My last post was mammoth and I apologise and thank anyone who took the time to read it. It was as much for me to use as a reflecting tool as it was to share my experience. Due to its length I decided to give your eyes a rest and write a separate blog on the post race time.
Picking up where I left off:
Immediately post race all my pain left me as we crossed the finish line!
My predominant feeling was one of relief with a hint of elation (which would grow over the next
hours/ days). I was glad to be done, I immediately felt human again and didn’t stop smiling for the rest of the day (or at least until I tried to walk after a 3 hour car journey).
Now I’m an accomplished ultramarathoner I received the usual perks (small packs of Halen Môn sea salt and left over pretzels) and a press call with the pleasure of meeting the Island dignitaries (doing my bit for the sport 😉 ), being snapped by the paps (relatives and friends of the race organisers).
I recounted my pre race tweet to @achrisevans which kicked off the national advertising campaign (you’re welcome!) and felt part of the whole event.
So back to the dignitaries – we met the very pleasant mayoress who asked me a question that stumped me…
Mayoress: “so, who did you do this for?”
Me: ” I did it for me” (feeling a little selfish as I responded…)
Mayoress: “no, I mean which charity?”
Me:“oh, ah, well you see…” (now I felt really selfish! Right there and then I decided my next big challenge would be done for a charity that means something to me and my family – more to come)
Having posed for our press pictures (hope I make that broadsheets or at least the Sun!) we waited for Angus (the last finisher) to arrive and soaked up the atmosphere. Everyone was buzzing and a beer or two was opened.
The lads can bask in the glory of the success of the event they organised it was monumental!
Big toe update
Al checked out his war wounds and I shoe horned my delicate feet into some flip-flops. I assessed the damage to my big toe and realised what had caused the stabbing pain last night and throughout today. The blisters under the nail had lifted the nail
out of the nail bed and my “avulsed” ( an avulsion is an injury in which a body structure is forcibly detached) toenail was being jabbed into the surrounding flesh with every foot step! The nail was mobile on the blister fluid and very painful (so that’s why I struggled to run, well that and a few other physical and psychological effects of running 131 miles!).
The journey home
We headed off the island, reminiscing as we passed areas we had run along and onto the mainland, first stopping at Maccy D’s for a snack (large big Mac meal, strawberry milkshake and a cheeseburger – Al only had a milkshake – his body is a temple!).
We chatted all the way home, Al must have been shocked that I was able to respond to questions and even initiate discussions after the last few days when I could have been mistaken as mute for the majority of the last day and a half.
Home sweet home
I was so glad to get home, it was something I’d been imagining in great detail for the last 3 days. It was a thought that had spurred me on at the toughest of times and that hug on the front doorstep was every bit as good as my brain had told me it would be.
I hobbled in and was treated like a king. I kissed the boys and my bath was run, when I finally manged to limp upstairs there was even a cold beer on the side of the bath (I’m not sure I deserved this but I wasn’t for complaining – thanks Nic x).
The next few days consisted of hobbling (more because of my toe than anything) and rest. It was my middle lads first day of school and we had to meet the teacher on Monday. Reality slowly washes in and before long the feeling experienced on the Anglesey coastal path fade. I am glad to say this reality was an other big life event, Riley starting proper school in his ‘big boy’ uniform.
I expected a bit of a downer as is often the case after such a massive challenge but it hasn’t hit. I am now getting itchy feet (not due to any type of hideous infectious disease) and I’m looking forward to running again (a week ago I’d have been happy never to look at a pair of trainers again).
I see this as a real positive (some may not agree) and I’m looking forward to a trail race I have in early November in the Lakes (my only competition win ever, thank you Lakeland Trails!).
A minor operation
My toe has been “sorted” after a lot of poking and attempts at drainage (self-inflicted and with the help of a good, suitably qualified friend) I went to have an expert look at it. Simon decided it was ‘un-salvagable’ and I am now without big toe nail. The pain has all but gone and is replaced with the occasional reminder when it rubs. I have been assured this will settle and I’ll have a new nail in 6 months.
So what’s next?
I’ve decided to run the Montane Lakeland 100 in July 2013. I will be doing this for the MS Society (The MS Society is the UK’s leading MS charity. Since 1953, they’ve been providing information and support, funding research and fighting for change.)
I will do a few short races to keep my focus over autumn and winter, then the Hebden 22 in January, a spring marathon and try to follow a plan to get me to the 100 in shape to go for a time (my initial feeling is sub 30hrs – but we’ll see how I recover from my first season in Ultra)