As you get over a week into a challenge such as running 10 marathons in 10 days, your body goes into autopilot. Your body is an amazing thing, and it will surprise you what it is capable of. After 1 marathon, you feel like you can not walk the next day, you ache, and so you rest. It is the natural response to what your body is telling you. But as you move on each day your body adapts, it accepts that you aren’t going to listen and rest, so instead, it responds by accommodating the load you are putting your body through. Yes, I am tired, my muscles hurt, and of course, I will rest once this challenge is over and listen to my body. For now, my body has gotten used to running marathons, and I would not say it’s easier, but I surprise myself each day. On 8 April 2023, I ran my 8th marathon in 8 days, and it was my fastest marathon so far. My 2nd sub 4 of the challenge, and I’m feeling pretty good. Catch up on the challenge so far: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7.
Today, I just lost myself in thought. Distracted myself from the boredom and the tiredness. I pushed on, and so have a listen to Eminem whilst you read my blog.
Today’s theme was indomitable: impossible to subdue or defeat. At this stage of the challenge, everyone still standing is showing an indomitable spirit. It was a cold and misty start to the day, but everyone was still up for the challenge. Once you got running, it felt good. There were a number of new faces today, and also a few milestones from runners, so lots of great atmosphere.
I had expected to run close to 4:20, with yesterday finishing in 4:25. Last night, I felt really rough, I got a little hangry, but I fueled well. I went to Pizza Express with my family and drank plenty of electrolytes.
My legs did not feel great when I started, but I eased into a nice 9 min mile pace, which felt comfortable. So much so that my first mile was 9:02, and this was the slowest mile. I kept a controlled and steady pace despite the muddy path, twists, and business of the path. I felt strong for the first 2 laps, and then my knee started to hurt on the 3rd. I realised that I was running one camber, which was not agreeing with my knee. I was able to run mostly on flat and firmer ground, and by lap 5, my knee had stopped hurting.
I got into a rhythm, and each mile, my splits just remained consistent. By half way I felt confident I could maintain the pace until the end, and so I just kept going. I stopped at the aid station, each lap very briefly for a drink and some jelly babies. I felt so good towards the end, knowing that I was going to get the fastest time of the challenge and was on for a sub 3:55. The last lap, I decided to pick up the pace slightly and pushed towards the end.
With a time of 3:52:48 this was over 4 mins quicker than 2 days ago, and a sure sign that my fitness is returning. With a bit of rest and dedicated speed training there is much more in the old dog yet.
8 down, 2 to go. It feels pretty crazy to say “just” 2 marathons left. The idea of 2 marathons in 2 days is a huge challenge in itself. It is worth it to raise money for Cancer Research and so far I’ve raised over £800 which is amazing, thank younall for the support.
And still people can’t help themselves around an open phone.
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