After the GUCR, there followed 9 days with no running. It felt a lot longer. For the first two, I didn't even get downstairs, let alone outside. But by the Thursday I managed to get shoes on to go for a couple of very short slow walks, then by Saturday was ok for a most enjoyable day trip to sunny Brighton. On Wednesday I finally went for a run - 2 and a half miles, wearing a huge idiot grin throughout. I did a bit more on the next couple of days to make sure my knees weren't complaining and decided I was ok to do the South Downs Way Trail marathon yesterday.
It felt like I'd been out of the running scene for ages and it was great to be back out there. I realise how ridiculous that sounds. (After all, I had only missed one race.) There were loads of Fetchies and 100 club folk there and it was a beautiful sunny day, but not stupidly hot. I was running with Heather, who's still recovering from serious illness a few weeks ago. We planned to take it very slowly (vaguely hoping for a sub-6), with her special needs lungs making the uphills a struggle and my special needs feet and knees making the downhills tricksy: perhaps not the best pairing for a hilly off road course then. But Heather is fantastic running company and we were both just happy to be there and spent the majority of the day chatting and laughing, walking the steepest uphills, but actually running the majority of the route.
My knees coped with the downhills pleasingly well and only one foot had hurty blister shenanigans going on (when I finally took the sock off it later, it was a case of "what the ...? oh I see, eeugh, that explains it...). Heather stayed strong and despite declaring herself too tired for any more uphills at mile 19, we nevertheless did run several more of the inclines. And finished in 4:44 feeling very happy. It's good to be back.