to hear from ITV about an interview with them! Hopefully this will all help to bring in some more donations for the Epilepsy Society, and in fact has already attracted a couple of people I see!

Once again, the reaction from people has been incredible. Currently, we have raised over £3,000 online, plus Jen, Dan, Zoe and Pete probably collected over £200 yesterday. If we add in the Gift Aid, I think that we should be sending about £4,000 to the charity - twice as much as I set out to raise! Amazing, and it's all thanks to the generosity of you all, so thankyou once again.

So many people have been involved in this run, and I want to thank everybody that has helped out, everybody that has sponsored me, and everybody that has been so supportive throughout. I promise I will shut up about it after this! In particular, I want to thank; Jen, my lovely fiancee, who has had to put up with me all these years, and was even forced to give a few interviews!; Dave, Pete, Jen and Dan who stayed up as long as I did and followed me through the night to support me; Zoe for looking after Max overnight; Chelsea (and everybody at Cambridge Sports Physio and Back Care) for keeping my legs in check so that I can carry on doing stupid things like this; my mum and dad for being there to support me at the marathon and for raising me to be so stubborn (I blame my dad in particular); all of my friends and family who supported me over night (although I am only just getting around to all of the texts and emails - 128 emails!); Deb for lending us his flat in London the night before the marathon (saved travelling in from ST. Ives Sunday morning!); Vivienne at TriSports Plus who sponsored me for the event with some of the equipment that I used; everybody at the Epilepsy Society, who work so hard for people with epilepsy; and of course everybody that has helped by donating towards the charity.

I am now finally sitting with me feet up, watching TV and trying to catch up with everything. I burnt over 15,000 calories yesterday, so I have a lot to catch up on! Luckily I have plenty of sweets and biscuits to help! I have the week off with nothing much to do, except for eat, watch TV, spend some quality time together with Jen (including landscaping the garden - which kind of makes me wish I wasn't able to walk...), and play on my computer. It's going to be a very lazy week!

So what's next? Well, I don't think that I'll be doing anything like this any time soon, as much to give you guys a rest as me! Once I have the all clear from Chelsea, I'll be back to running and cycling stupid amounts (although maybe not quite so stupid), so that isn't going to change. I have a couple of ideas of ways to top this, but it's probably best to keep them under wraps for the time being! I have a few races later this year, including two 10 Ks, three marathons, two half marathons, and potentially a couple of triathlons.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this blog, and I hope that it's been interesting. I will probably keep using this blog to keep track of my running, but won't be updating quite so often. But please do check back to see if I am doing any other stupid things any time soon!

All that remains is for me to say thankyou once again. It makes me so proud to have such fantastic friends and family, and the generosity of people has been unbelievable. I hope that I can do more in the future to help the Epilepsy Society. But for now, it's time to put my feet up and get down to a real marathon - watching season 1 of The Sopranos!

Very finally, here are a couple of things that have cropped up in the media, and I will pop a few more photos up when I get them:



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