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May 20th 2015

Paul Spence Ibiza Challenge (Day 2) : It’s so tough, but it’s made me reflect on my brain injury recovery

Paul Spence Ibiza Challenge (Day 2) : It’s so tough, but it’s made me reflect on my brain injury recovery

Another day, another marathon.

Another day, another marathon.

Once again it has been tough, tougher than I expected to be honest. Unlike back home in Hull, Ibiza is hilly. There are very few flat stretches.

Like day one, we were again running on beaches, through forests, and along cliff sides as we headed north-west from Portinatx to San Antonio.

My route planner James had assured me after the mountain on day one that marathon two wasn’t as steep. That was welcome news, but as we reached a big incline just a couple of miles in, I finally realised that we had very different ideas of what a hill is!

Thankfully, I had put in some training on the hills at Brantingham in the weeks before flying out here, and that has helped me get through the tougher spots of the courses so far.
Make no mistake though, my legs are aching and I am fully aware that I now face a really difficult two final days. I’ll come through though. I have a great support team here and I am determined to complete the challenge.

What has been really pleasing so far has been the positive impact of what I am doing, both in terms helping raise awareness of brain injuries and the support people need during Headway’s Action For Brain Injury Week, but also the impact it is having on me personally.

Ever since suffering my brain injury three years ago, I have struggled to deeply understand certain situations and events. It’s hard to describe, but this challenge is a perfect example.
Despite all the planning, training and preparation for this trip, it has only just hit me now I am here and doing it how monumental it is to be taking on this challenge, just three years after my injury.

That realisation dawned on me as I was running my second marathon. It was as though it suddenly hit me as to how far I have come, and how lucky I am to be in the health I am now. It has been an emotional experience if I am honest.

For me, the challenge here is to run four marathons. For others, the challenge could be to run four miles, or even just take four steps.

When you are recovering from a brain injury, it is all about focussing on your goals, staying positive, and seeing each small bit of progress as a milestone.

The support out here in Ibiza has been excellent too. The island newspaper, Diario de Ibiza, had me on the front and back pages, with articles all about my challenge and my reasons for doing it.

It’s great to see people being inspired, and donating to my cause to help me in my goal of establishing a walk-in support centre.

If you can help, please do donate at https://pledgie.com/campaigns/29249

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