Hope 24 2021

I’m so sorry I haven’t blogged in ages! Been having a lot of sleep and energy issues recently and sleeping more than I’m awake, and haven’t had the motivation to do much writing. I’ve started a few posts and not finished them, and I really am going to try to keep up with blogging more…

Last weekend was Hope24, which is my favourite running event of the year. It takes place in Newnham Park near Plymouth and it’s all trail running, across a field and through woods and it’s so scenic. Every lap is five miles and you can set a tent up near the start/finish line to keep food etc, or to have a sleep. The atmosphere is amazing and the organisers are incredible. Such an awesome event!

I was a bit nervous going into the run because I haven’t been running much recently as I’ve been sleeping so much and had no energy. I’d also run London to Brighton a few weeks ago which was horrible- so, so hard both mentally and physically and I wasn’t sure another ultramarathon was a good idea. But I love Hope and didn’t want to miss my favourite race so I went ahead with it. I made sure I had lots of sleep the night before and stocked up on electrolyte tablets with caffeine to try to stay awake during the run!

The first lap wasn’t too eventful but was HARD. I genuinely think my body has forgotten how to run- even when I try to make running movements, it’s like forcing my body through sludge and I’m slower than if I were walking. At the end of the first lap, a guy I know asked why I wasn’t running and my reply was “I am!”; my running speed was so, so slow and I couldn’t go any faster. London to Brighton was the same and it’s so frustrating to consistently get overtaken by walkers. But I was determined to run as much as I could however slowly I was going.

Mentally, the race was really, really tough. I’m having a lot of issues with obsessive and distressing thoughts at the moment and it was really hard to distract from them. I tried everything I could think of- DBT skills like observing and describing my surroundings, turning the mind, radical acceptance (which I still can’t get my head around and which I’m planning a blog post about), half smiling, thought blocking, imagining thoughts on a conveyor belt, thinking of thoughts as firings of the brain… I even tried listening to Blackadder in the hope that laughing would help! But nothing seemed to make any difference, and it got worse as the race went on.

The scenery was amazing though and describing it (out loud) did help to distract a bit even though the thoughts came back as soon as I stopped. The route was so nice- up a hill and through some trees, over a field and up another hill, a long downhill through the woods then up the other side. No bluebells this time of year but there were foxgloves and thistles.

After 20 miles, I stopped for a coffee break as well as the caffeine tablets because I was starting to get really tired by that point. Had a cereal bar and a ten minute rest, then back to the running. I had a ‘photography lap’ where I took some more photos then it started to rain so I had to put my phone away.

By the evening, I was completely exhausted and finding the obsessive thoughts really, really hard to manage. I was also feeling upset and angry which didn’t help, and having a lot of negative urges. It had also started to rain which got heavier as the night went on, and by midnight the trail had turned to rivers of mud and it was really hard to run without falling over, especially when you’re already totally distracted and feeling horrible. At about 1am, I stopped to get more coffee and some food, and waited for the rain to ease off which ended up being two hours later by which time I’d tried to quit then asked for my timing chip back!

At 3am, the rain was more drizzly than deluge so I headed back out again. To be honest, I can’t remember much of the night apart from feeling really upset, crying a lot and lots of obsessive thoughts. When it got light, the rain was on and off which, along with the light, helped a bit but by 7am I couldn’t deal with the thoughts any more and decided to stop. It was the right decision, I think- I was so tired I couldn’t see straight and things were moving that shouldn’t be, and I felt horrible. So I handed my timing chip in and got my medal.

Once I got back to the B+B, I slept all day until 6.30pm, briefly tried to watch the F1 but fell asleep partway through and slept till 6am the next morning. Drove home and had DBT, then fell asleep again for the rest of the day! So I think it really was the right decision to stop. I feel rubbish about it though :/ it’s the first time I haven’t finished a 24 hour race and I feel like I should have been able to complete it. But I’ve realised that the people who keep telling me that I’m not well enough for ultrarunning are right- physically I don’t have the energy and mentally I can’t deal with the extended thinking time. But it’s yet another reason to fully commit to DBT and trying to recover!

What I learned from running 10 marathons in 10 days

Sorry I didn’t post last night; was completely exhausted both physically and emotionally but finished the 10 in 10!!  Honestly one of the hardest things I have ever done- I was just about prepared for it physically but really wasn’t ready for the mental challenge of getting to the startline every day for another marathon, keeping going when you’re too hot, everything hurts and you’re exhausted or (especially) the emotional overload every night after the race and occasionally during it.  But DONE 😀 probably not something I’ll ever attempt again but so glad I did it, really needed the challenge and good to have achieved at least one positive thing this summer.

