I’ve been quiet, i’ve been nervous, i’ve achieved

It’s been a while since i blogged, why is this ? Truth is a) been really busy with work and b) been far too nervous about recovery from my leg injury.  Good news is end of March i got approval to try running again, slowly (no choice, can’t even think about running fast) and not too far.

How have things gone ? Read on………….

So end of March, still had bone bruising, too painful to try hopping on my bad leg, but if i slowed down, wore sensible training shoes, then i was ok.

I had maintained a base of fitness through cycling so moved back to running whilst keeping the long runs usually on the bike (double the run distance on the bike).  Things went well, i didn’t do interval training, i promised myself speed is not important, but ran hills, lots and lots of hills.  These were good as they forced me to slow down, but also tested my mind quite hard – i hate hills, that’s why i do them.

I still had my eye of the Three Forts Challenge, a 27.1 mile trail race, 1000 metres of elevation, the goal was to simply finish it with no damage to my leg.  I had 5 weeks to prepare for this, split 3 weeks training, 2 weeks taper.

In summary, all went well with the training, i got a couple of 21km runs in, a 30km and even a 32km run.  14 training runs, 5 tapers, plus the bike work, and the day of the event came.

I felt super nervous, the weather was terrible (worst in 12 year according to the organiser), i debated whether to pull my ace excuse out and blame the leg, but i decided to give things a go.

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Race was tough, hills, mud, rain, wind, mist all the way.  I say i enjoy trail running for the views and fresh air, i got none of this in this race.  There are 3 big hills to run, the middle one being called Devils Dyke, it’s horrid, just constant hill, with the wind howling around you, and not being able to see more than a few meters ahead of you.

As the race progressed, things got worse, 28km i got cramps, i always get cramps even when just sleeping, but this was bad.  I had taken onboard lots of hydration, i had salt tablets, i had compression socks, but still got them – i put this down to lack of conditioning.  As usual, kind fellow runners stopped to ask if i need help, as usual stubborn old me said no thanks, whilst thinking i still had 1/3’rd of the race to go.  I slowed down, i walked hills, i took on food, and occasionally broke back into a jog.  Final mile was all downhill, yippee i thought, until yet again i slipped, fell over with cramp, and thought to myself “how on earth can you now fail, you have 2km to go”.  I walked down the hill, brushed myself off ready to look all good for the crowds at the finish line, and did the final meters running.

Finished the race in just under 5 hrs, my goal was sub 5 so all good, even better is i finished with nothing major hurting on my leg.  Biggest issue was cramp, just getting changed at the end was painful.

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Usual things then crossed my mind, why do i do this, i’m no good at this, i’m not going to win anything, i’m never doing this again, etc, etc.  Sally had made a Rhubarb and Custard Cheesecake, suddenly i realised all this was worth it – cake, beer, and doing things i don’t like to do but it feel awesome and rewarding.

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Next race, it’s meant to be Peak Sky Race, 50k, 2000m elevation, i’m not going to be so naive for this, if i do it then 3 weeks of training will not be enough, so lets see what happens.

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