Well, I can’t believe it came around so quickly - it was the 10in10 marathon training weekend! The weekend itself has just gone by in a blur!
We got to meet the other runners (there are 20 of us in total) and the fabulous support crew!
Introducing the class of 2018 (a really lovely group of runners)........
It has been a fun filled weekend and at times, very over whelming - simply realising the enormity of the challenge ahead and what I need to do to get there and to get through in relatively one piece!
There are some runners who have done the 10in10 before (some more than once before) so surely it can’t be that bad?! It was great to pick their brains and get tips and hints about training, food and fundraising.
We were very spoilt this weekend and got to stay in the main accommodation. I had a room in Brathay Hall and had a fabulous view over the lake - the beds were so comfy. During the 10in10, we stay in shared dorm style rooms with the other runners.
We had a training run on Saturday morning, so we could go out and do a ‘test run’ of the route. As I have been struggling with my cough, I decided not to do the full route. I have run the course 3 times previously. I know I have an issue with mile 13, so my plan was to finish after this mile at around 14 - 16 miles. The run went pretty well. I felt good. The support crew were out on the road, making sure all the runners were safe but other than that (and the odd car), we had the roads to ourselves. It was a little odd to be running the route without the other runners from the Windermere Marathon and it was rather strange running through Hawkshead when it was so quiet (on race day, the streets are usually full of people).
I had a few breathing issues during the first few miles but these eventually eased off. I then had a few chest pains from around 4 miles. I know they are nothing to worry about (just annoying scar tissue from my previous pneumonia aggravated by my cough), they are just a nuisance!
I struggle with fuelling during marathons and usually just have a bit of water and the occasional jelly baby. I have to up my game in order to get through the 10in10 and have to consume around 6000 calories a day! I chose the training day to experiment with gels! I was given a lovely toffee flavour one to try. It was in a toothpaste style tube. I had half before setting off and then I was met at mile 6 by Jim with the other half and took it on my way. I had a few mouthfuls before mile 7 to see me around the tough bit of the course!
This photo doesn’t do it justice.
Mile 7, the first monster hill was as tough as ever but I managed to run up it (I don’t think I will be running up it in the 10in10 though).
I then had another bit of gel but managed to get it all across my face and hands. Nice! I’m so glad Michelle (the photographer was not there to catch this on film)!
The next drop box was at mile 10 but the lovely support crew were waiting and I dropped of my gel (once I unstuck it from my sticky fingers - that stuff is like glue), had a bit of a natter and continued on my way! I then spend the next 1/4 mike coughing! From this point, it’s rather up and down until you reach Newby Bridge. You then make a few lefts and you are on to what I view as the worst part of the course (other people live this bit as it’s one of the only flat sections of the route) - perhaps it is as I’m a bit odd. I managed through but that last mile was my slowest. My splits were all over the place with my fastest mile being 8:56 and my slowest being 11:53.
Thanks to my daughter, Millie, my earworm for the run was Green Day's Boulevard of Broken Dreams!
The rest of the weekend consisted of eating (lots and lots of eating) and various talks - from nutrition and hydration to physio advice and strength training. It was really great to hear about all the work the Brathay Trust do with vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young adults, both across the country but also on our doorstep in Yorkshire. We were joined by a young lady called Joanna who shared her life experiences with the group and explained how, with the support of the Trust, she managed to turn her life around, gain a degree and become a councillor for her local council - she is now giving back to the community and helping the youngsters in her local area. It is stories like this, that are going to keep me motivated throughout the 10 days - knowing that by keeping going, all the monies that we raise throughout this journey are making difference to someone's life. The physical pain that we will endure, is nothing compared to the pain suffered by many of the kids helped by the Trust.
I have learnt an awful lot over the weekend - it was a bit of an eye opener and to be honest it has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. I've had thoughts of "What am I doing?", "I'm never going to make this!", "How is a tubby, 40 year old going to finish?", "This is going to hurt!" to "I'm going to absolutely smash this!" and "Bring it on!"
Since getting home, I've made myself a bit of a plan for the next few months including training, fuelling etc but before I can crack on with all this, I firstly need to shift this extremely stubborn cough as it is still affecting my breathing!
I am really looking forward to the months ahead. I know that they will be tough and there will be many tears but it will be so worth it.
I am truly grateful for all donations received to date. If anyone would like to donate, please check out our JustGiving page......All donations, big and small, will make a difference. Thank you for all your support and for following my journey!