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#destinationunknown
"Are you limited by your Challenges" or "are you challenging your limits"

I Live with a Neuromuscular / Spinal Condition and plan to 'Challenging My Limits' 2017 my goal was the Lake Zurich 26km Marathon Swim.

Where do I go from here? #destinationunknown

Don't Stop Me Now!

DragonRunnerby DragonRunnerSep 16th 2013
Firstly I cannot get over the encouragement received after returning from Kalmar, and the reaction to the last Operation Abba blog. At present my mind is saying that it would like to go back as it was simply an amazing experience. The first chance I realistically could go is 2015 (please, please body hold out!).

So to rename Operation Abba, there have been a number of suggestions and as you can see it is "Another Day At The Office". Taking into account that I would like to return to Sweden after putting into practice all the areas I leant about my body, I will be attempting another Long Course event next year. I have already signed up to the Outlaw in Nottingham, in fact 2014 is taking shape already.

March - Bath Half Marathon
April - London Marathon (maybe, hopefully)
May - Eton 10k Swim
June - Great North 5k Swim / Outlaw Middle Distance Triathlon (70.3 miles)
July - Outlaw Long Course Triathlon (140.6 miles)
August - Bridge to Bridge Swim (14k between Henley and Marlow)

For the first time since it started I was part of the crowd / supporters at Ironman Wales. Been outside the bike cut off on both occasions I am full of admiration for those who complete this course and have full sympathy for those who started and for their own reason did not make one of the cut offs. Words also are beyond me for the hardy ones who have completed all three Ironman's at Tenby - simply awesome athletes. Even though I have a never say never attitude, at present I am been realistic that it is a race that I may never attempt again (even though there was some part of me that would like to), but who knows what the future holds.

What can I say about the World's Greatest Half Marathon - The Great North Run. It's a title that is brought about firstly by the people of Newcastle, Gateshead and South Shields, with their support that is among the best anywhere. You even get Paralympic greats getting involved with the unsung heroes of the day, the encouragement from those who give give out much needed water etc, having Dame Tanni Grey Thomson hand me one, a person who inspired me and probably others was a unexpected moment. There is also the field of elite athletes, unfortunately I have to watch that on Sky+ a few days later. I feel the biggest reason is the field of charity runners who all have their own reasons to run, the loss of a loved one, or an illness of a family member or friend, or like me, their own physical challenge (not known to me when I first entered back in the 90,s).

This is evident when the PA plays "Abide with Me" and you look around and the whole starting area (50,000 plus) is silent - thinking about their reason, some you can see the emotional in them coming out - me included. This is something I think does not come across on the TV coverage. It's a special experience from the GNR that you have to be present to get the full atmosphere. A final consideration is the show put on by "The Red Arrows" which does help to take your mind off the run as they fly all around you with their usual impressive display.

Weather was not kind this year, but that did not damped the reception when David Weir was introduced for the Wheelchair Race, and an even louder reception for Double Olympic and World Champion Mo Fahah. It must have been close between Mo and me, not much in it in the end, but I will give it to him. That is Mo crossing the finish line in South Shields and me getting to mile one - I mean.

For me this was the first long run with my new insoles, and what an improvement. Only one stop to get some feeling back in my feet, last few years it has been in double figures. This meant a Half Marathon PB for the year, so new goal, lets go for a all-time Half PB, may be in Bath next February, a bit of winter work ahead. Specially after talking to one of the GNR Unsung Hero's, who has taken part in all previous races, that 33 in total - "never too old", thats three times more than my 9 Great North Runs. Need to look at number 10, which was a target I set after my first back in 1983, when I was over 19 stone. I was unaware of my current health issues then. However it looks like this will be one of my targets for 2015 (planning ahead even with the comments below), already arranged some family time for the weekend of the GNR next year.

For the first time I actually put my endeavours in Kalmar, Sweden and Newcastle to take part for a charity, choosing "Scope" for me this is a charity that looks after people with a similar condition to what I live with every day (not all disabilities are visual). As I am one of the lucky ones who is in a position to put something back, unfortunately I am new to this game and have not raised as much as I would have liked to, but then again with the current climate every bit helps. It's not to late if you wish to, just follow the link in the blog main page (bottom right).

Health wise, well firstly I finally have an appointment to see another Consultant, so after 2 years since first discussing with my GP I maybe able to expand on "a neuromuscular condition" - hopefully. However whilst the wait goes on I took the step (no pun) to go and visit a private Podiatrist. After only a few days of the new insoles I can feel a difference in the discomfort that has been in my feet. This has meant that whilst getting use to them as it is leaves pains in another area at present. Once again I have not done the run sessions that I had planned as slowly I am acclimatising to the feeling of not rolling over on my ankles. I feel it is making my gait mechanical, at times I feel like a Gerry Anderson's puppet (awaiting comments).

It would be nice to have some days when my daily living activities are pain free, I know it's not helped with the extra stress I put on it. "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain". I am dreading the day that I have to decide what challenge I give myself. The following is an unknown text I have come across which at present is apt.

"In a race and finding it hard, look back, not just at the people who are running behind you but especially at those who don't run and never will... those who run but don't race...those who started training for a race but didn't carry through...those who got to the starting line but didn't the finish line...those who once raced better than you but no longer run at all. You're still here. Take pride in wherever you finish. Look at all the people you've outlasted.

Once again thank you for your support and understanding.

Next stop - Cardiff Half Marathon
 
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