Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Day 6 - 33 miles

Running into Swansea city centre
I was very nervous starting today. Having looked at the route last night I realised I had around 34 miles to run today, which seemed such a long way. My right foot was quite swollen on waking, and didn't seem to be going down much even with icing.

Today was a very good day. My legs behaved, my foot settled down and the miles got done.

The weather was fantastic, cold, clear and wonderful to run in.

I had 6 miles to Llandeilo, then another 5 til I met Jenny a runner friend in Llandybie. Meeting her was so lovely, so great to talk to someone for more than 5 minutes at a time whilst I stuffed my face. She had half the village out of the village shop to cheer me on when I arrived, so lovely.

After leaving Jenny I ran along the base of the Black Mountains by Garnswllt. The road was slightly undulating and my right knee which had been a problem yesterday began to bother me. I tried my best to ignore it, but it just wouldn't go away, so I took 2 ibuprofen. I always advise my runners never to take painkillers whilst running, but then I don't know many people who run ultras. Anyway, whatever the rights and wrongs of it, it worked, and the discomfort from my blisters went, my gait improved, and my knee stopped hurting.

Once I was inside the Swansea County border I started running roads I knew well. Before I knew it I was in Gorseinon, and feeling strong. I rounded a corner and there was a group of my runners and walkers come to cheer me on! It was so lovely to see them, they were so encouraging and cheerful, thankyou for your support!! Helen who was supporting for me for the day, had phoned Swansea Sound Radio station, and on my way past they asked me to pop in for a quick interview (which will be on air tomorrow). They even made me a cup of tea! I had no idea how ordinary the inside of a radio station was though, looked like any other office. Having sat down for a good 15 minutes I was a little worried how standing and walking and eventually running would be, but I shouldn't have worried, I was fine!

Running well.
I was now on a high and running well. I knew another group of runners was waiting for me at Carmarthen road ready to take me down the High Street to the running shop, where my husband and youngest son was waiting with friends. It was gone in a flash, and there I was running into Swansea town centre, I thought I might cry, but all I could do was grin from ear to ear. My son had made a banner with "Welcome Home Mum" on it, and runners, walkers and friends were all there, as well as Melanie Walters and an Evening Post Photographer. When the photographer asked Melanie and I to run like superman down the High Street holding collecting tins and each other's hand, I politely declined, stating that if I tried any super hero stunts after 180 odd miles I might never run again! Instead he settled for an exaggerated shuffle from me, and a photo of the boys banner.

With Melanie Walters and Simon Franks.
Simon Franks at "Up & Running" had organised some biscuits for me (which my son ate!), and a welcoming cup of tea. After my allotted 20 minutes though, I really needed to finish the run for the day.

Helen and Ann joined me for what was supposed to be the last 2 miles, but in fact turned out to be 3. Their support was invaluable.In the last half mile I was really struggling, and had resorted to a mad woman shuffle/mumble approach to running, when Nina another friend literally jumped out the bushes at me. She was just the impetus I needed to finish. After a quick hug I ran to the finish and the support car at the Visteon gates. I have never been so pleased to be jumped out at! Nina was an angel from the bushes!!

It has been another eventful, but brilliant day, rounded off with another great massage from Clare. I have just 2 days left now, and just 45 miles.

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