The emotional side of the running was definitely the hardest bit.  Usually I run ultras where you have 24+ hours of just zoning out and running at your own pace which is totally different to running marathons.  Plus there are so many more PEOPLE which I know is good and motivating but sometimes I really just wanted to be on my own which was impossible on a lapped marathon.  The people were amazing though- everyone was so lovely and encouraging and without them, I probably wouldn’t have got past day two but it’s definitely a different type of running to what I’m used to.  There were a few days when I genuinely couldn’t stop crying and it’s hard when there are people all around you so spent a lot of time crying in bushes or anywhere people couldn’t see, and I hadn’t realised how emotional marathon running can be.  I think it’s because you’re having to push physically all the time to meet the cut off times and you can’t zone out in the same way as during ultras so you’ve got too much thinking time and my brain was going to some pretty horrible places without enough distraction.  Definitely not the kind of running I’d want to keep doing but definitely good for a challenge!

The other big challenge for me was being away for ten days on my own and managing the time in between marathons.  It was really, really hard and had some pretty massive mood crashes between the runs but I kept reminding myself that it was still better than how I’ve been feeling at home recently and it was a massive challenge.  I actually made some (for me) pretty sensible decisions- when I was having a really bad night and constant suicidal thoughts, I called a mental health helpline who contacted the psychiatrist I’m seeing at the moment so she called me, and I gave my medication to a running friend to look after so I couldn’t overdose on it which is definitely more sensible than I’d usually be.  But I really, really wanted to complete the 10 in 10 which would be pretty impossible if I did anything ridiculous or stupid and my whole focus last week was getting through the challenge.

The other unexpected challenge was the heat- it was bloody hot especially over the last few days!!  Running a dry, exposed course in 33 degree heat with no breeze is bloody tough and definitely made the challenge harder.  Even though I was dipping my cap in cold water every lap, drinking as much water and electrolytes as I could and wearing factor 50 kids suncream, I was massively overheated all the time which really wasn’t fun.  I’ve lost count of the amount of times I ran into the petrol station near the course to buy some diet Coke and even ate a ridiculous amount of ice poles and ice lollies which I’d never normally eat because of the sugar and additives but it was so, so needed and was desperate for any way to cool down.  Never want to see an ice lolly again EVER and feeling a bit shit about how many I’ve eaten over the last ten days but it did seem to help stop the path from spinning so much.

Anyway, back to reality today :/ still on a bit of a high and trying to make it last as long as possible before the inevitable mood crash that people keep warning me about.  So I’m trying to get as much washing, blog writing and productiveness done as a I can now!  Felt a bit weird this morning not going to the Cyclopark for another run but definitely nice not to have to force down porridge with cornflakes and cereal bars when I’m already feeling sick or cover myself in green gunky suncream (because I hate white things) and feel yucky and greasy all day.  But it is a bit lonely without the amazingness of awesome SVN people and how bloody incredible and supportive you all are- THANK YOU so so much!!

Been a bit of an epic and exhausting week, and actually learned some stuff!  SO…

  1. The human body is AMAZING and is capable of incredible things.  Especially if you feed it.
  2. David Bowie is a lifesaver and playing Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide will make you feel alive even when you really don’t feel like it physically or mentally.
  3. Use the people around you- they are amazing.  I’ve met so many awesome and inspiring people this week and thank you all so much!
  4. Ice lollies are GOOD and can save your race.
  5. Just keep moving.  Even if you’re walking, you’re still getting closer to the finish line.
  6. It is possible to run, cry and breathe all at the same time and is actually kind of therapeutic.
  7. Sleep can completely reset your mind and is really, really important.  Even if you need Zopiclone to get it!
  8. You are capable of way, way more than you think you are and half the challenge is just starting it.
  9. Food is fuel and without it, you can’t even get past the first lap.
  10. I like icing even if I don’t like cake and it’s a bloody good energy boost!
  11. Whole albums are better than playlists because you actually feel like you’ve accomplished something when you run through a whole sequence of albums.
  12. Don’t listen to emotional audiobooks while running; you will cry uncontrollably.
  13. Listen to your body.  If you need to slow down, then slow down and enjoy the scenery.  Even the bloody rabbit bridge for the 160th time!!  Pushing through pain is never a good idea.
  14. Exhaustion is more mental than physical- your body can do pretty much anything, it’s your brain you need to convince.
  15. Mental and emotional exhaustion are two separate things.  You can push through mental exhaustion and feel accomplished by the end; never try to force through emotional exhaustion because you’ll spend the evening feeling rubbish, overwhelmed and not safe.
  16. A text message from a friend can literally save your day.
  17. Running is a bubble away from real life where you’re not really alive or dead and neither really matters.  It’s like being in an alternate universe where all that matters is that particular lap and that’s a pretty amazing escape.
  18. I am definitely more of an ultra person than a marathon runner!  But it is pretty cool to have ten rainbow coloured medals.
  19. Your worth isn’t defined by how many marathons you’ve run or how far you can push yourself.  Everyone has their own individual limits and that’s OK; it’s working within those limits and feeling OK about yourself that matters.
  20. People are amazing.  Even if you’re feeling shit and don’t really want to interact with anyone, they’re still there being encouraging and so lovely and it’s amazing watching people achieve incredible things.

