Thames Path 100k

Posted on: 22 Sep 2019

Well I survived and for the short version, I did it, all of it 😁 Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a very long blog!!  😂

I was actually more organised for this one (I’m still usually running around at midnight the night before an event packing 🤣 I had everything ready by 5pm Friday so the plan was an early bath and bed since I’d be getting up at 5am and Richard at 6 (I need time to get moving first thing 😂). We planned as though I’d finish (though I still had major doubts!) - Richard would drop me off then go home for a short while, then would carry my food and spare  kit and be at the major CP’s at 28, 50 & 78km, then at the finish, grabbing a bit of sleep in the car where he could. If I had to pull out, nowhere was a huge distance away 😊

Well, the early bedtime didn’t happen - I got engrossed in a movie but at least it counted as rest 😊 After a nice hot relaxing bath,  I absolutely plastered my right shin in a mix of every potion I’d  so far, covered it up & even   tually turned in around 1am. For once I actually slept well  - almost four hours with only a few short wake ups and that’s a really big deal for me. The shin was just a very mild ache and suddenly this felt like a very positive start to the day 😊 My start was officially 9.10 but I planned to be there early in the hope I’d be allowed to start earlier. 

Breakfast of pears and yoghurt first (yes, no carbs - I decided to stick with my normal breakfast routine) in the hope that my stomach would behave better through the day than it has for every other event so far this year!  I got all my gear on at the last minute hoping that my innards would cooperate and isn’t it just Sod’s Law that nope! Not today of all days 😂😂 Raidlight calf sleeves went on under the Skins, having first plastered the shin with more potions, then the NASS vest went on with pride 😍 We left home around 6.45am, getting to Putney around 7.30. Nowhere for Richard to park so with a shout of ‘good luck’ I was dropped off at the entrance to Bishops Park. Some had already started and there was a steady stream of participants already heading back over the bridge to the south bank. 

No queue for registration, which was good, so that was very straightforward. Got everything sorted then went to find a good friend made on the Saharan Challenge a couple of years ago who was volunteering at the start. It took a while but was a splendid reunion 😊 Had a quick catch up, then checked with the lady at the entrance to the start pen whether I’d be able to get off earlier than my allotted start and she said that wouldn’t be a problem. I should be able to make the 8.10 start - happy days 😊 Having a wander round to keep the nerves steady and wouldn’t you just know it? Now the innards wanted to cooperate 😂😂 Ah well, better than ten minutes after I’d started 😂😂 So a visit to the sani privy meant I missed the 8.10 start which was annoying, so I went with the 8.30 start instead - better than nothing 😊 At least it gave me time to get a pic done at the start too.

                 

The weather was just about perfect for the task ahead - part cloudy, dry, an expected high of 18 and an expected night time low of 6. Last time I did this with Richard a couple of years ago 3 years ago it rained all day then was a thickly foggy 7 degree night. So, the night section should be comparable in terms of what to expect in terms of temperature and the kit needed. I didn’t do the over-enthusiastic warm-up that Action Challenge events have a great love of. I’d rather do my own gentle stretches right at the front of the pen where many others were doing the same. Glad to know I’m not the only grump 😂 Soon enough we were off and I’m glad I was at the front (about 200 starters per wave). A couple of runners overtook me within yards but the path ahead was clear for quite some time after the start which was wonderful. Everything felt good and as my confidence rose, my promise to myself that I’d take it easy to try and last the distance went right out of the window. To hell with it, I was going to try and get a PB after all 😂😂 I naturally just settled into my normal comfortable walking pace of 6 to 6.5kph. Whether I could keep it up remained to be seen! 

