Well Saturday came and I hoped that when I woke up my left foot would have recovered, from the problems of wednesday, thursday and friday. The alarm sounded at 5 and I tentatively got out of bed and was pleasantly surprised that my foot seemed almost better.
I had some porridge and a cereal bar before getting kitted up and leaving for the 6:04 bus. I got to Reading and met up with Romuald where we boarded the train to Newbury. We arrived in no time and soon we were ready for the off. At the station there is a sign pointing to Reading which says 20 miles.
We set off at about 07:15 and headed for the canal. It was cold and windy and soon I realised that the wind was blowing from Reading to Newbury as so would be in our faces for the next 20 miles.
We started at a fair pace and I enjoyed the canal and the scenery. I felt nervous as I knew there was a long way ahead of us. After a couple of miles I took my coat off (big mistake) and left it on a bench.
We made reasonable progress and after 7 miles we quickened the pace a bit. Everything felt fairly good until about 13 miles and then I really started to feel rough as we headed across a boggy field into the driving cold wind. In hindsight I think I had overdosed a bit on Lucozade gel after having 3 in 12 miles. As the pace dropped I stiffened up and really struggled. I contemplated stopping but decided it would be too cold to walk and continuing to run would be the better option. Instead I tried to increase my pace, bend my knees and take longer strides. This had a positive effect and soon I was running with better technique and it wasn’t long before I got a second wind and started to feel much better. I think that I also started to relax and for the first time in the day I started to feel like I would finish the run!
The last few miles were interesting as we followed the River which was becoming more urbanised as we got closer to Reading. Then finally on exiting a tunnel there was the sign of the Oracle on the side of a building. We were nearly home. A final half mile through the town saw many strange looks from shoppers before we turned the corner and there it was Reading Station and Journey’s end. It was a great feeling and I looked back feeling proud of my achievement.