Just want to say THANK YOU so so much to everyone for being so amazing and supportive this week, both in person and online and I really, really appreciate it.  Genuinely didn’t think I’d manage even one marathon and I probably wouldn’t have without the support.  Been a v v surreal and exhausting week physically, mentally and emotionally but also ironically one of the most ‘sane’ weeks I’ve had in months and really  want to channel that!

Day nine!! Only one more attempt left…

Just a quick post again today because I am KNACKERED 😴 nine marathons down and only one more to go!! Today was super tough; 32 degrees heat and no shade so really hard running. Lots of people dropped down to half marathon and was really, really tempted to stop at a half too but it’s so close to 10 in 10 now and I really do want to try as hard as I can to achieve it.

I think my brain must be turning to mush because I can’t remember much of the actual running again :/ I know it was HOT and I ate way too many ice lollies from the aid station which I’m feeling a bit shitty about now but really did help both with energy and trying to cool down. I felt like I was literally roasting for most of the run though and even dipping my hat into water every lap didn’t help much. Drank lots of water and electrolytes but still so so hot.

But amazingly finished it (just!!) and only one more attempt to go… Feeling like it might actually be achievable?! Can’t process it properly and am completely drained in every possible way but will see how tomorrow goes…

Day Eight of the 10 in 10- only two days to go!!

Hardest day so far :/ SO BLOODY HOT!!  Wasn’t in the best frame of mind when the run started- wasn’t feeling great last night and spent most of it in an over-emotional crying phase which I think is kind of expected after seven marathons but didn’t really help with the rest and recovery aspect.  Although as a friend pointed out today, if you choose to run ten marathons in a row, you’re going to be exhausted and emotional so it’s kind of my own fault!  Can’t wait till it’s over though; I’ve been a lot more sensible than usual with keeping safe but also feeling kind of trapped and claustrophobic, and looking forward to being back at home with my cat.

OMG it was hot today.  Really, really hot, exposed course and no shade so really tough to run in.  It was so hot that I was eating ice lollies again without caring about the calories or sugar content, and drinking as much water with electrolytes as I could.  I ran as much of the first half as I could but really struggled in the second half and seriously considered stopping at six laps but people were being so encouraging that I carried on.  Only just made the cut off time though which was a bit stressful.

I can’t really remember much of the run continuously so this is going to be a bit of a short and random post, sorry!  I know at some point someone gave me a diet Coke which really helped both with hydration and energy; the path was spinning a lot of the time and two people gave me salt and electrolyte tablets which probably stopped me from passing out which felt way too possible, and it was nice to have some company on the last couple of laps when I really didn’t feel capable of walking let alone running.  DONE though which is a big relief!!  Two more attempts to go…

10 in 10 Day Seven

Day seven of ten marathons in ten days and officially been running marathons for a week!  Mentally I was feeling better today than I have done all week which was a relief and definitely better than yesterday.  I added cornflakes to my porridge again for extra energy which felt OK especially as I’ve been really, really hungry in the mornings when I wake up although I’m really hoping it doesn’t mean that my body’s getting used to too much food which is going to be hard to manage next week.  But for the moment, I just want to get through the runs so trying not to think about it too much.

The first few laps went OK- was listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and The Division Bell which are two of my favourite albums, and it was nice to run and zone out a bit.  It was really hot though which got worse as the run went on.  By lap three, I was really feeling the heat and even though I was drinking lots of squash, I was still really thirsty.  There were ice poles at the aid station which were amazing and it was so hot I wasn’t even bothered about the fact that they probably weren’t sugar free which is a massive thing for me since I’d never usually eat sugar but it was so bloody hot!  I dipped my cap in water every lap which helped a bit but was really struggling with the heat.