So much of that early section has awkward cobbled and rough bits that are hard on the ankles but the Altra’s coped pretty well with them. I’d taped both feet and ankles the night before (yes, I’ve finally found one that I can apply the night before and it sticks all the day after and beyond without any problems at all!) & wore a pair of thin Injinji liner toe socks with a thick pair of Teko merinos on top, so plenty of padding and the feet were extremely comfortable. By the 5k mark I’d caught up with the tail enders of the 8.10 group plus I was already seeing benches with people sitting on them dressing blisters - I really felt for them, they weren’t going to have a good day at all! From there to the 28k rest stop, it was crowded all the way. Add to that the many runners and cyclists coming towards us, plus the Rebellion Extinction gathering completely blocking the path in one location and it was a bit of a trial at times. I just kept looking straight ahead, picking my line very carefully so not too much dodging was involved - the bones really don’t respond well to it.

The first rest stop was in Richmond at 14km and was busy. A queue for the loo, then a quick dive into the marquee to pick up a cup of tea (I took my own vacuum mug so I didn’t have to hang around to drink it), picked up a couple of Freddos and a bag of crisps and I was in and out in 11 minutes 😊 The crisps and chocolate went down a treat and were followed by one of my own energy bars and and S Tab for good measure. I was drinking well (unusual for me. I was so determined to get this right as I’ve learned so many times how poor hydration increases joint pain. The hips were getting a bit achy already but nothing too bad and the shin was just the mildest ache so I was really pleased with how it was going. The hip pain inevitably did start to increase though so a dose of painkillers went down the hatch before it built up too badly. Onwards through Twickenham, Ham to Kingston and the first river crossing and the first set of steps. After 22km on the flat, the steps came as quite a shock to the hips 😂😂 I think people assume that a flat course is easy but it’s far from it. The same repeated stresses on the joints with nothing to break it up 😕 Then the section to Hampton Court Palace along a rough bit of footpath which seemed to go on forever! Quite a lot of people were sitting by the path dressing blisters by now and I so felt for them 😕 

Over the bridge and to the 28k rest stop at Molesey and I’d managed to hold the pace pretty well so far 😁 I surprised Richard by being rather earlier than he expected 😂 A trip to the loo, a large pot of home made rice pud consumed, Richard filled up my tea mug and I was in and out in 19 minutes. The shin was behaving, I was feeling far better than I expected, over a quarter of the way done in 4.5 hours and I was one very happy bunny 😁

                              

The next section is one where I’ve done so much of my training over the years and only a few miles from home. It’s also a section where the paths start getting much rougher so the pace naturally slowed just a little. The next rest stop wasn’t very far at all (at 37k). The one and half minute stop time reflects getting scanned and picking up a Freddo and a bag of peanuts, checking there was nothing else I could eat (there wasn’t 😕) and leaving again. After a short section on road, we were onto a grassy section through the field around Chertsey. Again, my pace slowed a little as it’s much harder work for the hips trying to walk along a very narrow path through hard-baked rough grassland even when the grass is short and that's how it was until about 42k where the riverside path became rather smoother again . By then the hips were really letting me know they weren’t at all happy 😕  My target was the ice cream van at Penton Hook lock at the 44k mark - a favourite stop on all training runs along this route 🤣 This time, I had a cunning plan though! I bought two Calippos and carefully placed one on each hip between skins and skort. Other walkers must have thought I was very strange but believe me, it was instant bliss 😁 Now with a smile on my face again, I knew it was only 6k to halfway and I was making good time. Ten minutes of icing and the hips felt numb plus I then had two lovely Calippos to eat - a great way to keep the fluids up and rehydrate 😊

Just as I got to Staines (or Staines-Upon-Thames as it is now properly known), I saw two fellow parkrunners from Homewood (my home parkrun), Steve & Jane, coming towards me shouting my name. What a fabulous feeling that was 😁 They’d come to lend some support at halfway but arrived early so walked down to meet me. It’s noticeable that with some happy chat, my pace picked up again  for the last 3km into halfway. Then just the biggest and best surprise of all - Mad Max and Rukai waiting with Richard to greet me. Add to that the realisation that I’d just got a new 50k PB and I swear I could have flown. Moments like this are few in life but when they happen, they’re so worth waiting for 😁

                 

                 

No idea why the first one is sideways but I  can’t change it! 

