If HydroCortisone flowing around my knee is what’s allowing my leg to keep going in training, then the rest of my body is running off the positivity of friends & colleagues. Apologies if that sounds like the kind of cheesy crap you’d hear on an American teen drama, but the past few days have really shown how amazing the support my wife and I have from the people close to us.
On Friday 28th at our old local pub in Limehouse, The Urban Bar (easily one of the greatest nights out you’ll have in London) we hosted a pub quiz Fundraising event with a raffle too.
It’s been planned for a couple of months, and for such a simple format event, there has been a lot of input by many folk, and all in their own free time.
The landlord’s themselves preparing the venue, and hosting the quiz on the night. Also donating all proceeds from one beer tap, to our funds.
Numerous friends helped us by donating prizes, or helping to obtain donations from restaurants etc for the prizes. Many representatives of companies, some of them complete strangers to my wife and I, were happy to give us some fantastic gifts for free that we could raffle on the night.
And of course all the colleagues & ex colleagues, friends etc who came down on the night to take part and bought raffle tickets & Charity beers.
The collective generosity on show for that one little pub quiz was pretty inspiring and the boost it gave me was more than just financial.
Since the cortisone, I’ve gone on some small runs, but the weekend of the quiz night was the big test. I’d planned a 10 miler for the Sunday morning and up until Friday I’d been pretty nervous about it. If I struggled through this one or the knee flared up then the crutches would definitely be out for race day.
On Saturday morning, as I counted our proceeds and recalled the previous nights’ events all nerves about the run had gone. £965 with around £100 of raffle money still to come in! An unbelievable effort and it took my overall total to over £5,000. Double the original target.
If I wasn’t under physio’s instructions to have 2 days rest between runs I’d have went out there and then!
On Sunday I was up at 7:15am raring to go. A trial run of my marathon breakfast, a few goes on the foam roller then off I went.
I had to pick a flat route (hills aren’t compatible with my knee problem) so I ran from near our home to “The Randy” in Lewisham and then back again, 5 miles there, 5 miles back. The Randy, a flat where a friend of ours lived for a while, was the location of many a great after party so it was actually quite nice to be ‘visiting’ it. (Note: The name of the flat is definitely not for the reason you are thinking, it was never that kind of party)
As I set off, the sun was shining and I was still buzzing from Friday’s events. Some days everything falls into place, some days you struggle on even the smallest runs and I think you’re mental attitude has a lot to do with it. In my previous run, I was a bit nervous before hand. A little worried even, and the knee started to feel uncomfortable at about 5 miles. On Sunday, brimming with confidence I got to the turning point and I contemplated going on a bit further before turning, such was my confidence.
In all of my training runs, when I really start to feel it getting tough, I like to picture in my head, the scene as I run down towards Big Ben, seeing the signs that tell you 800m to go, 600m to go, etc. Imagining the crowd and spotting someone I know as I turn onto Pall Mall. It’s a good distraction and it reminds me of how it felt when I did the marathon 5 years ago. The feeling that made the previous 26 miles worth it.
During this 10 mile run on Sunday, even though I wasn’t struggling, for most of the run I was picturing myself on the course doing what I could to repay the faith that so many folk put in my when they clicked “Donate” on my just giving page
A lot of this marathon attempt has been about me, and trying to help myself get back to where I was a couple of years ago, but Friday was huge reminder that it’s for lots of other folk too.
It’s for raising awareness of SANDS, and also contributing to them financially so that they can continue to provide excellent support to people in need. In the same way Mark & Lorraine from the Urban bar & all of our friends & colleagues have supported us (too many to name individually), not just with our quiz, but in just about every way they could have since Dexter died.
I’m unbelievably grateful for this, and Friday was almost the last 18 months in a microcosm. Folk from all aspects of our lives, coming together to help out. And doing it with a smile!
Sunday felt about more than just completing a decent length run after my injury, For the first time in weeks I really started to look forward to the main event, and believe that it was going to be something I could enjoy, not just endure.
I owe a massive amount of thanks to lots of people and I don’t really have much to give them, other than to make sure I finish this race.
So that’s what I’m gonna do.