Well, it’s over, done, all ten complete. Having stayed for the celebration meal, many hugs and many a thank you, the children and I have dashed back to home to resume regular, daily, weekly ‘life’. Nothing like children to help keep you grounded.
As I begin to write it is currently half past midnight. I’m tired, the drive back home was difficult as I just wanted to fall asleep, but now we’re here and the children are all tucked up in bed, I want to fulfil the promise of completing a diary entry per day during the Brathay 10in10.
George Sherriffs and I set off at a little after 7:15am this morning. George had unfortunately torn a muscle in his quad only for or five miles in to his run on Day 9 so was in considerable discomfort and pain. Both of us thought if we set off early we would be back in time for the Presentation Ceremony with our fellow athletes at around 3:30. Unfortunately, the sacrifice was missing the gladiatorial parade and team huddle compèred by the inimitable Rich Rex at 8:45am. Twas therefore an early start 6am, up at 5:30 and a disturbed night’s sleep prior, it was after all the ultimate day and jitters are allowed. On waking my ‘landing gear’ was still not working so the slow walk down to receive physio seemed to take a painfully long time and I’d skipped my usual bowl of pre-marathon Sugar Puffs to boot.
Still, seeing the rather ‘happy 6am face of post-kayli‘ (sarcasm applied) Aimee and at least I was ready to face the day with a smile. This young woman has for the last ten days put up with me morning and evening, the tantrums, the yells, the old jokes (some of which she didn’t know), the tunes (at least I’ve helped to improve her musical repertoire and expect her downloads to reflect her new learnings, especially the purple one and The Waterboys). It might sound sentimental and perhaps another physio may well have looked after me as well as Aimee, but the way I feel at this moment and when I was on her plinth yesterday evening and this morning, I sincerely doubt it. She has tweaked my achilles back to flexibility, compressed my calves, and generally massaged my muscles (including performing DTFM) giving every chance of fulfilling my goal. I hope we’ve become friends? The way I feel about this young woman; she deserves success, she deserves to be happy and if there is anyway I can repay her patience (even though I have very little money) she need only ask, I hope she trusts me to be there for her as she has been there for me? Whether she understands or not, I simply could not have done it without her, we did this, together. Her reward, experience; my debt at this moment incalculable. By the way quick shout out to Dr Katie Small, I think I’ve worked out an analogy for the hamstrings; Aimee wasn’t far out, it just didn’t sit well with me, but what about trebuchet?
Sensible head on this morning; Adam taped me up, I swallowed my two ibuprofen and hobbled down to the start. George galloped off and for about two to three hours (who knows because time is irrelevant out there) I was officially second (out of two starters).
It is about time I mentioned the pair of Dave(y) Green (apples), who have both been gentlemen all week, one slightly more reserved than the other, you know who you are Davey Green, but gentlemen nonetheless. Dave Green has been very kind to me, and whilst our conversations have been brief, he has never felt the need to pass on unwanted advice, he’s remained considered, impartial, reverent.
One of the last comments I made on facebook was that it was time to ‘man up’ in less eloquent terms, ‘grow a pair’. I didn’t grow a ‘pear’ today but my hard work, and the selfless encouraging nourishment through the support we’ve received at Brathay; from the Support Team, our fellow athletes, the physios and the hard work from everyone has yielded the physical harvest (if you wish the Apples of Hesperides) I desired (medals, my name on the list of 10in10 finishers and an official hoodie, at some stage). What was unexpected was the emotional rewards; at the start line was my Mum, I’d never expected her to be there and it took two glances to realise. I’m still incredulous at the support I’ve received and can’t quite understand why others think I deserve it. Maybe this exercise will help me to realise that whilst I cannot change the past I can have a say in the future. I appreciate this is a lot of waffle but these thoughts are fresh and I want to capture them whilst they can still be frozen, like Bird’s Eye peas. I knew my sister was due to be at the finish line with my children, but I didn’t expect Kim or Debs. Why they had travelled hundreds of miles to see me put one foot in front of the other I’ll never know? But even if I never know I’ll always be grateful, I must be worth something to have such good friends and family. In a way I feel guilty for not always being there for Emma but I am proud to share today with her, she deserves some acknowledgement and recognition for putting up with her daft older brother!
What was amazing at the finish was the hugs, the crowd, and even tears from Aimee (gotcha!), bang went her street cred credentials. I forgot to mention yesterday, Day 9 we ran in together to our own sound track of Oasis
That they’re gonna throw it back to you
By now you should’ve somehow
Realized what you gotta do
I don’t believe that anybody
Feels the way I do, about you now
And after all, we’re from Cushendall