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Day 10. 10in10 blog

Day 10 baby!!! I love the fact that loads of people have got behind this “Day 10 baby” saying. It was something I said in one of my daily videos with Gary a few days ago and my 14 year old daughter texted me and said don’t ever say that again, it’s cringy…so of course we have made our best efforts to include it at every possible opportunity since then. I saw it on signs and heard people shouting it yesterday as I competed my 10th lap of the lake…just brilliant!So, day 10 baby! And what a day it has been. First and foremost let me tell you that I am now a member of the 10in10 club. A select group of very few Individuals (around 120 I think?) who have completed this challenge. After the last 10 days I can certainly understand why.The day started well with me managing the flight of stairs to physio without crying and without needing my baby breathing techniques. The mood in the room was upbeat with only one lap of the lake to go and the physios cheered each runner as they left for the final time…emotional!It was emotional in the briefing room where Davey delivered an absolutely cracking speech and then we headed out into the rain for our victory lap. The roads were quiet as they were closed and the Windermere marathon had gone ahead of us. I spent a lot of time alone on the road today and had to dig really deep as a result. I pushed hard and was making great progress. At mile 18 something went pop in my left ankle…there was a split second decision to be made…be sick in the hedge and stop or rub it a bit, suck it up and carry on. I wasn’t prepared to fail this challenge with only 8 miles to go, so option 2 was chosen. The last 8 miles were the most painful so far and I’m sure half of Ambleside believes some woman had at least one baby on the marathon course today, but I made it back to the finish line in a PB for the week with a time of 4:42 and was greeted on the lawn by my Morris dancing friends. They were dancing a jig! It was a fabulous moment I crossed the line and received medals from all of my special people and then decided that as I’m not likely to be able to dance again for a while then I should quickly join in before my body remembered it was broken! We danced a bit of a jig and then I took my broken biscuits body off to the 10in10 room to fall apart! It wasn’t pretty as the St. John Ambulance man and Katie assessed the damage and a trip to A&E was recommended. Michael took me to Barrow, although getting out of the room and down the 3 steps to the car was an ordeal in itself. The leg has been X-rayed and nothing conclusive found. There is a possibility that I have a stress fracture, but it’s more likely to be some soft tissue situation and I’ve got to pop and see the experts later in the week for further X-rays and a double check that all is well. I now have a black walking boot and crutches for a few days, but the leg is already so much happier and I’m sure I should be back on two feet by the weekend.I returned to Brathay in time for the end of tea and the speeches in the restaurant. I was greeted with a massive cheer and then Joss Naylor presented me with my piece of Brathay Slate, a beautiful piece of glass and some toffee vodka. It was a beautiful moment and he looked right in to my eyes and told me what a difference I had made to Brathay and the people it helps. He then added that I had to promise to do the 10in10 again properly!! There was a bit of banter back and forth…it was hilarious…anyway, I made no such promise but I did say I will run the Windermere marathon on fresh legs next year and see if I can beat my record of 4:42.Finally I was able to have my curry and a glass of wine or two in the bar. It was a fun evening and a fitting end to my adventure. A fellow 10in10 er saw me back to my room safely in the rain up the steep slope and last night I finally slept for 6 hours rather than the usual 2 that I’ve been managing here! So my epic journey is done and I can safely say that I have had the complete 10in10 experience, crutches and all. It has been an absolute blast and I wouldn’t change a single thing. Thank you so much to all of you for your support and kindness which has been overwhelming at times. What a fantastic group of friends and family you all are.I’m over the £9,000 mark now in my fundraising and hope to nudge that towards my final goal of £10,000 in the next few days.Job done.All week I have been sharing stories with you of people that Brathay have helped. All of their stories have inspired me to keep going. There is one final person who Brathay have helped, and that is me. Sometimes what you see isn’t the whole picture of what is going on for a person. You might look at me and think that I look like I’ve got it all together, but the truth is that often I have battled a whole list of difficult emotions and thoughts in order to turn up where I need to be with a smile on my face. The smile doesn’t always reach my eyes either…maybe that’s a familiar scenario for you too? The pandemic has not helped from that point of view. I struggle almost daily with anxiety and low self esteem and have for much of my life. Preparing for and completing this event has taught me so much about myself as a person and on the darkest day, all I need to do is look at the support I have had and what I have achieved here and remind myself that I am enough. Thank you Brathay Trust.