My plan had been to move through 50k in 20 minutes again, but with such awesome company, I spent 45 minutes there instead and I’m so glad it did as it really fired me up ready for the night section 😊 A trip to the loo, another cup of tea, finished the drinks I was carrying while it cooled and ate a large home made sandwich. My drinks were kindly refilled for me (Max is a coke-flattener extraordinaire 🤣). Although it was only about 4.30pm, it was time to start preparing for the night section so I wouldn’t have to be fussing around on the move. 

So, all geared up with the new chest light in place, Head torch ready at the top of my pack and new snacks on board, I left halfway around 4.45pm and felt really good again. The hips had had a bit of a rest and another dose of pain relief was kicking in. I felt strong and happy 😊 Only once did the thought ‘right I’ve only got to do the same again’ occur and that was rapidly displaced with ‘if I can do the same again, that’s going to be a whacking chunk off my 100k PB’ 😂 It was noticeably quiet with far fewer people around once past halfway. That suited me fine - no one to have to try and overtake on the often narrow path by the river. I knew that up ahead there was a kind of creepy bit in Old Windsor where after a short road section, you cut off through a swampy overgrown section with slippery boardwalks here and there and I really wanted to be through that before dark. I got through it well before dark and it wasn’t so creepy this time as all the overgrown vegetation had been well cut back. It seemed no time at all before I was approaching Windsor itself. I’d hoped to get a nice photo of Windsor Castle silhouetted by the sunset but it’s a bit early in the year for that - more of a winter shot. I did, however , get a stunning sunset shot of the river! 

               

It was full dusk when I reached Windsor. People sitting outside dining at the riverside restaurants, the delicious smells of food. Here I overtook a rueful bunch of runners who were hobbling along regretting their huge efforts of running to 50k and who now had huge blisters. Kudos to them though, they weren’t stopping! Over the bridge where a hen party were being photographed, obviously having a riotous time. It was a relief to enter the quieter riverside fields of Datchet and Eton beyond. There was still just enough light to see and I only turned on the chest light on the final approach to the 63k CP so I could be seen. Scanned, into to the loo, planning on making this a minimal stop. Out of the loo and two steps towards the marquee and a searing burning pain that I can’t remember the like of before through my right sacroiliac joint. My only thoughts after ‘ooh b*****’ were do not change your expression, do not  limp, do not attract the attention of a medic, smile and wave, smile and wave 😂 Filled up my mug with tea, added a load of sugar, picked up a slice of pineapple which was truly lush, pocketed a couple of Freddos and I was on my way. Walk straight, walk straight, just shut up back would you? The chap with the scanner had me turn my lights on before I left and also hung a glow stick on the back of my pack. 

Off down the dark path back towards the Thames and the pain in my lower back was growing with every step. Going through the mind was ‘damn it, this could really be a game changer’ 😥 Never even thought for a minute about the instant ice pack that I was carrying in my pack in case the shin kicked off. Stupid! That would have really helped. Fiddled around with the waistband of my skins, pushing it lower and off the site of pain and that helped some. Nothing for it, plod on girl, it’ll probably ease up anyway. Bloody AS! 15km to the next CP - a long way with a potentially worsening problem 😕 The only comforting thought was that if it got too bad, I knew that Richard would come an pick me up if needs be, but the words ‘hell’ and ‘freezing over’ were at the forefront of my mind. 

Then the back muscles went into spasm just to add to the joy. Fixed that with a muscle relaxant (thank heavens for meds! It took 45 long minutes to kick in though and I think that I just counted steps all that time, eyes fixed firmly ahead, cursing and swearing when my foot caught on some unseen lump in the path.. I didn’t come this far to quit!  My phone alarm now beeped which meant I could now take more pain meds. After a while, the pain slowly settled to ‘tolerable’ unless I caught my foot on anything. I can’t remember much about this stretch to be honest but one memory is very clear and it really made me smile. A tiny wood mouse was caught in the beam of my head torch and he froze, sitting up to have a closer look at this odd thing before him, before deciding that I wasn’t a threat and slowly going on his way investigating the grassy path edge. A few seconds later, a bat wheeled a foot in front of my face - one of those moments when you see so much in just a fleeting second  - brown wings, much bigger than a pipistrelle, velvety head and black eyes. Absolutely stunning and what a privilege 😍

