LEJOG Day 6: Selkirk to Edinburgh
Not really sure how to describe today. It’s been a long one, but not in cycling terms.
After ice and ibuprofen last night I had a faint hope that today would be better than yesterday, and that the contingency plan wouldn’t be needed.
But it wasn’t to be. After a slow start and hobble to breakfast, it wasn’t easy to get going on the bike.
But the ride turned out to be really nice.
I just find the Scottish countryside far more interesting and beautiful — even though it’s still just essentially farmland. The climb from Innerleithen was particularly stunning, and forgiving in terms of gradient.
But God it was slow. I had said I’d take it easy but I don’t think my legs were up for anything faster, I think I knew inside that I wasn’t going much further.
Eventually found my way through the Edinburgh suburbs to the Airbnb in Leith my parents were staying in. Was so happy and relieved to see them!
After a bath and some lunch I got an Uber to A&E. Got seen really quickly and straight away I was told it was Achilles tendonitis that I’d been battling since the top of Cheddar gorge.
The doctor was great, she had seen this situation so many times with injured people wanting to continue their challenges for charity and gave me plenty of advice of how to get through it. But she was also realistic about the weeks not days of rest it’ll take to recover, and that continuing will extend that, as well as risking something much more serious .
So it was decision time. On the bus to meet my parents I weighed everything up and sought advice. If I didn’t have my own wedding on the horizon I would have already decided to carry on, but as it was I came to realize that it would be mad to do that.
In a way I’d already been through the crushing disappointment in the last few days. What had started out as a simple holiday for me to ride my bike a load had turned into something different as soon as I’d started raising money for charity. And so the thought of stopping when I felt injury on day 2 was pushed to the back of my mind, it was probably only cramp, I’ll be fine.
But here I was 400 miles later and it definitely wasn’t cramp. And the thought of hobbling around my own stag do and wedding really didn’t seem worth it.
Hopefully I’ve proved myself over the past few days through these updates. I’ve really enjoyed writing them and love the fact I’ll have them to look back on in the future. And everyone’s kind words, encouragement and donations has really got me through (as well as the copious amounts of pies, Haribo, chocolate, and ibuprofen!)
So I’m absolutely gutted but it’s the end of the road for this adventure.
I’ll definitely be back to finish the job as soon as my fitness (and the weather) allows!
PS: Happy birthday dad! (and sorry for hijacking it)