After lap six, I bought a diet Coke from the petrol station which helped a bit but found the last couple of laps really, really tough.  I was mostly walking by then because I was feeling dizzy and nauseous and the path kept spinning around me, and I really didn’t feel great.  Luckily a running friend caught up with me on the last lap and I walked the rest with her which was really helpful because I was a bit worried I was going to pass out.  Even when I got back after the race, the room was still spinning and it took a while (and a lot of diet Coke and squash) to start to feel a bit more normal.  So hard running in the heat!

After the race, lots of people from the 10 in 10 went out for a meal at Wagamama which was another big positive for me- I don’t really ‘do’ eating out or in front of people but it was actually OK and had a really nice salad which was definitely needed, especially the salt!  Off to bed now, totally exhausted and hopefully sleep before tomorrow…  Three more attempts to go!!

Day Six of the 10 in 10- definitely over half way!!

Six marathons down and definitely more than halfway through now!  These blog posts are probably going to get shorter and shorter, sorry, I’m absolutely exhausted.  Today was a tough one- didn’t sleep at all last night and was feeling over-emotional this morning which didn’t help and I was crying pretty much continuously from about 5am.  I was still a bit tearful at the startline and spent most of the first two laps crying while running which really wasn’t ideal!  I was listening to Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane albums though which really helped and by lap four, the crying seemed to be easing off.  Definitely good because it’s hard to breathe, cry and run all at the same time!

Weirdly I’d managed to make up enough time to be able to walk/run most of the second half which was a relief because I was knackered by then from the combination of lack of sleep, crying and running on tired legs.  I put on Bowie’s Reality Tour album which is a nice mix of live tracks and slowed down into the run.  Laps five and six were pretty much zombie running and by lap seven, I’d caught up with a woman I’ve run with a couple of times before so we chatted for the last couple of laps which was really nice and really helped to keep my mood a bit more stable.

At the end of lap seven, I had enough time to run into the garage and buy a diet Coke which was definitely needed and tasted amazing!  It was really, really hot again and there’s no real shade on the course so hard not to overheat :/ apparently it’s going to get even hotter by the weekend which I’m really not looking forward to.  But only four more marathons to go!!  REALLY hoping I can last that long…

10 in 10 Day Five- halfway through!!

Five marathons down and halfway through!!  Today was a bit of a weird one- after yesterday, I didn’t sleep brilliantly last night and wasn’t in a great mood when I woke up but I noticed on Facebook that it was a purple medal day and purple’s my favourite colour so made an effort to wear all purple (not too difficult given that 90% of my stuff is purple anyway plus I have purple hair and nails!) which definitely helped put me in a more positive frame of mind.  Wish everything was that simple!

I hadn’t had much to eat last night because of feeling rubbish and I was genuinely hungry this morning so I added cornflakes to my porridge (weird I know but it doesn’t seem as much as having extra porridge) and had some hot soya milk as well as coffee.  I actually felt reasonably with it at the start of the run which was nice considering how horrible the last two days have been and once the run started, I seemed to have a surprising amount of energy.

The first couple of laps went pretty quickly; I was listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and The Division Bell, and the extra food for breakfast really did seem to have helped.  By lap three, my mood had started to drop again and was having a lot of pretty unhelpful thoughts about eating extra and not needing it, not trying hard enough etc but I kept running and tried to build up enough time so that I could ease off in the second half.  I stuck to the cereal bar strategy again which *touch wood* seems to be working OK, and ran most of the race pretty much on autopilot.

The weirdest thing was that I didn’t really feel sore or overly exhausted which is strange considering it’s day five and days three and four were really tough.  Physically, I felt the best I have done all week although mentally my brain was all over the place and that was harder to manage.  By lap six, I’d switched to Harry Potter audiobooks which is my go-to brain numbing strategy and that really seemed to help.  I walked most of the last two laps but I’d got enough time to be able to, and I was surprised at how the run seemed relatively OK compared to the last couple of days.  Big relief and really hoping it lasts!!

It was really, really hot and I realised after the run how dehydrated I must have been- mega headache and felt so thirsty even though I’d been drinking squash all day so I walked to Morrisons and got some diet Irn Bru which was the most amazing thing ever!! Had a salad and cooked chicken for tea which didn’t seem like too much for once (I hate admitting it but I am actually starting to get hungry) and some melon which was equally amazing.  Am absolutely exhausted now though and a bit over-emotional so planning an early night and hopefully sleep…  Five down, five to go!