I  knew that Richard would be at the next CP. Memories are a bit hazy here but I remember being convinced that this CP was at 72k then feeling so happy that it was actually at 78k 😊 I asked for two of the instant ice packs to put one on each hip while I had a short rest so they must have been bothering me far more than the back at this stage. Afterwards, Richard said that I certainly didn’t confess about the back problem at that stage. Once I sat down, while Richard got me a cup of tea, I cooled off incredibly quickly and soon felt pretty cold and the ice packs didn’t exactly help either 😂 I wasn’t at all hungry but managed to eat a pear and a bit of energy bar. I had other warm layers in my kit bag but based on our previous experience at this temperature, I thought just an extra fleece would be all I needed so Richard gave me in his lovely warm gilet while he fetched my orange fleece from the car where I’d left it in the morning. I debated putting on an extra pair of winter weight tights but decided against it as I’d probably get too hot. Fleece now on (and Richard’s gilet now wrapped around my legs) I asked him if he could get my hat and trail gloves out of the kit bag while I got another cup of tea then I’d be off. I’d been wearing fingerless compression gloves all day to keep the fat fingers at bay but they have no thermal value at all. He went through the bag twice and said they weren’t there 😳 I had a look too and couldn’t find them so became convinced they’d somehow dropped out of the bag unnoticed at halfway 😕 Oh well, I had a spare buff to add to the still pretty damp one I was already wearing and I’d just have to put up with cold hands so just around midnight, off I went into the night again with no one in sight either in front or behind, cup of tea in hand. 

12km to the next and last CP before the finish. Nothing was going to stop me now 😊 Only a couple of kms out of the CP, was a young woman on the path who looked as though she was struggling. I didn’t think twice, just slowed down to her pace and asked if she was OK. She said she felt sick and didn’t know if she was going to make it to the end. I asked her if she’d had anything salty on the last few hours and she hadn’t but she did have a bag of crisps in her bag. I could see that she was struggling to eat them, but with a lot of distracting conversation over the next 6km or so, they went down, she began to sip water again and feel a lot better and her pace began to pick up too. We went through Marlow together, which I was quite glad of. There’s a section there where the path weaves through a section of narrow alleys with 3 storey buildings on each side and where my imagination always runs wild - nowhere to escape to if any shady characters approached 😂 No one there at that one of night though. As we walked on past the bridge, the thin wisps of mist rising from the river looked magical 😊 Shortly after, Marlow, she stopped to put on an extra layer and now I knew she was OK again, I asked if she minded if I kept going as I didn’t want to stiffen up. A big smile told me all I needed to know so on I went. On my own again, I began to realise how cold I was starting to feel myself, that the back was really starting to make its presence felt again, and I was starting to feel nauseous too. I’d stopped eating and drinking and the very thought made me feel queasy. Ah well, only about 12k to go, I’d survive 😊 

Just before the 90k CP is the steepest and longest footbridge on the whole of the Thames that joins Berkshire and Buckinghamshire - Temple Bridge. I remember it well from last time! It’s a single span hardwood bridge some 80m long and the steep ascent and descent are ridged with wooden bars on each side so pedestrians don’t slip and has a smooth section in the middle for cyclists. Whoever determined  how far apart those bars were placed - I hope their ears burned right off 😂😂 I couldn’t keep any sort of a regular pace going across there and I stumbled several times because of them but the central unbarred section was just a bit too slippery to risk in the high humidity. The ascent and descent both hurt the back like hell and the very rooty section of the footpath that followed made things even worse. The 90k CP sits in a meadow off the path and glowed like a small alien spaceship. Because of its small and open nature, you know there’s going to be no momentary warmth to be had there so this was going to be a very brief stop. Just like last time, it was very quiet indeed. The two volunteers on duty were wrapped up in thick coats and still look freezing cold! I didn’t need the loo but I did grab a cup of tea in the hope that it would warm my hands up a bit and that I might even be able to drink some of it.  After a couple of minutes I was off again. Another half an hour and I could have another dose of painkillers and hopefully get the pain under control again for the last push to the finish. 

