Posted on: 10 Dec 2015

I'm sticking to my cape wrath countdown because I need the reminder!

The low down is that I suffered a bit post Snowdon running wise. It was to be expected really. You can't just run a marathon with an injury off no training and expect to emerge unscathed. I stiffened up afterwards and the following weeks at physio were spent on exercises to loosen up over-tight hamstring and lower back. Lying flat on my back my left leg lift was only possible to about 25 degrees! I've worked at it and slowly become more flexible again though not close to where I was pre back injury. I was discharged from the hospital in mid November and given a sheet of exercises to work at home on to gain more movement and then increase strength again . I also have to work on core strength and stability to protect the lower back from similar injury in the future. This core strength will be essential in the longer distance multi day challenge that I will face next May.
Running took a back seat, I needed to improve more general flexibility again before I laced up the running shoes. November was an odd month, there were the strong memories of Snowdon, a frustration with injury and a realisation that there were less than 6 months to go to Cape Wrath Ultra. The dawning that 6 months to prepare for this challenge is not a long time, the more I read about it the more I understand what a monster it is ( a beautiful monster ), average daily mileage is over 30 and the terrain is very tough.
This all coincided with a very busy period at work which continues to build and build as we approach Christmas. Truly I'm thankful for this busy time and the money it generates but I feel more burnt out the longer the year goes on. I'm ready for a break.
The guilt comes from my separation from Realbuzz. Lack of running and a busy life have meant I have not been a big part of the community for weeks. I started out here to record progress as I worked towards London 2013, running and blogging went hand in hand. Writing became part of the training routine and the friendships became part of the bigger picture. The support and encouragement were unexpected but probably the reason I finally succeeded in my marathon quest and certainly the glue that has secured future ambitious goals and targets. I have a lot to thank Realbuzz for and that's why there's guilt if I don't read blogs and comment on a regular basis - sorry for those that I've missed recently. I hope that when things slow down after Christmas I'm able to get back to being more of a regular! What's important is that it has to be a pleasure and not a chore.
Two weeks ago I decided it was time to give it a go again. The hardest mile is that first one, not physically but mentally - just telling yourself to get out and go again, to trust that everything would be ok. So I started with a mile. Just one mile, not fast and that was the start of training that hopefully takes me to May 22nd 2016, the start day of the Cape Wrath Ultra. Two days later I did 2 miles, then 3, then 4. This week I started the week with 2 miles, then 3, 4 and 5 to do at the weekend. Slow progress but it's progress. I've got a very tight left hamstring and a few other aches but I'm working on these, it's a patient multi pronged attack! 
It seems that others are also at a lower ebb at the back end of the year, I reckon that it's normal to feel that way. Most have pushed hard for months, a break to re charge is important, embrace it, use the time to plan for new adventures in 2016. New year , new challenges and possibilities, we are stronger than we think we are!
Well done to all who have run or walked a little further or faster this year and well done and thank you to those who encourage and support. Let's do it a gain but even better in the new year.


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