Sunday, 29 January 2012

By the canal again

It would seem that the 45 miler a couple of weeks ago really took it out of me. Must get fitter before trying to run so much!

I went to the Northampton to Tring ULTRArace, a pleasant canal side 47 miler the following week. (A brilliant event, as all of ULTRArace's runs are.) Within the first twenty minutes I realised I didn't have much energy so figured it would make a nice enough walk, with the occasional bout of jogging. I was very fortunate to meet up with Ian at the first checkpoint. He's training to run JOGLE (John O'Groats to Lands End) in April and was using the day as practice at moving very slowly for a prolonged time. It was great to chat to him (for hours) as he's got lots of great stories from the faster end of running (2:39 marathon, pacing at NY and Brighton for the 3:30 groups, lots of ultra and multi-day wins) and tales of his partner's adventures running with huskies. We took well over 10 hours, but it was a brilliant day. Usually I'd have run back to N'ton on the Sunday, but there was no way I'm up for a double yet. I spent the following day relaxing with Jim, which is what I've been doing both days this weekend. Just watched Midnight in Paris - fantastic!

My feet seem to be gradually getting better, though still very sore at times. Breathing properly remains a skill I haven't been able to master for well over a month now. Trying various medication but nothing that appears to have helped yet.

February soon and they say it's going to be cold this week. Nice.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Country to Capital #4

Ah, a brilliant weekend - the Country to Capital ultra yesterday and a day of sitting about relaxing (and recovering) today.

My first ever ultra was 4 years ago at Country to Capital, a 45 miler with a self-navigating cross-country first half, then a trot along the canal into Little Venice for the finish. Beautiful conditions with the frost making everything pretty as well as keeping the mud at bay, providing instead perfect conditions underfoot. Sunny too, so not too cold during the daylight hours despite it being around 4 degrees. And no, I'm not really well enough for ultras at the moment. But my feet didn't hurt any more than usual and my lungs didn't complain excessively. It took a little over an hour longer than last year.

As ever, the GoBeyond team were as superb. Brilliant atmosphere, still one of my favourite ultras. And yet another new souvenir shirt design - a short-sleeve wicky polo - nice.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

2012 begins

It's always good to have a break from work, so I appreciated a couple of weeks off at the end of the year. I didn't appreciate my frequent inability to breathe properly, nor the plantar faciitis that makes my feet so unhappy. So, ongoing tests for the lungs (nothing has showed up in the results so far) and I've been doing everything anyone has suggested for my feet - including massage, tennis ball rolling and wearing a silly bootie at night to stretch it.
Having not run more than 4 miles since the beginning of November, I figured it would be foolish to go to the Enigma marathon on 3rd January. But Jim pointed out that it would be good for me to get out and see everyone (and besides, I am a fool...). So I did go and had a brilliant day out seeing lots of running mates and (mostly walking) completed the course of 7 1/2 laps around the lake in the park near Bletchley. Very slowly. I didn't feel great, but no worse than recently and it didn't seem to do any damage. Dave's events are always good, plus this time there was a mug as well as a medal!
So then I did the 100 Club AGM marathon on Sunday. It took me nearly 5 hours, but again, it just felt really great to be out running (and walking a lot too) with friends.
A pretty good start to the year then. Now if I can just get my health sorted out...