Day 9. 10in10 blog

Day 9 baby 😜🤣🤣 Feel like I absolutely smashed it out there today and I think my body agrees with me. 😳😱🤣The adrenalin of my family arriving ready to cheer me on round the course saw me flying down to Newby Bridge, and despite the indescribable pain in my left ankle/foot and right quad (I didn’t even know what one of those was 8 days ago!) everything else felt good to go. Various friends popped out of the bushes to say hi and cheer me on…thank you all, all so very much appreciated and helped me focus on something different for a while.I came into this event knowing that my ‘head game’ was pretty strong and I think I have proved that to myself in spades today using every trick in the book to convince the ‘central governor’ that what I am currently doing is perfectly normal behaviour.I have loved the running, loved whooping and shouting, loved the special moments with special people along the way both celebrations and sadness and have been inspired by the stunning views around the course once again. I didn’t especially enjoy being in constant pain from the moment I started running, during and beyond the run today, but I know that this is part of the event to a certain degree and am willing to put up with it.I am well on the way to raising £10,000 now and realised today during the run that this works out at £1,000 a marathon raised for the Brathay Trust. I can’t think of a better reason to get up tomorrow and do it all one more time, so this will be my ‘why’ for tomorrow.All in all a very solid day at the office. Snuck in under 5 hours due to sprinting the last section. If you saw me from Bowness onwards then it wouldn’t have looked or sounded pretty, but it did the trick! Pretty sure I managed a 9 min mile in mile 25…will check that later and I felt really strong until the moment I crossed the line and reverted back to being ‘broken biscuits’ as Gary would say.Absolutely fantastic to see my family at the finish line today and providing excellent support and cheering around the lake. I’ve a feeling there will be tears on the physio table in the morning, but it will be worth it if I can manage to get this Ferrari back on the road with the help of the wonderful Melissa, ready for one final spin!I’m feeling a bit sad that this epic adventure is almost over, but there’s lasagne for tea, so I’ll feel happier in an hour or so.

Day 9. 10in10 Hearts for Brathay

In memory of HRH Duke of Edinburgh and for The Queen.I am also running for Rich Rex and Jessica Knight.

Callum was very close to his Nanna, Margaret. they spent time together baking and going on outings. In 2017, Margaret was diagnosed with terminal cancer which hit Callum hard. Callum and his mum initially cared for her at home before she went into St. Luke’s hospice. While she was there, Callum was Invited to join the Time 4 you project run at the hospice by Brathay. It brings together young people affected by terminal illness and bereavement to have fun together and make friends. Margaret loved knowing that Callum was taking part in the project and meeting other children in the same situation to him. He believes he would have found it more difficult to deal with Margaret’s death if he hadn’t had the groups support.