10 in 10 Day Four- bad day :(

Just a short post today, sorry, found it really hard again and haven’t got the energy to go into a lot of detail. Woke up feeling rubbish which didn’t help then really struggled to get going. First few laps were OK, plugged into Bowie and tried to keep moving but felt tired and drained really quickly and still feeling rubbish.

From lap five, I felt really horrible and kept wanting to cry for no particular reason. Had a few ‘cry breaks’ and seriously considered quitting but a running friend caught up with me during lap six and semi-dragged me round in time for the cut off. Laps seven and eight were mostly walking and felt really horrible, both mentally and physically drained, dizzy and nauseous.

After the race, I felt really horrible and had a total mood crash which wasn’t ideal because the psychiatrist I’m seeing at the moment chose that minute to call and see how things are going (not good!). So I’ve got an appointment with her as soon as I finish the runs :/ need to get my brain in gear by then. But this evening, a lovely running friend invited me out for a drink which was really nice of her and really needed to get out for the evening, even with crisis numbers from the psychiatrist I wasn’t feeling great so good to not be on my own. Still feeling rubbish and v tearful though :/ really hope tomorrow goes better!! Every day is a new day…

Day Three of the 10 in 10

Today was TOUGH.  Managed another marathon but I’m really not sure how many more I’m going to be able to do.  Weirdly it wasn’t the running itself that was the problem though- I woke up feeling rubbish and tired (no idea why; I’d slept OK) and found it really hard just to get my running stuff on, eat porridge and even get to the Cyclopark.  It was like I had no motivation at all and really couldn’t be bothered which was weird because it was sunny and everyone was being so lovely and supportive.

I can’t remember much of the start of the run but it must have gone OK, the sun was shining and there was a breeze so not too hot, and I was listening to a mix of Bowie live music.  On either the first or second lap (can’t remember!), I caught up with the guy I’ve run with on and off for the last few days and ran the next couple of laps with him which was really helpful motivation-wise and to keep pace up so that I didn’t have to stress for the last half of the marathon.  After lap four, I was really starting to struggle so he went ahead and I plugged back into Bowie in an attempt to keep moving.

The path kept spinning and I felt like I was literally forcing my body to move which wasn’t a lot of fun.  I was in a bit of a negative mindset- really not sure the runs are worth the extra stress of fuelling and trying to keep distracted from brain shit, but I kept reminding myself that it was definitely better than feeling rubbish at home which would be the alternative and at least while I was running, I was doing something relatively positive even if it didn’t feel like it.  I’m finding the food side of running really difficult though :/ a few people pointed out today that a few grapes each lap aren’t enough to fuel a marathon but I’d given up with the cereal bar strategy for today because I was feeling so shit about it, and it’s bloody hard having to actually eat real food every evening to fuel for the next day.  Feeling really rubbish about the whole thing atm and no idea how I’m going to manage another week of it.  Total mindfuck!

During lap seven, a lovely woman I’ve run with before caught up with me and it really helped chatting to her to distract from brain crap and just to catch up.  The end of the lap was a bit eventful- sudden rain and hailstorm out of nowhere and got absolutely soaked and bloody freezing!!  I was v v close to pulling out at the end of that lap because I was so cold but one of my awesome running friends who’d finished lent me his waterproof and went out again for the last lap- thanks to people who literally forced me back out!!  Thankfully the hail eased off and the sun came back out so had dried off a bit by the end of the run.

I’m still feeling a bit weird and rubbish about the whole thing :/ I know I should be happy to have run another marathon (and I’m sure on one level I am) and it’s so nice to people to keep being so encouraging but I’m also feeling really horrible and shit about everything at the same time which really isn’t helping.  I know I can’t not eat and expect to be able to run marathons every day but it’s so hard to know what’s the right amount and what foods to eat.  The woman I ran with today gave me some dextrose tablets to try tomorrow (only 12 calories each and they have electrolytes in them too) so will give that a go if I start to feel dizzy or spaced out, and keep going with porridge in the morning and something for tea.

Today I bought a salad from Morrisons for tea and added cooked chicken to it for protein which I think is OK, but the really horrible thing about eating more regularly is that you start to get hungry and I’m already finding it hard not to eat all my cereal bars in one go!  Feeling really greedy and yucky about it (don’t usually get hungry and it’s a headfuck feeling) but I know that marathons need fuel and protein helps to repair muscles.  Just wish it didn’t also feel like I’m going to have put on about ten stone by next week!  So bloody confusing but determined to keep trying with it…

10 in 10 Day Two!

