Well a month has marched by, or unfortunately in my case limped by. I’d been managing my left knee niggle for a few weeks but a week after Rok the Stones it flared up and the attempts to run on it were both painful and looked like I had one leg shorter than the other as I tried to protect it.
With two weeks until the Green Man I saw a physio who identified the issue (muscles / tendon soreness to the side of the knee) which at least meant it wasn’t a structural issue. A second visit last week showed progress had been made but a short run on Wednesday indicated that it was still a way off being OK.
Head and heart had a real battle that evening, but head won and I pulled out of the GMU.
Not being able to run had made me a grumpy bugger and generally withdrawn from social media / blogging etc, I regress back to sitting on the couch drinking beer and eating crisps, compounding the issue.
On Saturday I knew I would try to pop up and support Jim & Dave H (apparently you have to be called Dave to run with Jim) somewhere on the course. However I remembered the man dressed as a chicken who gave us mini eggs on the GMU in 2015 and the bloke sat in chair at 7am offering haribo on last year’s midnight express and realised I could do something for more than just Jim & Dave.
Therefore the “Westerleigh Road Snack Shack” popped up at 11.30am offering grapes, bananas, a selection of savoury nibbles, haribo (standard & tangfastic), mini eggs, jelly beans, coke & water. Perfectly timed as the first runner came through 5 mins later, the first 45 mins was fairly quiet and then the hordes descended.
I was 24 miles into the race, 8 miles from the last checkpoint, 4 miles to the next so there were some tired and hungry people to cater for, it had also been a sunny morning and quite a few runners needed water quite badly.
Everyone was quite mindful to only take what was needed and leave supplies for others, but even so I ran out of water and coke relatively quickly . Jim & Dave H came through and I had kept some back for them, along with sweet coffee which I hoped would perk Jim up. It was a brief stop and as they trotted off I did have that pang of wanting to go with them, but they’ll be another time.
With it being a local race there were plenty of folks I’d met before including Ira Rainey who most people blame for making the GMU sound like a lovely challenge. He had the extra obligation of being the 11hr “Timelord” so had to pace it carefully, it’s not a responsibility I’d want, but then the 12hr one is even worse as if you cock up, people don’t complete the race within the cut off.
After two hours I was out of all supplies so packed up and left, I wished I’d brought more and could have seen everyone, but I reckoned standing by an empty table and implying “sorry you should have got here quicker” would not have gone down very well!
What has been amazing and has definitely lifted me out of my funk, are the comments I’ve had on the GM Community on Facebook. Really amazed how what feels like such a small thing can have a impact on people’s races.
It’s going to be a while before I’m back running fully, but yesterday has restored my spirit.
Keep on keeping on folks the spring marathon season is almost upon us.
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