Thursday, 31 March 2016

"Carry on Running.........Eddie" unofficial 26.6 miles

“Carry on Running…….Eddie”
Unofficial Marathon 26.6  miles
Sat 19th March 2016
Medway Towns, Kent.

The Road is Long
I met up with my training buddy Jodie on an average, overcast Saturday in Medway for an 18-20 mile run, this was to be the final stage of our training for the Paris Marathon.
We had started back in November and battled through many issues such as flu, chest infections, ankle strains and a hectic Christmas in retail, all of which generally resulted in both of us being utterly tired out but committed to the training schedule and determined to complete Paris in one piece!
We started off as usual, chatty, happy and focused and soon we were up to mile 5. However by mile 8, flump foot had turned up! Now this is not the pet name for an annoying or troublesome fellow runner, more of a nickname for the numbness in Jodie’s left foot that had plagued her since Nov. Although the flump foot pain was tedious she battled on through the fizzy foot stage and by using a walk/run method we reached 12 miles! Thankfully it subsided and we managed to get back into a comfortable pace, this was helped by lots of flat terrain, a few down hills and a bit of singing!
We eagerly turned back onto Rochester Esplanade and realised that we had completed 17 miles, with just 1 mile to go it was an amazing achievement, Jodie’s longest run to date! We jogged the last mile back to HQ (my house), reminiscing about all the training runs we had done, time had indeed flown by and now we were a mere 2 weeks away from the Paris Marathon.
Arriving at my house, Jodie picked up her bag and made her way home for a bath and some food. She had worked really hard in the last 5 months but now needed to rest and mentally prepare herself for the next stage.

Born to Run
I had a quick toilet break and a few minutes of refuelling, but for some reason instead of collapsing on the sofa or running a bath, I was itching to get back out there. Why, I hear you scream, is 18 miles not enough for you?!
Well, I shall tell you why dear reader……..
I had been avidly following my comedy hero Eddie Izzard on his quest to 27 marathons in 27 days in South Africa for Sports relief on the BBC. He had now completed 25 and was set to do a double marathon the following day. A large part of me wanted to pay homage to him and his amazing determination, but what could I do?
Without a second thought, I flew out of the front door and started to run! My feet began to pound the pavement, I felt a wave of excitement! I could just try to do another 10km? That was doable, right?
With that thought and with a smile on my face I set off to do just that!
I was buzzing and alive and I almost didn’t register that I had already run 18 miles and been on my feet for 3.5 hours.
Eddie Izzards 27 marathons in 27 days.

My thoughts turned to Eddie and how tired and broken he must be feeling, running in high temperatures day after day would’ve have taken its toll. I thought about why he was doing it, not only to raise money for Sport Relief but to pay his respects to late Nelson Mandela and the 27 years he was imprisoned in South Africa.
I wanted to support Sport Relief and had donated the night before after watching a harrowing film about children that lived on a rubbish dump in Sierra Leone. I felt lucky, but also embarrassed to have so much in my life, my girlfriend, my family, a house, a car, a job and food! We forget how easy we have it sometimes.

Run Tory Run
After an hour I glanced at my phone and squealed with excitement! I had reached 23.5 miles and it was only at this point that I thought out loud “ Shall I push on for 3 more miles and make this a marathon distance run?” What better way to salute Eddie than by completing my very own 26.2?
My pace was good, as was my posture and I felt fitter than I usually do in the last few miles of a marathon. I was determined to finish strong and so I pushed myself ever forward, whilst still remembering why this run was so important.
Feeling happy, proud and accomplished I finally turned onto my road and walked up to the steps to my front door. I had done it, 26.6 miles! *
There were no cheering supporters, no medal, no goody bag but there was a huge sense of achievement and the satisfaction of finishing this special marathon far outweighed any bling or chocolate reward!
The training run that turned out to be a marathon.

My girlfriend opened the front door and was astonished as to what I had just done and as I waffled on about why and how, she just hugged me!
Wow, it had been an amazing day.  What started as a routine training run with Jodie had turned into an epic inspired marathon, with Eddie’s grit and determination encouraging me all the way .
Eddie’s courage and honour had driven him on to 25 marathons and the very next day he went on to complete the double marathon and achieve 27 marathons in 27 days! What a legend! He was now not only my comedy hero, but my marathon hero too!

My thoughts turned to not only how incredible the human body is, but how determined our minds can become during the marathon process.
Sometimes it’s not just the physical training that makes it possible to run a marathon, sometimes it's what's inside that counts.
The heart and the head make the impossible, possible!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, tune in next time for Paris Marathon #7
#50before50 #runtoryrun

*This is not an official marathon for the following reasons.
 1.It was not an officially timed event
 2.It was not an officially measured route
Therefore it does not count towards one of my 50 before 50.

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