Day Thirty Nine

Day 39 – 24 February 2020

We were all tired this morning. I hadn’t slept well with the torrential rain and was feeling both physically and mentally drained. The tent and all our belongings were drenched, but on the plus side there were hot showers at the lodge we were staying, which helped restore our spirits somewhat. The first 15 miles felt like they were taking forever, but we made it to the first checkpoint ok. It was very much a case of mind over matter for me – I’m trying hard to keep the fire burning and remember why I’m doing this. It’s hard when your subconscious mind is willing you to stop short of each checkpoint; it’s like a little voice in your ear saying “stop at eight miles, stop at ten miles, we can have some porridge if we stop now” so I’ve been working hard to control this consciously. I see it as training a muscle – by suppressing those desires to stop early, to rest, or even to quit, I’m gradually training my subconscious mind to stay quiet and let me get on with this challenge. We’re looking to build Amari Uganda a new home to house homeless children – that’s my focus and that’s why we’re out here working so hard. I’m coming to realise that these hard moments are the ones that are helping me to grow the most. When I’m challenged so completely, that’s when I somehow manage to achieve the most. We managed a short rest and some food at the first checkpoint, and then it was on to the next ten miles of today’s running. Towards the end of this leg I got a real surge of energy, and went from barely running ten-minute miles, to smashing out sub-seven minutes miles. It just goes to show the power of the mind and its ability to force the body find reserves of strength. Once at the second checkpoint, we spoke to the local parish and they allowed us to set up camp inside one of their classrooms which was amazing. Brian cooked us a potato curry with rice, and we managed a further eight and a half miles for our evening run before driving back to the camp. I had a really amazing moment towards the end of this leg where I felt quite euphoric; I was listening to some really good music, along with some gratitude prayers and the serenity prayer, and it really gives me lots of positive energy. These truly gold moments don’t last forever but I cherish and enjoy them while they do. Once back at the camp we bought a whole cooked chicken to share and a cold bottle of coke which was wonderful.

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