The time is now 9.15pm and I am sitting in front of the computer eating cereal. I didn't get home until 8.20pm from my wonderful massage with Clare, who did a brilliant job. I can even walk down stairs unaided! I have eaten and sorted the route for tomorrow, but I still have to sort my kit, food, and support crew stuff for tomorrow.
I am tired, so I do hope this blog makes sense.
I was with two running friends Sheila and Julie from the start on Fabian Way today, which is a horrible long straight dual carriageway. I was stiff, and completely exhausted. I usually finish the day on a grandad shuffle but today I started that way too. Sheila and Julie accompanied me to the beginning of Port Talbot and then I was on my own. The weather was fantastic, bright sunny and cold. I managed to speed up the shuffle a bit til I was almost running by Margam, and I was greeted there by Clare my sports therapist who had threatened to jump out at me.
Helen was crewing for me again today, and we had the map sorted well, with Clare on board for a bit too the running was easy. They met me regularly and dealt neatly with the old lady who protested when they parked in the busstop. Clare also very kindly lent me her ipod for the day, as even though I have 185 songs on mine, I'd listened to them all at least 3 times already.
It was a nice straight line down to Pyle, with a little bit of a headwind, but as I woke up, so did my legs, and I managed pretty well. I did however manage to take a wrong turn around Pyle somewhere and nearly ended up on the motorway, not my finest moment. I was finding today that Helen would tell me the route for the next 2 miles, I would repeat it back to her, and then run off and promptly go the wrong way. This is what hundreds of running miles does to your brain!
The next section was just lots of nasty A roads with lots of traffic, punctuated by a cup of tea in a car showroom, blagged by Helen, and cheers and waves from passers by again sorted by Helen. She was actually running into every shop/cafe/pub/service station I passed telling them what I was doing, then dragging them out onto the road to cheer me on, and boy did it help!!!!
The next miles passed in a blur of ever increasing muscle aches, my body was just slowly becoming tighter and tighter and more and more sore. I rounded the corner at Gileston with just a mile to go, and it began to sink in what I was about to do. I expected to run the last mile with tears streaming down my face, instead I ran it at the speedy pace of about 12 min miles (as fast as my weary legs and feet would go) and saw the sea ahead of me. Helen was shouting from her car to passers by what I was doing and I ran onto the beach at West Aberthaw the most southern point of Wales to the cheers of a man with a model aircraft, a woman with a dog, and a granny and granddaughter at their front door, cheering and shouting. It couldn't have been better!! The elation, and sheer joy of seeing the sea again was indescribable. I really had run from north to south, 215 miles in a week. The man with the model aircraft said "you've got a car, you should use it you know!" Too true!!
To top the day off, my phone rang, it was the news reporter Claire Pearson I'd done the interview with at Swansea Sound, (again arranged by Helen), wanting to interview me on having completed my challenge. So standing on the shingle looking out at the wonderful sea in the sunshine, I told her how I felt...... invincible!
So all I have to do now, is run just 14 miles into Cardiff tomorrow, accompanied all the way by various WRN runners, and charity workers, and meet my friends and family and charity representatives in the Millenium Centre for tea and cakes. I am so lucky.