Hello Realbuzzers 😊
Well, for the past month life has been crazy-busy - so much work to do on the Open Space, including a full site survey (all 27 acres of it) for sycamore trees over 3”in diameter and any other invasive species. It’s taken quite a while and wading through waist high brambles rapidly became my least favourite part of it. Loved being outdoors so much though , especially on the woods where it’s been a little cooler 😊 Add to that footpath maintenance, reptile and glow worm surveys, then keeping up with a large garden, ordinary domestic stuff and suddenly I wonder where I used to find time to work for pay!
The plan was to take June off from training to try and give the ankles, foot, hip, neck and shoulder a chance to settle. Risky, given the 100k coming up in 2 days time 😬 Well, I took June off in the respect of not doing any lengthy training, after all, 5k’s don’t count do they? 😂😂 To my surprise, even with ‘rest’, I still managed to clock up 94 miles last month in 5k or less walks and runs - oops! 😂😂
My last blog saw me looking forward to the
HU5k on June 16th. It most definitely didn’t disappoint! Load of Realbuzzers, a great course, good weather, brilliant company and a wonderful catch up afterwards at Chairman Jims 😀 Running-wise, I really wasn’t feeling the love that day with an AS flare up having started two days beforehand and a couple of hours in the car hadn’t helped much. I tried to keep up with Libby and Max but after 1.5k, I had to drop back to ease up on the joints a bit. It’s so annoying when the breathing’s fine and the joints are the problem 😕 The uphills were gentle, but the hips still demanded that they be walked. Official time was 37:01 but both Runmeter and Garmin showed a run time of 36:11 and that was starting them both when the race started, not after crossing the start line so I’m pretty pleased with that. Even based on official times, I knocked a minute off last years time so I was really pleased given the joints felt pretty rough. Must be getting very slowly better at this running lark 😂😂
Parkrun the week after HU5k saw me miss my course PB by only 5 seconds. I distinctly remember losing heart on the last lap as I was still having a flare up, the joints were still really sore and I began to wonder why I continued to torment them. The answer to that has to be because this I refuse to let this damned disease win. It might slow me up, but I won’t let it stop me 💪So lesson learned, no matter how slow you think you’re going, don’t stop pushing and you might be surprised 😊 (The following week proved that when I knocked 55 seconds off my course PB even though I felt equally as rubbish 😁).
Between those two Parkruns though (I almost lasted the whole month without training 😂😂) I decided it was time to see what the rest had done for me. One thing for sure, I think it definitely made me generally more sore! We went out to Warburg Nature reserve near Henley and did a circular 16 miler from there. Nice steady pace, not pushing anything too hard but it became quickly apparent that the foot, ankles, hip and neck weren’t any better for the rest. The shoulder and knee were more settled though so that’s better than nothing 😊 Very pleasant walk that one - 27 degrees and wall to wall sunshine. The only bad bit was I got bitten three times by blasted horseflies! Walk time for 16 miles was 5:05 - not too shabby considering just over 1700 feet of ascent 😊
Stunning cool beech woods
Bear Grylls moment? 😂😂
The day after my Parkrun PB, my youngest Ben, left to take up a six month long internship in the Peruvian Amazon. The preceding week was pretty stressful as he prepared for the trip. We’re very close as we’re so alike. It’s a very real worry him being in an area full of jaguar, anaconda, black caiman and very poisonous snakes and a load of other fearsome things. From what he’s told us so far, it’s truly amazing and he’s enjoying it so very much. He gets 30 minutes of internet a week on Sundays and it’s so wonderful to be able to talk to him live 😀 If you want to follow his adventures, he’s trying to maintain a blog at https://beninthejungle.wordpress.com/
6th July saw us put in another 15 miles with 600 feet of ascent around Chiddingfold and Alford - a lovely area between the North and South Downs. Managed that one in 4:45 when the temperature was 29 degrees, so again, not pushing things too hard, just ticking over. Again, a very pleasant walk, lots of butterflies and that horrid phenomenon - a field of cows 😩 Not for me following the footpath across the centre of the field but Richard took it. Turned out they were all bullocks and they were VERY frisky!
Our favourite beasts (not!)
I crept around the edge of the field and slipped into the next field. There was no getting round it though. I had to cross part of that field. By now, Richard had reached the other side and yes, they turned all their attention on me. I was bricking it I can tell you! Being the wonderful gentleman he is, Richard stepped back into the field as soon as I started crossing and kept their attention off me. I put my sprinting skills to good use 😂😂 That was the last long one and here are a few pictures from it.
The old Wey-Arun canal, dug entirely by hand in just 3 years!
No idea why this one uploaded sideways, but you get the idea of the reward at the end 😁
The past two Saturdays I’ve been Tail Walker at Parkrun, so nice and steady although there was more running than planned last week when the walker I was with decided to quit at the end of the second lap and I had to run the last lap to catch up with the next ones 😂😂 In between the two Parkruns, I decided it really was time I pulled my finger out and did the 10k virtual race for our little Louie. I was so cross that the bones were sore that I decided to run rather than walk (and yes, it did make me feel much better mentally 😊). Shocking time though - 10.8km in 1:44 - as can walk faster than that 😂😂 but I enjoyed it anyway and that’s what counts 😊
I’d like to have got one more in, but there just hasn’t been a spare day to do it, so let’s hope that muscle memory is real and that stubbornness and determination will be enough for what’s coming on Saturday - the Jurassic Coast 100km Challenge! How do I feel about it? Bit mixed really but overall the old excitement is beginning to bubble up 😊 I know it’s going to be a fight with the bones, especially on the hills, but that’s nothing new really. I’ll be sporting enough KT tape to do justice to an Egyptian mummy 😂😂 It got me through the Shropshire 80k and I do feel mentally and physically stronger than before that one. It’ll also be a fight with fatigue - I’m really struggling to get any kind of balanced diet with the restrictions imposed by the silly histamine allergy and I suspect it’s really affected my energy levels but we’ll see. Today I baked a load of my own energy bars (some of you tasted them during the Snowdon weekend last year and they’ll be appearing again this year - pure rocket fuel 😊).
Inspired by the amazing feats of Em, Libby, Max, Yve and Bev last weekend I’ll certainly give it everything I’ve got. As ever, Richard will be by my side 😍 As in Shropshire, I know he’ll tuck my hand in his pocket to stop me wandering off if I start falling asleep 😂😂
Apologies for any typos and bits that probably make little sense - I’ve been trying to write this for over a week now!
Happy training everyone and have a great weekend 😀
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