Posted on: 09 May 2019

Hello Buzzers 😊

Well, over a month this time without blogging! Trouble is that life is so busy that every time I sit down I fall asleep 😂😂 So this morning, I’m sitting in the car being driven down to Bath for my annual AS check up and finally I have some time and am awake then will hopefully get this posted later 😁

I did my first stint as parkrun Race Director at Homewood last month and it wasn’t half as bad as I thought it was going to be. The only real problem was that the laptop misbehaved afterwards so getting the results processed was a bit of a palaver but I got there eventually 😊 The upside of becoming an RD is I’ve just scored a free entry to a local 10k next month - it seems that local races quite often give half a dozen free entries to local parkruns which is brilliant! 

After going a bit overboard with trying to get back to running before skiing, I promised myself I’d cut the running/run-walking down to 3 days a week with walking in between. The ankles were so much better after a week in ski boots that I didn’t want them to kick off again. I sort of kept that promise except that I often jog a bit while walking as (a) I always seem to be running late for everything these days and (b) I just love how it feels 😊 Sad to say that the ankles have got pretty sore again though - there’s a lot of tendon and arthritic damage in both. The left one’s not too bad but the right one isn’t much fun at all. The hip continues to make good progress though and as long as I wear compression leggings, gets nothing more than a bit achy. The pain in the right hip is definitely more noticeable now but not bad enough to consider doing anything about.  

I’d been concentrating on shorter runs as I’ve a fair few of those in the pipeline this year and they’re easier to fit into a busy day and don’t wind the joints up quite so much. Then the realisation dawned last month that I have an ultra coming up this month and rapidly reasoned I’d better pull my finger out and get some distance in. I entered a new race on the scene - the Dulux Revolution 50k Trail, which is coming up on Saturday. I thinks it’s actually 52k in the blurb and is fairly local to me - half Chilterns, half Thames Path, so should be interesting. I entered this one post hip surgery so I’d have a good target to work towards and to see if I can actually still do ultras - it’s definitely questionable since the hip surgery whether it’s going to be possible. 

As an aside, I’ve been after some Altra Neo trail boots (designed for running) for over a year but they’re so hard to get hold of. I eventually found a pair online in the size I wanted (a men’s 8.5! - wearing Altras has definitely made my feet grow again 😂😂). Hopefully, these will give the ankles a little more support (my ankles roll at the drop of a hat!). This brand really does seem to help reduce the impact on joints while running and walking and although the zero drop takes a little getting used to, I absolutely love them so I now have a trail pair, road pair and the running boots. 

Three weeks ago when the ‘oh heck I haven’t done any distance training realisation’ dawned and although I’d managed the Big Half in March 10th, I’d only done short distances since. So, some unconventional training was called for (what a surprise 😂😂). On April 17th I was expecting the Altra boots to be delivered so I got kitted up ready to go out on my first long one since August! Crazy contemplating that in brand new footwear right? Not really, I’ve always found the Altras good to go straight out of the box 😊 It would be the day that the postie didn’t turn up until 1pm though eh? Just as well the nights are so much lighter now 😊 As soon as the new boots were out of the box and on my feet I was off. Might sound a bit crazy but I’d planned a little personal run/walk marathon. It was a lovely sunny day, great temperature and it went far better than I expected it would. I managed to run/walk to about 10 miles, then the worst ankle got a bit grim and the hips a little achy so it was mostly walking after that. Still, I managed my fastest marathon distance so far - 26.4 miles in 6:20 so I was happy that I could still do that kind of distance and time. Not much elevation on that route though! 

After that it was pretty much straight into tapering so a 20 mile run/walk at a very similar pace the week after then last week, a 12 miler at a similar pace again and short hillier excursions in between. A great meet up and fantastic time was had as part of the cheer squad at mile 22.5, cheering on our Buzzers and all the other runners as well. 19km covered that day too 😊 Let’s hope it’s enough! At least I have stubbornness on my side 😁 

This week I’m supposed to be resting but we all know life isn’t like that! I might be resting from any running, but conventional resting - not a chance 😂😂 Last Saturday was World AS Day and as it was a week pre-Ultra I’d intended to volunteer at parkrun. I didn’t want to injure myself on those fearsome tree roots  and pine cones that litter our local course so close to the event. But it was World AS Day so how could I not run? 😂😂 Bedecked in my best orange and NASS vest (I’m sure that several people thought they were about to be ‘Tangoed’!),  I only went and got a new all time 5k PB of 35:45 (even beating my flat Fulham Palace parkrun PB) 😁 I know, still slow, but for me it’s a huge deal and I’m absolutely over the moon with that, especially on that course! It was just one of those days where everything comes together and feels good - I got the ankle and knee taping just right, the course was dry I could run more than I usually would 😊

On Monday I manned our local parkrun stand at the village May Fair for 5 hours, got thoroughly frozen despite multiple thermal layers (that wind was wicked!) and ate my own body weight in cake 😂 I had to jog there because I was running late (again!) and jog home to warm up. Tuesday was house cleaning day (sigh!) and trying to catch up in the garden.

Yesterday I was out learning all about a very rare Caddis Fly then surveying a local site for it - very wet and totally fruitless but I still really enjoyed it 😊 The various joints got rather sore as the habitat it’s found in comprises huge mounds of tussock grass with little hidden boggy pools between them. I think I found every single pool! Goretex boots are fine as long as the water doesn’t go over the top and yes it did, so many times 😂😂 I had a cup of tea when I got home before heading out into the Open Space knowing I’d have a huge blockage to clear from a certain drainage ditch after some seriously hefty showers yesterday. An hour of raking and shovelling later and water flow was restored. It’s just so good to see a bit of water back in our wetland area. It’s been so dry this winter that the pond had been reduced to just three very shallow puddles. Sadly, I don’t think the newts and frogs will have done too well this year 😕 Let’s just say that didn’t really ease the sore joints any 😂

Today I’ve been down to Bath for my annual AS check up and these bones really don’t appreciate long journeys, although at least it’s a been more of a rest than the last few days! Tomorrow is laundry day and getting my kit ready so there won’t be much sitting down there either. Oh well, rest is probably overrated 😂 

It’s great to have my mojo back though and this next one, I really am looking forward to it. If I can do 42km, then hopefully I can hang on until 52km. I’ve entered as a walker but intend to run/walk as far as I can. Wish me luck and see you on the other side 😁

Happy training! 


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