Dropped Out Of Yet Another Ultra.
Thanks to everyone who donated to my fundraising campaign for the Isle of Wight Challenge. I dropped out of the race today at the third checkpoint and I can’t help but feel I’ve let people down.
The problem is that recently I’ve started thinking I was indestructible which is pretty laughable now that I’m sitting in Newport Travelodge tits deep in a plate of Nachos. Licking my wounds and not my balls.
I was supporting Mind because I believe in what they do and if I’m honest with myself my fundraising has been lacklustre. I haven’t been sending the books out on time either which I’m sorry about.
I came to Isle of Wight to finish that race. That was the only possible outcome in my mind.
I’ve never broken down that badly in an ultra before.
There was a reasonably tough bit at 5k that threw me off guard. I was so out of breath and it was at that point that I started struggling.
I made the questionable decision to run up Tennyson Down without stopping. I even became like one of those young street gangsters who play music loud on their phones so everyone can hear their tunes. It helped for a while but the bit immediately after the 2nd rest stop had 4 stiles to climb over in about half a km.
I was exhausted and my bastard mind wouldn’t give me peace. I have this feeling that my legs are infinite but it’s my mind which constrains me. My mind determines what is possible. If I have no mind then anything is possible but not in that stupid fucking hippy way. There is a part of me that I hate which I wish I could get rid of.
In order to complete these runs I need to be add to shut my mind off. I couldn’t do it. There was a cruel irony in that I was fundraising for a mental health charity yet my mental state was pretty dreadful. It wasn’t a case of feeling sorry for myself. I desperately wanted to pull myself out of the mood and to get back on track. As I said, I don’t start these events not to finish.
I felt ashamed. From 26k people kept saying I was doing well but I was running off fumes. I was feeling like I felt at 92k in London 2 Cambridge. I kept my head down and tried to keep it going but there was no chance I had another 40 miles in me. When I can’t achieve flow I feel every single one of those miles and it becomes impossible.
I made the decision to retire as I couldn’t run in a straight line. Pretty dire.
I had a reunion with Brian the sweeper driver again which was a pleasure. He was the man I ran away from in my first 100k and in the London 2 Cambridge Ultra that I dropped out of.
He has walked from Lands End to John O Groats in 26 days which is pretty impressive. I was a bit embarrassed when I told him that I was thinking of jogging it. He’s been summoned to collect me 3 times now but it was really good to see him. He even left me back in Newport when he didn’t have to.
I hope I can come back stronger from this. When I’ve failed bitterly in the past I’ve always used it to fuel my training. I’m not drinking tonight. I have made a £150 forfeit donation to my Mind fundraiser as I still think I haven’t done enough.
I did the right thing today. If I’d ran on from the 3rd checkpoint I’d have just totally fucking crashed and possibly injured myself.
I have no excuses and it kinda leaves me vulnerable. In the past I could have blamed it all on a hangover but this time I was schooled by a difficult course on an otherwise nice day.
I’d much rather have a sore body than be disappointed like this. Scabby nipples are a badge of honour. It’s the lingering disappointment that can last a lifetime.