The next few kms were through riverside fields and here the mist thickened up so much at times that only the very narrow path through the rough heavily dewy grass was the only guide. That’s where the chest light really came into it’s own - I could see the path clearly with it but with the head torch, only thick mist. Route markings just weren’t visible at times. That’s when I really started to feel the cold. I’d had to slow up again because of the back and was getting colder and colder. I just couldn’t swallow any of the tea I was carrying, it just wouldn’t go down so I threw it away. If I couldn’t swallow a drink, then I couldn’t take the painkillers either so that was that - deal with it! If I’d have been thinking straight, I p’d have at least rinsed water around my mouth because it was so incredibly dry but logic had gone out of the window. I tried giving myself a good talking to, I thought of all you Buzzers so many times and just kept plodding forward. Then the eyes started to roll. They’d close for a second (only it was probably more like 10) and I was  brought to sharp awareness again by a stumble and pain. I was approaching the deer park and finally a smoother and wider gravel path. Through the thin chilling mist here, I could see white shapes not far from the path. A look with the head torch made me smile - glowing eyes everywhere. Was I hallucinating? No, this was a moment of lucidity in what was becoming a bit of a nightmare. This was the herd of white Sika deer, the only herd outside Scandinavia. I last saw them in daylight many months ago and they are stunning 😊 The deer park is the only ‘hill’ on the route. Many complain about it afterwards but to be honest, it’s just a gentle incline. Even so, that gentle incline made the back pain worse 😕 That’s where I started to weave from side to side. All I wanted to do was curl up and sleep, I was shivering hard and no matter how hard I tried or mentally kicked myself, I just couldn’t pick up any speed in order to warm up because it was just too damned painful 😕

I slowly became aware of a light approaching behind and stopped and looked back. An old chap who was also doing the challenge was about 20 feet behind me. I said hello and to please excuse my language but he just kind of grunted. I thought he’d pass me but he didn’t. The exit to the deer park was quite a challenge to my befuddled brain - some complicated ‘lift this while pulling that’ mechanism (must be clever these deer you know!). l was trying to get a closer look at the mechanism when I hit my eye rather hard on the iron gate - that certainly smarted and woke me up a bit and resulted in even more curses 🤣🤣 The lane past the Flowerpot pub back down to the river seemed to be twice as long as it used to be! It probably was given how much I was weaving around 😂 

I knew from training that the finish was now 7km away “Come on woman, sort yourself out.....no I just want to sleep.....I want a duvet.....damn it’s so cold.” were the thoughts constantly going through my head. The path from there to Henley is very close to the river’s edge with no vegetation to stop you if you happen to lurch the wrong way. I tried to stay as close to the other side as I could, knowing the risks. Every time I looked back, there was the old chap just keeping the same space between us. I began to wonder again if I was imagining this chap! If he was real, then I figured that maybe I looked so unsteady that he was just making sure I didn’t fall in the river. At one gate, he almost caught up and I remember thanking him for keeping an eye on me. He just said ‘I think I see the glow of Henley on the distant horizon’ then dropped back again. I must say the wonderfully lit arches of Henley Bridge were the most beautiful sight and despite the shivering and the pain, one last surge of adrenaline began to kick in. Just over that bridge and a short way along the river the other side was the finish line. Not much lurching now but still plenty of cursing 😂 In a dark section just before the finish I could see Richard waiting. He didn’t see me approaching so I had to stop and ask him if he was coming! As he said afterwards, all he could see were approaching lights. No run to the finish this time. Absolutely nothing left to give. Looked at the watch - around 0425 - that sub 20 was going to be mine even with the stops 😁 Only two people on the finish line, one to scan your pass and the other to put the bling around your neck so a bit of an anticlimax. They tried to make a lot of noise but it’s hard with only two! I declined the glass of cheap fizz and went to pick up a tee shirt. The old chap who’d finished just behind me stood alongside and I tried to thank him again for looking out for me but all he said was ‘I’ve got a new PB’ and smiled. Maybe he was in a pretty rough state too and I just wasn’t capable of noticing any more. I congratulated him and lurched off toward the marquee where I knew it would be much warmer. Richard met me again on the way, huge hugs and then I think he began to realise I wasn’t in great shape. I never even got a finish photo 😕 

