Brathay 10in10 2023, Day 5 – Mind Games

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HAwkshead Primary School Stones

Running these ten marathons isn’t just about being physically trained and able to complete the task, it is also a brutal mental challenge. Now we are on day 5, lots of things ache and hurt but on top of these, the mind is tired. Technically I’m not injured, just sore in places, mainly my calves and quads. I actually slept quite well last night but even so, I just could not muster up the mental energy to make my body run, my brain just wanted a rest. This was compounded with tight tendons in my groin so I could hardly run for the first mile. I had to keep walking, striding out and waiting for things to loosen up before at about 2 miles I finally got some kind of running rhythm going. Even then the brain could not concentrate, and I only ran very slowly with regular bits of walking up the inclines.

Jonathan, my friend and roommate this year was wonderful, he kept me company and ran with me for virtually the whole course. He made the early slow miles much more bearable. It was great to see the kids out cheering us at Hawkshead Primary School, they handed each of us lovely, little stones with our race numbers painted on them.

Andy and Dave from the 2022 class were also out on the course giving some much appreciated support, thanks Lads!

Andy, Dave, Jonathan and Me

Halfway passed in a very poor (for me) 2 hours 31 minutes and I was looking at a 5 hour marathon. By mile 20 in Bowness I felt I had enough mental energy to push harder for home. I set myself the challenge to do the last 6.2 miles inside 1 hour which would give me a finishing time of 4:50. I expected Jonathan to follow along with me but he elected to have a more relaxed approach which included an ice cream.

I pushed on with miles 23, 24 and 25 all around eight and a half minute mile pace. I kept the pressure on all the way back to Brathay Hall to cross the finish line on the lawn in 4:46:46. I’ve got to admit I even impressed myself. It is amazing what the power of the mind can do when you focus it but also how you can struggle when it is tired. That takes us to halfway now, 131 miles done and the same to go.

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