Day 8. 10in10 blog

Today has been a tough day for everyone. Unfortunately, one of our team has had to retire, which is the right thing for him, but always a hard and brave decision.My left ankle has become a ‘cankle’ and is currently twice the size of the right foot/ankle. Swelling of the feet is common in this event due to the constant pounding on the roads and I guess the achilles earlier in the week has just made that situation worse. Melissa has done amazing things to put me in a state where I could even think about running today, although the physio table was not my friend this morning and there were plenty of tears. It’s always a worry when Dr Katie is kind to you (!) but I needed her kindness and care this morning and it was very much appreciated. The support from everyone is so amazing, it can become a little overwhelming at times and this was one of those times. Thank you Melissa and Katie. You are brilliant. ❤️❤️I put my game face on and managed to get Hobbit Gump into some sort of semblance of a marathon runner. We walked to the start. James asked me if I had spotted the 10in10er at the start…I hadn’t…and dissolved into tears as I saw Rexy across the road. He kept popping up around the course and saw me across the finish line today…it was brilliant to finally meet him and I drew on his strength in previous events to help keep me focused and not concentrate on the pain. So, I set off in pain and ran a marathon in pain. I enjoyed some bits , especially the magnificent views of the mountains and the lake…absolutely awesome, and at times I could quite happily have laid down in the road and gone to sleep. I spent a whole section of the lane towards Bowness looking for comfy spots to have a snooze! I had a giggle as I thought about the men in our team and their constant toilet talk. I have been to the toilet before leaving Brathay each day and had no need of a bush or a hedge. The boys however appear to have their own personal places along the route…it’s like they are turning into bears in the woods! 🙄😆 It made me laugh a lot thinking about this…well after 8 marathons you get desperate for new material with which to entertain yourself! 🤣The first half was the worst, and once again supporters along the way gave me a boost and carried me to the end. Thank you so much to everyone who has come out to support or beeped and waved. My ankle/foot started sloshing around in the second half, so that was exciting…imagine a shoe on your foot in the lake and then running with it without the water coming out…it felt a bit like that, although it was all my foot! I had to stop thinking about that as it was freaking me out a bit. It’s less swollen now that Melissa has treated it again and it will be another legs up the wall night of little sleep!The physio room was a happier place on my return…warm and comforting with intermittent cheering as runners arrived beaten and battered from another day in the office.So, 8 marathons run and 2 to go. My family have arrived in the lakes and tomorrow I will see them along the route for the first time since Oct 2020. On Sunday, I hope to hug my mum, sister and nieces for the first time since Dec 2019. It’s going to be emotional! However, there is still a job to do, so my focus is still on the job in hand until after that final finish line. I think tomorrow is going to be a good day for team 2021.Not my happiest day on the course, but one of my proudest. I know I can do this and I have to keep pinching myself as I run round that bend from Ice cream mountain every day and think “I’m a 10in10er!”I really hope that by Sunday I can truly say that as I complete this epic adventure. Day 8 baby 🙌😉🤣x’t forget that you can track me if you enjoy dot watching, or to save you standing in the rain for ages waiting for me to pass!

Day 8. 10in10 Hearts for Brathay

Today I am running in memory of Lavinia Johnstone for Dianne Cameron. Lavinia was Dianne’s mum who was born in 1921 and would have been 100 this year. She was Dianne’s most enthusiastic supporter, standing in the cold for 2.5 hours when she ran the Southport half marathon in 1997.Once again I’m also running for my ‘tag team’ mate Rich today. Just wondering if I should set off in my wellies…but maybe I will stick with the trainers (if they still fit!).By the time he was 8 years old, Keenene was his mum’s carer and at 13 he was taken into care. He joined Brathay’s Going places programme which raised educational attainment for young people in care. He said “At the time, I had a problem with adults telling me what to do. I was very angry.” Going places was a 12 month programme including weekly group work and residential. “I liked meeting people in the same position as me and making friends. Brathay have known Keenene now for over 5 years. He has his own place to live and has worked for Brathay part time to help support other young people like him. He’s also at college and hoping to go to university. He says “Brathay staff support you, but they also ask you to take responsibility. The biggest thing I’ve gained from this is confidence.

