Tuesday, 16 February 2016

The one that nearly got away

My race kit sat by the front door ready for a quick get away for the Punchbowl Marathon which was either a 20 or 30 mile, I had opted for the 20 miler and was looking forward to my first event of 2016....that was until I woke up at 6.15 am on the day of the race.

The morning of the event

The alarm went off and I surfaced from a very deep sleep aided nicely by my anti-depressants but with the added affect that I couldn't rouse myself so sat on the edge of my bed for 5 minutes trying to kick start my body but like so many mornings I was filled with feelings of insecurity, self-doubt and worse, misery. It would have been very simple to get back into bed, pull the duvet over me and fall asleep.

I was in a personal fight of  Do It versus Don't Do It, the former just about winning but the latter was beginning to overwhelm my senses. I went into automated mode, made coffee, got my kit on, drank coffee still wanting to go back to bed and switch off.

I dragged myself to the car, got in and drove to Witley in Surrey about 75 minutes away and then found that my medication was not clearing but soldiered on with the window fully open so the cold air kept me alert.

Hi Gramps

I had forgotten that I was to drive past the Royal Horticultural Society, Wisley where my Father's ashes were scattered, I waved as I passed said "Hi Gramps" and for the remainder of the journey had tears running down my cheeks...bereavement is such a horrible thing but promised him that today's run was for him.

The event

As normal, the LDWA put on a brilliant event, the weather cold, windy but sunny. After catching up with old trail friends I excused myself and went off on my own, there is one thing I love about my mob of mates is that they respect your privacy and are happy either way, to run as a group or not.

This was my first time doing the Punchbowl and so I was looking forward to the challenge and, that, is exactly what it was. The ascents were steep, the ground sometimes no more that river beds, soft gloopy mud and exposed chalk and sandstone just waiting for you to tumble which I did a few times.

Jeez, this event was tough, more so due to my lack of training but I was in it to the end. The picture above was taken at the viewpoint of the Devil's Punch Bowl which is a large natural amphitheatre and beauty spot  and was the highest point in the run and I was very happy it was going to down hill all the way. I couldn't be so wrong when I was directed to go up a 1000 metre riverbed of a path that just went up and up and up.

I was happy though when I saw the last descent and the village hall in Witley where there was a plate of beans on toast and a cup of sweet coffee. So I did it and with a smile at the end just over the reported distance at 33km.....very pleased with that.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Jerry...well done for making it to the race! So pleased you were able to get yourself there. A tough day but brilliant outcome x