A Year to Remember!

Posted on: 29 Dec 2017

Hello you amazing Buzzers 😀

Hope that you all had a fantastic Christmas, are well rested and fed and and are now keen to get started/continue on training for the challenges that 2018 holds for you. Whatever you have planned whether big or small, may your year be injury free and bring you and your loved ones the good health, happiness and fulfilment you all deserve. That bright shiny New Year is almost here and I never fail to feel excited at the prospect! Maybe it’s just getting old but each year only seems to last about six months these days! 

Quick summary of the year’s stats - recorded on Runmeter, 1230.7 kms (765 miles) walked and run (goes without saying that’s much more walking than running but aim just happy being able to do any running at all!) with 10,932m (32,913 ft) of elevation (doesn’t include the 3 to 5km daily walks as I don’t record them). 

I’ve been trying to sit down and blog for the last two weeks but it’s been a busy and pretty stressful time. I go into denial about Christmas approaching then in the last two weeks run round like a scalded cockerel and try and     do everything at once (and I’m lousy at accepting any help). The decorations didn’t even go up until the 23rd this year! Result - the biggest AS flare since starting on the magic meds and I can honestly say I haven’t missed that continual aching in my joints at all. Truth is I haven’t really been anywhere near top form since getting back from the Sahara (should you really need a nap after a Parkrun? 😂😂). An AS flare never helps as lousy fatigue goes hand in hand with it. I also know I don’t help myself as I just won’t take it easy - sitting still just makes me stiff and sore and I just can’t find the right balance of activity and rest.  You’ll have to forgive me because this blog is quite a long ramble (what’s new eh? 😂😂) and definitely not in much semblance of order! 

At least one piece of great news though, the Saharan bug finally seems to have vanquished by the nasty juice I mentioned last time and at last, I can enjoy the odd sweet thing again 😁 Only 7 more weeks of nasty juice and I’ll have completed the course. It tastes so bad I’ve almost got used to it now if you know what I mean 😂😂

So, whenever I’ve sat down, I’ve been falling sleep which has been so incredibly frustrating. Even worse I can’t stay asleep for more than 30 to 40 minutes before being woken up by one joint or another (but usually either back or neck). That’s a pattern that continues all night so I wake up most mornings still feeling utterly knackered. I’m still operating in daylight hours on the principal that if I’m upright, I can’t fall asleep so I don’t really help myself there 😂😂 I suspect my diet isn’t helping at all either. In the last few weeks I’ve started reacting very badly to meat and eggs in addition to all the other allergies which probably means I’m protein deficient as I also react to many of the veggie protein alternative options. My diet is now restricted to about 30 items. So, I’ve booked a docs appointment for tue 9th and I’ll see if I can get some professional help with this as it’s getting silly 😕

The plan was to restart long walk training at the beginning of this month and also add in one short run a week but sadly that hasn’t happened. Instead I’ve kept going with Parkrun and keeping up the daily 3 to 5k walks and finally getting the garden completely sorted to keep moving.  Via the local NASS group, one week in four I do an hour long hydrotherapy session (always hard work) and another is an hour of yoga which has reminded me of how stiff I’ve become in some directions. It’s much harder than I expected too! Other weeks I do an hour of gym circuits. Work on the Open Space continues several times a week with drainage ditches continually needing to be cleared of leaves and debris and bramble clearance continuing. I still reckon it’s good cross training but I’m really missing the long walks. I did a 12k amble with friends in the North Downs at the beginning of the month, then a short 8k amble up and down Combe Hill and Beacon Hill with Richard and the boys on Boxing Day. Rhys insisted we went the sleepest route up Beacon Hill bless him! It was much shorter than the planned 8 miles because of massive traffic delays and we ended up walking in the rain and chilly twilight.

Better than nothing I guess but my head wants so much more, including that extra short run once a week, but, it seems that the running might be causing a few problems again as the headaches and neurological symptoms in arms and legs have returned with a vengeance in the last couple of weeks. Initially it was while I was running and for an hour afterwards but since Christmas Day it’s been continuous 😕 I’m hoping it’s just a rotten coincidence and is part of the flare up rather than the running. It’s been particularly bad today so tomorrow I’ve volunteered for the finish funnel at Parkrun as I really don’t want to trip over my own feet and fall flat on my face! 