Day 7. 10in10 blog

Day 7 baby 🤣😉 What a day! I have had an absolute ball. I know that this event is totally bonkers, but it went to new heights today. I have effectively run around the lake in what can best be described as a bin bag in the absolute pouring rain with head winds and standing water on the roads…and I absolutely loved it! I know, right? 🤪🤔😆I had a little cry in the briefing room first thing, just giving in to the pain for a minute or two…I tried to cover it, but Claire noticed and gave me a hug. She has a heart of gold. Melissa upped her taping game today and my leg was strapped on the front and the back, although the achilles is loads happier now and the tape was more for effect I think! This girl dressed up as Batman on dressing up day, but she really is Wonder Woman. She calmly and quietly pieces me back together with very little fuss while the men in the room are screaming in agony. I can’t decide whether their physios are really bad or whether they are just big babies… 🤔😉My left ankle/foot is still quite swollen though and it definitely feels like I’m trying to squeeze a hobbit foot into my trainers now. I loosened the laces a little more today… not much lace left to play with!Fantastic support out on the course once again. The first 4 miles are always tough for me, just getting back to coping with lots of pain, but the techniques I’ve developed are working and I know that things always seem happier on the other side of Hawkshead. By the time I got down to Newby Bridge it was properly raining and I had managed to get my clear rain poncho on without suffocating myself. I do have one fancy pants waterproof running jacket, but it was in the sale (probably because it is tree green) and I didn’t want to blend in to the woods today! I feel so proud to wear my 10in10 t shirt that I want everyone to be able to see it too, so I guess there might have been a bit of that going on as well. Anyway after tucking in enough bits so that I didn’t fly away in the wind it seemed to do the job and by Bowness I was so wet anyway that I binned it and continued through the torrential rain! I have been recording little bits and pieces as audio files for my favourite podcast since day 1 here. Originally Paul and Rob had planned to come here and record an episode with me, but that wasn’t possible in the end, so they said they could do a race report if I sent them some bits to play in to it. This weeks episode dropped on to my phone as I started back up the lake towards Brathay. I couldn’t feel my ankle by this point as the cold weather and rain had numbed it, so I was feeling pretty chipper as I came through past The Swan and this feeling just grew as I listened to the podcast. Rob and Paul have been so generous to tell my story in this way, and it definitely puts the icing on the cake of this experience for me. What an amazing thing to have as a memory. I’m still recording bits each day, so part two will be broadcast next week. What a privilege.Being able to run with very little pain was amazing and I chugged my way back up the lake whooping and grinning as cars passed beeping their horns and people shouted encouragement. One friend stopped and offered to go and buy me a hot chocolate, which is a lovely thought, but I have enough trouble with my Voom in a sports bottle and usually end up wearing it…I wish I could bottle the look that people give you when you tell them that you are thoroughly enjoying something that looks so utterly miserable! 🤣I flew home and soaked it all in. Proper running weather finally for a proper home grown Lake District runner! I’m sorry for my team mates, some of whom have really struggled today…but 14 of us went out and 14 came back, so, day 7 done and 3 to go. Fantastic efforts all round from everyone, especially the support crew who have worked hard to keep us all safe today.And so the adventure continues…more Morris friends appearing out of bushes and dancing jigs, piano students and neighbours running out in the pouring rain to wave and cheer (thank you all so much, it means such a lot) and my boy and husband waiting for me on ice cream mountain…did I tell you that James passed his driving test yesterday…1st time having only had 3 official lessons and taught the rest mainly by Michael? Eleanor has had a fabulous progress review from school with some amazing comments, so I am very proud of team Woodcock today who all appear to be being epic! Long may it continue🙌❤️This one was for Rexy. I hope that as bad as his day 7 was in 2019 that this makes up for it in some small way…I felt I could take on the world today and that is his legacy in this event. xxFind my debut in a podcast here …, and I’m up to the £8000 mark with my fundraising now too! 🙌

Day 7. Hearts for Brathay

Today it is my absolute privilege to run for Rich Rex. He is a veteran 10in10 runner having completed the event 3 times. He also took part in 2019. On day 7 in 2019 he had to admit defeat and get in the car with a back injury. He did not complete his 10in10 that year, but he made the wisest decision for his body and as a result he is now running marathons once again. Rich has been a huge inspiration to me and one of the runners that I have followed and cheered for each year. His journey in 2019 made me really believe I could at least try to run 10 marathons in 10 days and that it’s not all about completing the event, but the journey it takes you on in the process.Rich has asked me to run days 7, 8 and 9 for him, but in fact I have been carrying his Tag Team Heart for Brathay all week and will continue to do so until Day 10 when I will pass it on to him as he runs the Windermere marathon making his 2019 journey complete in a different way. Legacy is an important part of Rich’s 10in10 journey and I can only say thank you to him for inspiring me to believe in myself enough to have a go at this. I can’t wait to meet Rich finally on Sunday. Meet Eisha. She came into contact with Brathay when she suffered bullying at school. Her confidence was low, she had become isolated and had started self harming. She came into contact with Brathay through their families first programme where their youth workers worked with her to boost her confidence and self esteem to make her feel more positive. She said “I feel a lot stronger as a person and my mindset has changed and this has made me think more positively.”

