The memories of this trip are still fresh in my mind, and my body. This has to be one of the hardest and most gruelling things I have ever done.
The Pennine Way is a stunning route through some incredible countryside in the UK. I certainly felt like I had seen some places that many people in the UK didn’t even realise we had, simply breathtaking, from the purple heather topped hills to the endless seas of bog. It is still so fresh in my mind that the feelings and emotions I had during the run haven’t been tainted by the effects of nostalgia. I want to express my true feelings about the pains I was going through and have tried not to glamorise the trip in anyway. Although, before I do, I just want to say that overall I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
It was horrendously tough and after day three my knee was in so much pain I was running on painkillers for the remaining 7, not how I had hoped to complete the challenge, but necessary as the injury felt so debilitating with each strike of my right foot. After running through many days of pain I was really pushed mentally. Each day I gently avoided the nagging questions in my mind, not dwelling on the internal dialogue that was asking – why are you doing this? In these moment I reminded myself of why me and Dave had decided to do the run – one, as a personal challenge, and two, to raise money for charity. The ‘personal challenge’ bit was not as important during those moments of intense pain and many times I felt like giving up, over and over. But as said, I didn’t dwell on these malicious thoughts and often I focused on the charities we were running for. With each shooting pain I would remind myself of all those who have been affected by cancer, making myself realise that my pain was nothing compared to their’s or the millions of other sufferers. I did this to reinstate why I was doing this run, to make me realise that my troubles were small, and that by pushing through it I would be helping to raise money for charity.
Running with Dave was great, and we worked together well, we didn’t have one argument. I wouldn’t have wanted to run it with anyone else. We just got to it, woke up each day, got our heads down, and ran. We were stronger in different areas, particularly, Dave being better in the mornings and on downhills and me in the afternoons and on uphills. Leading each other when we needed it, chatting nonsense or simply following the heels of each other in silence, enjoying the solitude and the scenery.
This trip was one hell of a journey which beasted me to the point of breaking over and over, and with each waking day I would question my sanity, and purpose for doing such a trip. It sounds silly, but each day I would ask my body to take me just one day longer, taking it one day at a time, one step in front of the other. Then the following morning I would ask the same questions and repeat the process. It was incomprehensible to think of running 10 days in a row.
A huge thanks to Lizzie, Dave’s wife, and Orryn, their 18month year old, who acted as our little support crew. Lizzie’s roadside sandwiches and words of encouragement helped to spur us on on a daily basis, she helped us out so much. And to Oryyn, who kept me entertained night after night with his antics. A massive thanks to our sponsors, all the hellos, the conversations and donations throughout the trip. We smashed our 2k target for Katharine House Hospice Banbury and Cancer Research UK and have currently raised £3350, which is fantastic news. To donate please head to: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/running10in10
Till the next adventure….