On Saturday (9th February) I attempted my longest run. After having a relaxing morning, consuming two pints of water and eating, once again – the dreaded porridge, I still didn’t feel prepared for the 18 mile run. I started in Sidmouth, Devon and ran to Beer through the back lanes, hills and muddy fields. Once I reached Beer I could then look forward to the hideous 10 mile home stretch along the steep coastal path and pebbles.
As we reached Dunscombe cliffs (which are fairly close to The Donkey Sanctuary) it went downhill....literally. The mud was horrendous; I couldn’t walk on the path let alone run, it was like walking on ice. I found this so frustrating because all I wanted to do was run, but I physically couldn’t do it. As I was struggling down the path I fell down some steps and landed on my hip, which made the experience even worse. Having run through a gathering of water I could feel sores on my feet where my trainers had rubbed, not only was I suffering from a bad hip, blisters but my knee was also in pain. Every time my foot landed on the ground, a stinging sensation shot through my left knee.
I’ve enjoyed running long distances in the past and in a strange way look forward to my training, but this Saturday I felt miserable, cold, wet and tired. In my recent blog I explained how I suffer from low blood sugar and quite often I’m ill after a long run. I was sent some fudge from a supporter, Catherine which I took with me. I was so grateful that Catherine took time to make and post me some lovely chocolate fudge, and it defiantly came in handy. My camelbak was filled with fudge, a high sugar squash, crackers and my inhaler; I was fully prepared for one of my ‘funny turns’.
The final stretch of my run was on Sidmouth beach. Part of the Grizzly run will be along the pebbles, and it’s something I’m not looking forward to. Imagine how wobbly people are walking on pebbles, having to run on them is ten times worse. My thought going through my head at this time was picturing the support I’ll receive. I’ve never taken part in a local run and knowing I’ll have the support of my family, boyfriend and friends will get me through the race.
I completed the 18 mile run and didn’t experience any bad turns. I have learnt to carry snacks, squash and fudge with me –if anything can get me through the 21 mile Grizzly run, food can! So far I have raised over £700 for The Donkey Sanctuary and I am so overwhelmed by the donations and sponsors I’ve received. I wouldn’t have been able to get this far without the support and words of encouragement from The Donkey Sanctuary supporters, staff and my friends. I get more nervous as the days go on but knowing I have so many people spurring me on, I believe I will do well, and I can do it.
Please visit http://www.justgiving.com/Nicola-Russell2 to sponsor me, I’m raising as much funds as I can to help prevent cruelty to donkeys.