50/50 marathons

31. Another run around
the Isle of Wight

May 10th 2020.

Marathon 31

Here we go again!

In a parallel universe where Coronavirus wasn’t a thing, I would have been taking part in a marathon called The Ox of Two Halves, but instead I did another run around the Isle of Wight.

As with a lot of the marathons I’d booked in, I was actually looking forward to the Ox of Two Halves. This would’ve been the second White Star Running event. The first being the Larmer Tree Marathon. Today’s marathon would have been on the same course as Larmer Tree, but there was the promise of some surprises along the way! I will never know what those surprises are, unless I run it next year, and I genuinely don’t want to run a marathon next year. Truth be told, I don’t want to run another marathon for as long as I live!

31 marathons in feels a bit like the 16 mile mark in a marathon. Let me clarify that. When you run a marathon you start off, full of energy and an eagerness to get going. You set off and it all feels OK for the first few miles, easy even. 6 miles in and you pass the first quarter still feeling strong. 10 miles and your pace is possibly starting to waiver a bit, getting a few niggles but generally Ok. Halfway and you start to feel it, but the elation of being half way spurs you on. By 16 miles you really are feeling the earlier miles. The excitement you felt at the start has been completely drained out of you, everything is starting to hurt and your brain is playing tricks on you, telling you to stop. But you’ve come this far, only another ten miles to go!

My mind is screaming at me to give it up, tell people you’ve got an injury. Heck, I’ve even considered putting it out there that I have Coronavirus so then I couldn’t possibly continue! The period between 16 miles and the finish, really aren’t much fun. If it were a proper marathon, before all this lockdown happened, I’d be at the stage where the sound of the crowd cheering would start to become irritating. My face would be in a permanent grimace and you die a little when you pass yet another samba band.

Now I must stress, this is my own personal view. I do love the support from the crowd, but the noise is too jarring. I’m sure there are people out there that love all the noise and commotion, keeps them going. But for me, well I struggle and I just want to throttle the kids that are banging those noisy inflatable sausage things together!

So that’s about where I am at the moment, on a scale of 1-10, I’m at ‘meh!’

Todays plan

I didn’t plan anything for this week, I think I was in denial. My last marathon was on Monday and I’m still feeling that. My Achilles is not feeling great. I really didn’t want to get up this morning. But I did. Got my stuff on, chose something to listen too and shoved myself out the door. Yesterday was a blistering hot day, thankfully today was much cooler.

I’m running out of possible routes now to keep it interesting, but a friend had  suggested a route out to Ryde. So that’s what I did. I followed the main road out to Ryde, but between Wootton and Binstead there’s a lane that goes to Quarr Abbey. Here you can join a cycle track that goes all the way in to Ryde, quite a pleasant route.

Once in Ryde I continued running along Appley beach. There’s an old tower/fort that was the half way point, then it was all the way back the way I came.

While running back through the back roads of Wootton I heard a beep behind me. At first I thought it was a work van trying to pass, but then I realised it was the Boorman’s. they had tracked me down to cheer me on. Lovely to see them, I was about 17 miles in and I really appreciated the support. Now that sort of support I like, but had they got out of their van and started performing samba music, that may have been irritating.

I staggered on. I saw them again at the mid point of Wootton hill. Had they not been there I would have walked, but instead I had to run to make it look like I wasn’t crumbling too much. As soon as they were out of sight I walked a bit.

Marathon 31

The run/walk stage

When I get to the point of walking/running, I know I’m not in a good place. This generally comes at the 20 mile mark. That’s the point when my mind is really shouting at me to stop and I have to play mind games to get through it, this generally involves me agreeing with myself on a point that I must run to before I can walk for a short distance.

The last 6 miles took me down to Island Harbour and along the path towards Newport Quay. From the quay it’s 4 miles back to my house. The cycle track is familiar territory. I don’t know how many times I’ve run up and down this path. I’ve even been known to run back home this way from Newport after a night of drinking . Sure I could get a taxi, but nothing beats the thrill of running drunkenly down a pitch black cycle track and an owl swoops down low enough to make you scream just a little bit!

This day however I wasn’t drunk and there were no owls, just me and my own mind games. The finish was along Arctic Road. I do miss crossing a proper finish line and being handed the medal. I really hope that I get a few more official marathons before this challenge is out, I guess we’ll wait and see what happens.

When I got home and once I’d managed to stop the aching in my legs, Caroline handed me a bag with a message from Julie Boorman. ‘A little something to make you smile and lots to boost your sugar’. Inside there were bags of jelly sweets (all vegan) and a lovely medal that said ‘bee happy’. Such a lovely treat to finish on 😊

Marathon 31
Marathon 31







I am running these marathons to raise money for Mind. If you like what I’m doing and would like to donate you can go to my Just Giving page below.