Marathon number two complete!!  Honestly didn’t think I was going to manage even one so I still can’t quite believe I’ve run two so far, and even if I don’t manage another full one all week I’m mega happy with two!  Today was SO MUCH better than yesterday 🙂 I’d slept properly last night which really made a difference (ear plugs were definitely a good idea) and had porridge before the run, and I think the combination really, really helped both with how I was feeling in general and with the running itself.

I was a bit nervous about running again so I decided to wear my Hope24 T-shirt for good luck and to try to channel positive Hope vibes (Hope24 is my favourite ever race and have written blog posts about it before- Hope24: a 24 hour run in Newnham Park, Devon and Hope24 2017).  It kind of worked and was feeling a lot more positive than I have done recently which must have showed because several people commented that I seemed better than yesterday.  I’m focusing on one day at a time so just wanted to get through today, and I was really nervous about not making the cut off time for a marathon but once you’re at the start line and people are so lovely, it definitely helps you to feel less nervous.  I’m really lucky to know so many awesome running friends who are amazingly encouraging and supportive which really, really helped- you know who you are and THANK YOU!!

The first lap felt OK; I wasn’t running particularly fast but I was running which was a definite improvement on yesterday, and my body didn’t feel as much like lead as it had done.  It started off warm and sunny which was nice, not as oppressively hot as yesterday and there was a bit of a breeze then it started to cloud over.  I caught up with the friend who’d forced me to run a bit faster yesterday and he was amazing at motivating me and getting me to actually stick with the running which was definitely needed.  Anyone who knows Nick will know that he’s a pretty good person to run with when you’re really not feeling it- he doesn’t hold back and is v direct when you’re not trying hard enough or getting too distracted, and he’s definitely experienced enough at marathons to know what he’s talking about (he’s the current world record holder for most amount of marathons in a year and runs them pretty much every day; often more than one in a day- check out his Facebook page Chasing World Records) and he basically dragged me round the first four laps which meant I had enough time left to “fuck around” (Nick’s words) for the last few laps which was a relief because I was completely exhausted by that point.  But thanks to him, I stuck to the path instead of veering off to the sides, didn’t get *too* distracted by a cat wandering across the path and actually made up some time so thanks Nick!

Laps three and four weren’t a lot of fun :/ the clouds turned to rain and got absolutely soaked.  I’d left my waterproof in the car which wasn’t brilliantly organised of me and had to keep running just to stay warm.  The not-helpful part of my brain kept reminding me that you burn more calories when you’re trying to stay warm so it wasn’t a bad thing; Nick also reminded me that if you’re burning more calories then you need to consume more to finish the race and my brain went into a bit of a tailspin at that point!  But he was right- you can’t run ten marathons in ten days while not eating enough even if you’re not exercising, and I stuck to the same ‘cereal bar every two laps’ strategy that I’d used yesterday.  At the time, it was easier because I was flagging energy-wise and I knew I needed some fuel but finding it harder to justify now especially thinking of all the extra calories I’m going to have eaten by the time I finish the runs.  Found it hard to eat tea tonight- most places are closed on Sundays so I went to Subway and got a chicken salad but it was MASSIVE and felt a bit nauseous eating it.  I didn’t manage the porridge last night but I’ve got some soya milk which I’m going to try to drink before going to bed so I’ve got a bit more fuel for tomorrow.  Marathons are so much harder to fuel than ultras!

The rain eased off during lap five which was a relief and it was nice to start to dry off a bit.  I’d had some caffeine (via paracetamol) after lap four which really helped too and I slowed down a bit, and started to relax into the run a bit more.  I was listening to David Bowie’s Lazarus album which I love (the cast recording so it’s like a story) and the scenery was really nice in the sun.  Then about halfway round the lap, something amazing happened and I started to feel like I was actually real and with it for the first time in ages!  No idea why or what caused it but it was a massive relief- I’ve felt like an emotionally dead zombie pretty much constantly for the last few weeks and even though I still feel rubbish, I’m definitely feeling a lot less dissociated than I have been which is a big shift.  Really hoping it wasn’t just a one-off!

During lap six, I started running with a lovely woman who I hadn’t met before and we spent the last couple of laps running/walking and chatting which was really nice.  Finished well within the cut off time which was a big relief and was great to see more running friends at the end.  Definitely a better day than yesterday and so happy to have run another marathon!  Shower and bed time now ready for another go tomorrow, fingers crossed it’ll be another positive one…