Day 6. 10in10 blog

Day 6 baby!! Today was a good day. It was not an easy day and certainly was not pain free, in fact the pain in my left leg was so much worse today that I asked various members of the support crew if they would cut it off at different points along the course, but for some reason they said no. Although the pain was worse, I had found a way to manage it better and along with several epic people out on the course supporting me and many more from afar, I got round and thoroughly enjoyed at least the second half.I ate 4 breakfasts yesterday…and managed 5 today. Dr Katie has challenged me to increase them by one each day now, so day 10 could get very interesting! It helps when you are awake at 1.30am…you just steadily stack them away until it’s time to run! I’m now burning 3,000 plus calories a day, so it can be hard to keep up with fuelling the Ferrari! I am having to really think carefully about my fuelling strategy on a tired brain, but this is something we were prepared for before the event by our wonderful support team, so it’s now just a case of tweaking things accordingly and remaining focused all the time.Highlights of today were a lovely handwritten letter from Michelle and a very thoughtful gift and running out of Brathay with Running Commentary London marathon episodes from 2019. Paul and Rob had toyed with coming to run the Windermere marathon in real life this year, but in the end for various reasons it wasn’t possible. This felt like the next best thing anyway and the crowd in the background on the podcast certainly cheered me up along with Rob and Paul being very funny as usual. I’ve used these particular podcasts quite a few times on marathon training runs and they really give you a boost. This was part of my deliberate plan to put day 5 firmly behind me and leave Brathay with a positive attitude to take around the lake. It worked. The other part of my plan involved asking Dr Katie to tape my black toe and see if that would help my right foot be more comfortable. It worked too and made a massive difference to my ability to cope with the pain from the other leg.At the start of my run it felt like I was a mixture of Forrest Gump and a hobbit…Hobbit Gump if you will.. that, along with some serious giving birth breathing helped me laugh at myself and get through the first 3 miles. There were a lovely crowd of people at Newby Bridge, and as I went to go over the bridge I spotted Martyn, our Morris side foreman sitting on a wall in full Morris kit, hankies at the ready looking a bit grumpy…whoops…the tracker will tell you exactly where I am, but it can’t predict the future and I do tend to speed up quite a bit on that last stretch towards Newby Bridge as the turn around the lake and heading for home calls me on.Not to be outdone, he turned up in a lay-by further along the route dancing a jig at the side of the road. It was a marvellous moment and I waved my hankie hands in time, but wasn’t stupid enough to join in with the feet! I know that Martyn was annoyed with himself to miss me at Newby Bridge, but where he stopped was near to the section of road that I find the scariest and as he passed me I saw him deliberately slowing the traffic up ahead. Thank you Martyn. Your jig and your thoughtfulness were much appreciated.I felt better and better as the run went on, although if you could hear me you wouldn’t have thought so. You could have been forgiven for thinking I might be about to have a baby due to the noises I was making to control the pain. I loved the stretch from ice cream mountain back to base today and felt free enough to go back into Ferrari mode. Melissa, my amazing physio didn’t look too cross when I told her this, although the morning may bring different news! 😬😳 The best bit for me was the very end of the run when Tiree suddenly shot past just before I turned into the lane for Brathay. She parked her car and took some photos and I said she should come up to the finish and catch me there…initially she misunderstood and started to follow me on foot in her wedding photographer gear complete with sandals. Doh! She went back for the car, but I reached the finish line before her and did a quick second loop round, because the run today deserved two cheers anyway and I’m a big show off. 🤣🤣 It was lovely to stand on that lawn with her on this special day and it made me excited for the weekend when I will finally see some of my family for the very first time this year. 🎉🎉Massive shout out to our marvellous support crew, literally keeping us on the road. Michelle, Katie, Melissa and Chris have all played a huge part in this day being a good one for me. Thank you x So, a very good day and now it’s all about Day 7 and getting ready for that. Dinner and Peroni corner call!🍷xx Almost at the £8000 mark now…amazing. Hobbit Gump will run again tomorrow for that.

Day 6. 10in10 Hearts for Brathay

Today I am running for Annette, Wendy and Jennie. I am running in memory of two amazing mums Annette and Wendy and for another amazing mum and friend Jennie. Tiree’s mum, Annette Mortlock was 63 when she passed away 18 years ago today. My mother-in-law Wendy was the same age when she passed away too. Two very inspirational mums who are greatly loved and missed and held in our hearts.My friend Jennie is an absolute inspiration. She is such a force of positivity and ‘can do’ and I am so lucky to count her as one of my friends. She and Tiree have been absolute anchors in the storms of all this training…almost literally on more than one memorable paddleboard trip in the washing machine (…errr…I mean Windermere!) If you look at my original 10in10 blog page (home page) and my posts this time last year when I completed my own lockdown “Not the 10in10” (which I was doing at 2am on Sunday) you will see that I ran Day 6 of that in recognition of my SUP marathon friends…and quite by accident, here I am on Day 6 once again thinking of 2 of these amazing and inspirational ladies who belong to that group. So, ladies past and present, this one is for all of you xxx ❤️🙌Meet Lauren. She came into contact with Brathay through the Time 4 you project which they run in partnership with St. Luke’s hospice in Sheffield. The project helped Lauren in the time before and after her grandad’s passing, giving her a place to interact with other young people in a similar situation to her, a place to open up and a place to have fun.