The smell of bacon butties entering the marquee nearly made me turn round and leave again. Such a shame because that’s the best bit of finishing an ultra! Richard headed straight off to get me a cup of tea and by the time he got back I was shivering incredibly hard. Another walker had come across in the meantime and asked if I was OK and as usual, I said fine thanks, just a really cold. He said he’d have got a space blanket for me but they’d run out hours ago!! I really wasn’t thinking - I’d had both space blanket and survival bag in my pack and never given them a moments thought. Then my stomach started going into some kind of unpleasant rhythmic spasms so I just doubled over on my chair and between that and the back pain, I’m certain I must have been groaning. Richard took one look when he got back, wrapped his jacket around me and said he’d be back in a minute. He came back with a thick duvet that he’d got in the car for when he’d grabbed a bit of sleep. No way was anyone going to prise me out of that for several hours!! After 10 minutes or the stomach spasms had calmed down a lot and I tried sipping the tea. Yes! Hot tea and small sips I could now manage. I don’t think I’d managed to drink anything since 78k. I even managed to get that next dose of painkillers down. Richard took charge and as soon as I’d finished the tea, he bundled me off to the car which was very close by. Wrapped in the duvet still, heating on ‘tropical’, he belted me in and that’s the last thing I remember until we backed onto our drive an hour later. 

I stumbled in through the door. The combination of stopping moving and the painkillers had made life more comfortable. Richard asked me if I was going straight up for a hot bath. The next time he asked I didn’t hear because I was curled up on the sofa, completely invisible under the duvet, spark out 🤣 I eventually woke up about 9ish and it wasn’t pretty! Every time I tried to move my right leg, there was horrible sharp pain through the right side of my back 😕 It’s the first time I’ve ever gone upstairs on hands and knees after an event and needed help in and out of the bath. That’s when Richard had a look at my back and said there were couple of odd bumps and largish red swollen area just to one side of my spine right where the worst pain was. He had to take a photo to show me because there was no other way I was going to see it without the aid of a hall of mirrors 🤣 So it looked like a trip to the docs would be in order next day just to be on the safe side - it was too close for comfort to the area where there are some rods and screws stabilising my spine 😕A deep hot bath full of Epsom Salts was just bliss 😍 I even managed to stay awake for a couple of hours afterwards but I still needed that duvet! I even unpacked my kit wrapped in it! One of the very first things I found in the kit bag was a clearly labelled package saying ‘hat & gloves’ (oh yes, this time I bagged and labelled everything - not that it helped much in the end mind you because Richard was just looking for a loose hat and gloves!)l How on earth we both missed that package though I’ll never know 😂

The sense of pride took days to come because of the ending, the lack of a finish photo - silly really! Maybe it was really being down to being so totally mentally and physically exhausted though. I hadn’t done a fraction enough walk training as most training had been devoted to running shorter distances with just the odd long one in the weeks before. 

So, a few huge lessons learned from this - 

*Always keep eating and drinking, even if it’s only a little tiny bit at a time no matter what! *Always carry and extra layer - if the walking poles hadn’t had a 100k ride without ever being used, I could have put a warm top and extra pair of thermal leggings in their place or I could have tied them around my waist. 

