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day41 (2)

So its a long haul into Cardiff. The Severn Bridge is sadly missed out due to pesky rules and regulations.
The run into Cardiff is a quick affair as I’m excited to be on familiar turf. I’m unsupported and decide to throw caution to the wind and run the gauntlet along Cardiff’s main arterial roads. If I had a pound for all of the car horns I would be achieving my donation pot. It lifts my spirits and adds a spring yo my rickety and groaning step.
I whistle and hum and click my heels to the tune of ” I can and I will.”


I run around the streets of Cardiff many times and loose count of that and time.
The curiosity of a guy in fancy dress pushing ‘Bessie’ is welcomed by one and all and this lifts spirits. The Welsh are a happy bunch and on the whole as mad as me. ” I’m not mad!!!”  ” YES you are!!! NOOOO I’m not!!!” HAAAHAAA!!
Cardiffs castle almost goes unnoticed by the people hustling along by it. It is such a shame! I have found this to be the case from city to city. Yester-years long lost and history rapidly forgotten. I daydream into what I perceive it could have been like when it was at its grandest. I wonder who could have passed by where I am. What Kings and Queens? What Warriors? What purposes?
I imagine the lowly soldier on sentry, peering out anxiously out of a narrow slit within the walls. He surveys the filth covered and boggy track that I am on and then to the endless fields and forested hills in the distance. His much coveted bow laying idle but at hand propped and to his side. Like all his comrades along the wall he routinely stubs and stamps his raggidy covered feet in failing attempts to warm them. His scar covered hands like the rest of him is wrapped in decaying cloth which gives him some warmth. With the craggy and fractured edge of a tooth he scrapes and gnaws absent minded on charcoal and crust like nails. His face twisted and leather like shows a veil born from untold hardships. Lice torment him as always and he wishes to be drunken and asleep as soon as possible. He looks at the worried looks of those nearby and junior to him and has nothing to give in comfort to them. Instead he looks away and hawks up a painfully born lungfelt spit of blood covered sputum. He is 19 years of age but does not know this.


My minds eye and its wanderings snap-to and I’m alerted of my own perils by the ever present dangers of running with vehicles. On my last loop around I am again daydreaming and I hit a pot hole..the wheel chair does its usual violent dance and bucks and twists hard. I land up catching my barely improved right ankle and I feel it pull again. Its bad but not terrible and decide to ignore and hide it from one and all. My girlfriend being the most deserving as she’s been through too much and I determine she’s best not to know.
It’s great to see great friends that night and catch up. My night though is full of worry as I feel the new pains through old and the end feels an impossible eternity away.
So sunny Wales is quickly left behind and the home stretch lays ahead.

day41 (1)

Tasks! Simple tasks!
I need to eat a decent breakfast. I need to fuel up for my daily slog. I cannot. I survive on a dwindling intake of a breakfast to energy drinks and a forced chocolate bar all day. I estimate I’m often burning up to 7000 calories per day and am taking in a fraction of that.
On the road i often throw up. A very worrying thing. This sounds ridiculous. But it is not. My body is in shut down. Fight or Flight!? I stare nauseous at my breakfasts day after day. Each getting worse than the previous. I eat less than the previous. My body goes further into shock and Fight or Flight and the cycle grips and revolves ever more serious. I feel my grip on reality is slipping. I feel numb at times. I feel adrift, in a bubble and scared. My head constantly throbs and I am often getting blurred vision. The pain killers I have to take are barely working and add to this unreality. My stomach hurts most of the time and this contributes to not eating.  An obvious and vicious cycle. Getting up and going takes more and more effort and precious time and less and less important tasks are achieved.
The hot days are taking their toll and I suffer more than ever. I try my best to bury my worries and ills from my inner taunting and laughing demons. I struggle to do the simplest of tasks, much to the worry and understandable irritation of my girlfriend. This in turn upsets me and I feel irritable and a failure. Often I just want to quit. If I do so though, well I’d rather be dead. I cannot and will not. Every corner casts a shadow of doubt and worry. Dark whispers flail their entrails to my inner soul.  Messages that i wish not to prevail.
I start to shut down into a ‘ BOX’.
New dangers. Further tests.

day41 (3)

The Cornish and Devonshire countryside. I rapidly realise the new dangers. Often the roads are totally hedged and walled in and give you absolutely NO way of escape and safety. My nerves are totally shredded and I simply cannot take it any more I must and do alter to some degree my original routes. The new routes turn out to be far far harder physically as they are more offbeat and far more hilly but there is less traffic. A roulette of a compromise!
I decide to run without ‘Bessie’ and try to simply survive. The ‘B’ roads are terrible in condition and often are more like dirt tracks and would be nigh on impossible to navigate if I were fresh as though on day: 1 of this challenge. My body is being annoyingly pathetically decrepit! I also have to make extra distance per day to allow for a shorter final days distance. Decisions like this are hard chosen and eat voraciously to my core. I find myself at times crying for real or not slumped on a verge somewhere. Totally spent and had enough. Alone. Lost. Broken. Feeling a failure.  Unable to focus.  Cursing my patheticness.

