I could hear the tannoy as I got nearer to the start and couldn’t help but be filled with both excitement and nerves. Could I make this? Should I be even attempting this? I haven’t run this far in 3 years and now I have MS which will be accompanying me this time. I had no idea what would happen. I ran 3.7 miles on Tuesday but nowhere near 6miles. There were plenty of marshals, medics and people around should anything happen and of course I had Rob to run with me and be my eyes for when my vision goes and to point out corners I may not see or other runners who may be trying to pass me. It is currently very difficult to run and turn my head without falling over.
After a short warm up to music, funny in itself as I kept crashing into people around me, it being a big event, we made our way to the Start. We ended up at the back, the faster runners went first, in fact we were so far back we didn’t even hear the gun go off, the only clue we had that the race had started were that the people in front started to run. The first 2km were easy, flat through the High Street of Exeter and then a downhill out of town towards the canal, I felt really strong during this part of the race. Then my vision went all blurry, which is often the case, it actually lasted longer than it normally does so I can be grateful for that. Rob talked me along this part telling where to turn so I kept on track.
The next 3km were ok too, along a cobbled section then onto the canal bank. I was pleased to get to the halfway point. I started to tire quickly at 7km and had to stop and walk for a bit to have some water. Gravity was strongly attempting to pull me towards the floor so I actually found it easier to resume jogging as quickly as possible a bit like if you have been on a roundabout spinning and you can’t walk for a while when you get off it. Sheer will and determination got me through the last 2km, my left foot decided to turn itself inward so I kept nearly tripping over it and I had to hold on to Rob a couple of times to stop plummeting canalwards!
Nevertheless we made it, together, 1hour and 10mins, not too shabby, I was never that fast anyway the first 10km I ran back in 2011 I did it in 59mins and I am facing a lot more barriers now than I was then. I had to hold onto Rob when I stopped for a good ten minutes to prevent myself from eating pavement. Gravity tried her hardest but she failed today. I was delighted to get my first running tshirt in a long time, a goody bag which had a Mars bar in it (happy lady!) and to have lots of celebratory hugs with some of my friends at the finish line. Was it too far? Yes. Should I have done it? Absoflippinglutely, one more run under my belt, while I still can, I know not how much longer for.
positive thought: if you doubt yourself, think fxxk it and do it anyway