Day 5. 10in10 blog

It’s safe to say that today held a few challenges. The biggest of these is the sheer amount of pain I am in when I run just now. My achilles is healing, but my feet and legs have now run 131 miles in 5 days…something they have never done before and hope never to do again…(shhhh…don’t tell them, I’m going to break it to them gently, one marathon at a time! 😬🤣)I have a blister under the 3rd toenail of my right foot and it was chatting away for the entire run today. I’ve never run far enough to earn one of these before. So it’s right foot, pain, left foot, pain and on we go…and it really was one tree at a time in places today.I was thinking about Chris Renton and Charlie a lot today…the whole team are missing Chris and holding them both in our hearts, so it was bound to be a bit emotional. Seeing the children outside Hawkshead school was an absolute highlight once again, although the excitement made me run a bit faster than I should have and I paid for it a bit further along the road. It also made me miss my LV children and reflect on how proud I am of their running efforts as they complete their own whole school 262 challenge. I saw Kim who has been so committed to supporting me every day and then as I rounded the corner, Michelle passed from the opposite direction in the support car. I knew she would see in my eyes that I wasn’t ok at that moment, but I gave her a thumbs up and tried to paste on a smile…she wasn’t convinced and I knew. A moment of feeling very sorry for myself and letting the pain get on top of me ensued and I had a bit of a sob as I ran along. Around the next corner was one of my colleagues from work with a phone…she said she had the whole school on a zoom call wanting to say hello! I tried to get a serious grip! Fortunately the tech wasn’t quite working (or was it a user error? 🤔🤣) and she decided to drive on a bit and sort it out. I was glad of the few minutes to have a serious word with myself and get back on the bus.It was truly lovely to see the children on the screen…I’m sorry that I couldn’t hear them, but I think they could hear me. What a lovely thought. So much support and kindness is at times overwhelming. Thanks everyone.More LV parents at The Swan and Michael even managed to run over the bridge with me for a quick update from home 😆🙌The next long stretch can get quite lonely and frightening with cars passing very close at times. More than once I had to regroup and get my head or body back together. It was lovely to see Lorraine…thanks for stopping to say hi, and later on as I got to the really tricky section, my friend Jen called and we had a lovely catch up. She then went off to bell ring a quarter peal in my honour via Zoom(?) I think…it didn’t occur to me to ask how that would work. The rest of the run was hot and very much a case of getting it done. The phrase “never stop pushing” was in my mind often during those last very painful 10 miles.As I climbed ice cream mountain, I thought I spotted a familiar face…it was my friends Judy and Chris from Crook Morris (who finally all got to dance together last night for the first time in a year…without me 🙁 The whole side voted to make a significant donation to my JustGiving page though and for that I am extremely grateful.) It was so lovely to see Judy and Chris and then they started playing together for me as I gulped my drink down and sobbed on the pavement. A very special moment for me and it will remain one of the highlights of my 10in10.And so I got it done. Had a cry on the lawn and have spent a little while with Batman (aka Melissa) putting me back together again. I don’t think she will ever fully realise how grateful I am to her for her calm and attentive care, her emotional intelligence and kindness. She really is my superhero and I certainly wouldn’t be thinking of doing all this again tomorrow without her. There were other lovely moments, but I’m shattered and apparently I’m cutting Duncan’s hair at 6pm, so it’s time for a shower and a push of the reset button ready to bring on Day 6!It might sound crazy, but I am absolutely loving this adventure and the things described here are all just part of the whole 10in10 package. If was easy then everyone would do it, but that’s what makes it special. In fact, despite the challenges I feel that all my training and listening to the experts is paying off and that I am getting every last scrap of ‘adventure’ out of this magnificent challenge.So, bring on Day 6. On we go xx