day41 (4)

I deviate closer to the coastlines where possible and have some actual company during some of my legs with my girlfriend. This is a first for the whole of the challenge and is a giant moral booster for both of us. The monumental stresses and strains of this challenge for Hayley cannot be put to words. I wish i hadn’t put her through the worry of all this. I couldn’t of done this without her help. Help on so many levels. I know this hasn’t been an adventure for her. It has often been a terrible strain on her. I determine not to have her roped into this sort of thing ever again. I don’t have a penny to rub together now and curse this as I wish I could take her on a well deserved break. The realisation I will have to go straight to work lays poisonous and lead like in my guts.
I feel lost. I feel quiet scared.
Moan moan bloody moan. I am sorry!
Day by day my pace diminishes to a terrible pace and is down to a walk with intermittent hobbly runs. This all makes me feel like a failure and thoroughly upset.
I am over the moon that I have my girlfriend’s company and try to hide my ailments, doubts and fears from her.
On occasion I meet an interested person and have great cheer given and my soul feels uplifted.
I love being in the country!
To pass dreamlike through a glorious tunnel of trees. Enveloped and hugged by nature itself.  Like gods fingers, an orchestra of kaleidoscopic colours shimmers and shines through the canopy of leaves. Time lost. Secret noises reveal themselves, born from the creatures playing in and out of the warming rays that permeate into the hidden world. Ancient rivers trickling by, soft steam whisking away in and amongst the winds driven by a magical selection of industrious insects. To smell and hear and sense things not born from the Urban jungle.
Seconds blend to minutes with hours flowing away into the day.
What day is it!???? I really don’t know!!
When pain and doubt comes stronger and seemingly impossible to bare, routine follows.
Step after step. Closer closer!  Move! Move! Damn it MOOOOOOVE!!
Mumbling Mantra!
” I can and I will!
I can and I will!
I can and I will! “
A distant memory of a Company Sergeant screaming!!!!
“Left Right! Left Right!! Left Right!!!”
I daydream….
I try to take stock:
I am breaking!
I am broke!
I am here!
Who am I?
What good?!
End is nigh.
I can and I will!!!!  🙂
A day of which I don’t know the name of starts with a hamstring injury to my left leg. It happens as I run too soon, without my usual long protracted rolling warmup and I pay the price instantly. All of my muscles are close to breaking and are taut and twisted like old sea rope. It is a possible disaster. Soo close but yet so far. I feel close but yet so far to go! I take pills and pray. I dig deep. Focus!
I walk and walk. Take the pain. Accept it. Try to ignore it. Throw it away!!!!
I can and I will!
To know and witness your partner trying to hide their fears and worries for you is one of the most upsetting things anyone could wish to go through. I see this as I leave this morning. She understandably doesn’t want me to carry on. My attempts at deceiving her of the extent of my woes and ills are failing, if ever they were good enough.


She bravely but barely hides her worries for me and I fail to try in hiding my own in vain attempt to belay hers. Neither of our attempts work. I finish tomorrow unless the gods decide otherwise. I leave with gritted determinations and worry for my upset girlfriend. I try as always to show strong fortitude and march off. I hope this helps and eases her worries and pray deceptions are accepted.
A marching fool I am sure. So here I am. Writing this whilst striding forth. What must people think. A bedraggled long red haired limping fool with head down along the side of the road. This is proving to be one of the hardest days. I will I pray, arrive to the finish tomorrow. This has been the hardest test of my life I think.
I try to focus as to why I’m here.
Hardest things of my life!!
Damn I’m pathetic!
Imagine as I’ve seen, a young guy who has had his whole life ripped from him in the literal and physical sense. A guy who has been blown up by a bomb. His limbs blown off. His journey home. The seemingly insurmountable tortuous path to recovery for him and his family.
Imagine a child that has a terrible injury or illness. Imagine baring witness or being part of a child whom shows such heroic and inspiring stoicism and bravery in the face of their sufferings.
( I walk as I am now and I feel ridiculous at my self pity and minor pains. I just wish I could have achieved and done more.)
I have in part seen this on many occasions. I have often had to find a quiet corner to cry. I am not ashamed to admit it. This is one of thousands of examples of patients young and old…of people I have had the privilege of trying to help and treat. I am just an average bloke and hope my little effort along with the great kindness of the doners helps the people I talk of and I wish to help. The people whom truly have the “I can and I will” inspiring attitudes!