* Never trust the weather forecast! All forecasts said a nighttime minimum of 6 degrees ..... it dropped down to 2 degrees and there was frost in places.

*Always keep your hat and gloves in your pack, not your kit bag!

Richard said he thought I’d been suffering from mild hypothermia near the end which I thought was a bit dramatic. As it turns out, when I mentioned it to the doc the day after, she agreed! Since I was there I also mentioned the shin. Even though it was nothing more than a bit achy even after 100k (largely thanks to the double compression I’ve since noticed 😂), there was still a large lump so I asked her to check that out too. When she looked at my back she was quite surprised too as a nice horseshoe shaped bruise was taking shape around the sacroiliac joint. The result was an instant trip up to x-ray to have pretty pictures taken of back and shin. Sometimes I’m surprised I don’t glow in the dark! 

OK, nearly there (if you made it this far and well done indeed if you did !)😉 The doc rang 2 days after the x-rays. The shin is fine - just a severe bone bruise so that was good news. The back x-ray showed no stress fractures which was also great news, but, the radiographer thought that a vertebra may have moved a little compared to my last set of pictures so recommended that I’m referred to the spinal team again 😕 That’s going to take quite some time though. She thought that the swelling and bruising was likely to be down to a torn ligament or muscle caused by repetitive stress so in the meantime, she said no running but that I could walk a little but to mostly get a lot of complete rest 😕😕😕 That was easy enough for the first few days when I was still absolutely shattered but has become progressively more difficult. Hmm, Snowdonia marathon just around the corner and the plan had been for a weeks rest them back to it. So, I was a seriously grumpy bunny. Then we came up with a plan - raid the savings and get a private MRI done then at least I might find out what I’d done and realistically judge whether Snowdon would be remotely possible (the doc said my chance of taking part was minimal, but she’s never met a Buzzer before 😂). That was done last Tuesday and I got the results the day after. Yes, another vertebrae has slipped a bit (backwards this time just for a change) but it’s not by much and doesn’t look to present any kind of risk 😊 It’s also not anywhere near where the pain is. So, still no concrete answers because the radiologist didn’t report on the soft tissue which is so frustrating 😕 The GP didn’t bother to report that there’d been a non traumatic injury involving swelling and bruising lower down but only mentioned the possibility of a slipped vertebra! I’ve asked them to look at the scan again in light of the injury and it’s taken three very polite but firm e-mails to get them to agree. Hopefully, that might happen tomorrow 🤞🤞

AS hates inactivity, It’s so hard to rest when moving is more comfortable. I’ve done a few short walks in the last week but last Thursday I was just a bit naughty (what a surprise eh? 😂😂). The back felt ever so slightly better so I decided a very cautious 60:40jog/walk was in order. 5.2 miles done. Yes I could feel it, yes it was pretty achy afterwards but there was no further swelling and no sharp pain. I’m not going to go mad but it was important to know mentally where I stood. 

A trip up to London on Friday to help with some AS research made tea back hurt more than any running or walking - the motion of the train was just horrible😕 Parkrun day yesterday and I was convinced I was strong enough to make myself walk all the way round. I wore my back support (at the moment the muscles are still going into spasm if I’ve been upright for about five minutes but the support stops that 😊). The hooter went for the start of parkrun and the legs ran 🙈 Oh dear! It seems I can’t be trusted after all! I ran walked the course and crossed the line in 36 minutes and actually felt pretty good, especially the head 😁 ayes, the same achiness afterwards but it’s not that bad and it goes away with rest. The plan now is to try and be as sensible as possible and I feel so much happier because I know that I will toe that start line in Snowdonia come hell or high water. My only objective is to finish and I really don’t care if I’m the last one in. If I can finish at all, it’ll be my biggest achievement yet and I know my old Dad up there would be so incredibly proud if I did 😍

Right, apologies for this being a monster blog but in years to come, I want to remember this one. The training for Snowdonia will have been severely lacking but as as our Vin the Warrior says ‘Impossible is a lie’ 😁

Happy training and everyone 😊 xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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