As a non-athelete, to complete such a huge challenge is really inspiring. The pain and mental exhaustion needed to finish those 27 days was staggering...but I guess a profound belief in your cause, yourself and the will power of a rhino is what it takes.
Now obviously I'm not undertaking anything as huge as what Eddie Izzard has just done - my adventure equates to just over 5 and half marathons in 9 days - but I was struck by the psychological impact his challenge had on him. Not necessarily the knowing you were only half way or had only completed an hour, but rather the way your body and brain literally have minds of their own - they work together to help each other out. So when the body has had enough of something it tells the brain this, and the brain kind of gives the body the 'ok' signal to stop...however, the human bit of us that takes over tries to override the brain, to tell it to keep going...crumbs I'm starting to sound like one of those science presenters on Radio 4!
I guess though that is something which usually in our everyday lives we don't need to worry about -it is only when we put ourselves under pressure do we realise that our bodies do that, and as such it can't actually be trained for. For me I'm not hitting those barriers at them moment, and the feet are holding up very well, but one of the most excruciating moments was at the end of one of Eddie's marathons where his calves were in so much pain that they felt like they were on fire, and even water couldn't cool them down. That is extreme endurance.
My longest days are 25 and 24 miles on days 6 and 8, so I'll never be doing an entire marathon in one day. At the moment my training days are just one 2hr walk per week (plus two 30 mins walks). Currently these are proving very easy and enjoyable. In 3 weeks time my training programme steps up a gear and I have to do back to back 4 hour walks - and I envisage that is when I will start to feel the real impact of my challenge, both mentally and physically.
Though I'm rather glad that I won't be encountering lions in the Cotswolds and needing a ranger with a rifle to walk alongside me, as Eddie did!! Perhaps just the odd badger with a headache...
This week's training walk was a cold one. I hadn't done one so early before and though it was 1 April, the temperature was only 3C.