Training  is going to take a sizeable hit in the next few weeks as I’m off down to Bath on a 12 day residential AS course from Jan 22nd to Feb 2nd to get my movement as good as it can be again. I know from previous experience that at the end of the day I won’t have anything much left to go out for much of a run or walk and since the course covers the Saturday morning too I won’t even be able to indulge in a local Parkrun but on the plus side, it might improve my sleep and will also e a chance to get the neck and hips looked at 😊

I got another new Homewood Parkrun PB on Dec 2nd - the third in a row - only by 7 second’s but I’ll take that 😊 I’ve now got it down to 37:36  - nothing to write home about but I’m still proud of progress there this year, especially as Homewood is classified officially as the 43rd most difficult Parkrun in the UK. Our Christmas Day Parkrun was fantastic with many in fancy dress and 90 of us turning out to plough through the endless mud. My costume raised many a laugh and Ben pointed out that I looked quite like our fantastic Sir Bolty - a huge compliment but if only I could run as fast 😂😂

   Come hell or high water, training proper resumes on January 1st including a couple of  sessions a week of ‘training for hills with the help of a bench’ if you’re familiar with Wild Ginger Films on You Tube’, because next year hills will definitely be a feature 😀 So now I’ll tell you what I have planned so far for 2018 although some of you may already have picked up on one or two events already. 

Jan 19th - Winter Walk - nice little 20k warm up around the streets of London with Richard to get the year started.

March 17th/18th - the inaugural 80k Shropshire Way Ultra with Richard and the chance to spend some wonderful time with Lord and Lady Bolty 😁

March 31st - Easter Walk, 25 miles starting and finishing in Windsor. I’ll be doing this one solo.

May 27th - Vitality Westminster Mile. I loved this event last year - fantastic atmosphere and really hope that there’ll be a Parkrun Wave again.

June 16th - HU 5k 😁

July 21st/22nd - Jurassic Coast 100k Ultra with Richard 

8th/9th September - Thames Path Challenge 100k. Rich won’t have a bar of it (still got time to work on him yet though 😂😂). If he won’t join me I might do the 50k second half on my own instead and see if I can beat my 2015 time but it’ll be one or the other. 

October 27th - Snowdon Marathon with Richard and all you amazing Buzzers. I don’t care if I’m last (I’m a dead cert there), I just want to be there with my amazing friends and do it! 

February and August look a bit empty so I’ll keep my eye out for something else I fancy 😀

I’ll finish by rewinding a couple of weeks to December 15th when we managed a rare day out in London. As part of my birthday present earlier this year, Rich had bought two tickets for us to go up the Shard to the viewing platforms. We walked down South Bank from Waterloo to The Shard - memories of walking down there on the way to Mile 22 in previous years brought back many smiles and brilliant memories. This day was so much colder and wetter but there’s nothing like memories to warm your cockles. The Shard was amazing and I loved it (surprising given I’m not too good with heights). 

Up the Shard


Remains of the City of London Roman Wall near the Tower of London (lower part with red tile layers) with medival wall on top                                                                   

We combined it with the London Wall Walk. A general wander round after that then back up South Bank, taking in the Christmas market saw us cover about 12 miles. On the train home I took the opportunity to try and catch up on my e-mail, saw that HD had put his POTY blog up so settled down for a read. It was so amazing reliving all those fantastic Buzzer performances again. When I saw that I’d been nominated for the IOW Challenge I was so chuffed. A train packed full of standing commuters all looked at the batty woman squeaking and wriggling in her seat with excitement and positively glowing 😂😂 I read on shaking my head again at the increasingly amazing performances until I got to the winner. I read only a few words in then snapped my phone shut......total and utter shock is the only way I can describe that moment. Tears started quietly streaming down my face and Rich asked what was up. Couldn’t speak. I passed him my phone and he read, then asked why I wasn’t even more excited and happy. By now, the interested commuters were all looking sideways at me as well. I must have looked a right state! Still couldn’t get a word out. Couldn’t even read the rest until we’d been home a couple of hours. Just total utter shock! From the bottom of my heart, thank you so so much, that award means the absolute world to me and always will (I’m blubbing again just reliving the moment dammit!). I still think that it should have been yours HD as you pulled off incredible performance after incredible performance 11 times last year - that makes me no less grateful and proud of slogging out those Saharan miles, just calling it as I see it 😊 Thank you so much again for organising the POTY awards and trophy again HD and massive thanks to you all for continually inspiring and supporting me. That fantastic trophy will have pride of place as long as I live, a constant reminder never to quit, that impossible really is a lie and I’m still utterly humbled by it. Without you guys, I’d just be plain old Kathy and I mean that very sincerely - Realbuzz changed my life forever and boy was it for the better 😘😘


It only remains for me to wish each and every one of you the very best for 2018 again and I’m so looking forward to meeting up with many of you again throughout the year. I’m certain it’s going to be an absolutely unbelievable year of gutsy, gritty, inspirational and amazing performances from the Buzzers because together we are one hell of an incredible team 😁😁😁

Happy training everyone X


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