Tuesday, 14 January 2014 14:18

A New Year Begins......

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But before it does I must first deal with the old year, or at least the end of it.

After the effort of The Run On Water my foot as you may recall was, how shall we say, buggered. I had planned to run the Langdale and York Marathons but for once a bit of common sense prevailed and I had to stand by and watch instead. I particularly like Langdale as it is set in the Langdale Valley surrounded by the Pikes and is a beautiful part of the world. I’m very fortunate to live in these parts as I get to see some fantastic scenery.

Anyway, I digress, back to Langdale. The marathon is normally on a Saturday and by some clever planning the Brathay 10 in 10 (TIT) annual bash is normally held in the evening, thus allowing TITers to travel into the area for a marathon and annual meal. Unfortunately this year it was not the case, but, nevertheless many TITers still ran the marathon. It is always great to catch up with these guys as we sort of class ourselves as complete loons and share a common bond that thus far only 69 people have achieved. So even though I was still hobbling at this point I could at least hurl words of encouragement at them all.

A week later I found myself on the Brathay Windermere course for what was the culmination of an epic event undertaken by a chap called Chris Heaton. He had run decided to run 30 marathons in 30 days alternating between the Windermere course and Langdale. Now, for those of you unfamiliar with these courses, they are two of the hilliest road runs you can find and it was an absolute privilege to see him complete his goal, made all the more difficult that he had achieved it totally un-aided. Well done Chris, great effort.


Three weeks later and the end of October was looming, I had a decision to make. Snowdon Marathon was the following Saturday. I had done no training since the canal run and had to decide a) whether my foot could cope with the strain of 26+ miles and b) if I had enough residual fitness to get me round the course. I have wanted to run Snowdon for a couple of years and really didn’t want to miss this opportunity. With this in mind, I donned my cycling gear and went for a 10 mile gentle ride. Great, next day, no pain so went for a gentle 5 mile run. Whoop whoop, no pain again. By now it is Thursday, the race is on Saturday, so not wanting to overdo it I went out and did 8 miles followed by lots of stretching.


Saturday arrived and I hung back at the start and drifted over after the rest of the field had started, I didn’t want to get pulled along to fast and wanted to take it easy at the beginning especially as the first 5 miles or so is all up hill. Once over the pass I felt a lot more comfortable and settled into a steady rhythm, enjoying the views and chatting to various people. Before I knew it I was well on my way to the finish, there is a killer of a climb before the finish which I along with everyone else around me walked up and then down to the finish. Considering the complete lack of training I felt remarkably good and put it down to my fitness levels from IM carrying me over the line. I have already booked next year’s event in the hope that I will be fit and ready for it.


My foot had with stood the distance and I seemed to have no ill effects, I rested and then did some gentle training in readiness for a mid-week double in November. But this was no ordinary mid-week double, oh no, this was a Phil Ecclestone event, that means hills, lots of them. For each marathon we had to run 8 times over Rivington Pike. When I say run I really mean crawl, it was tough and the downhills were very rocky, wet and slippy. It was a real tough and certainly lived up to its billing as the toughest hill marathon in the UK. For the first time ever I ran well over 5 hours on each of the days, but again some great views and wonderful people and marshals, and above all no real foot pain.


This was about to change!


Some 8 -10 days after the event and guess what, yep the dreaded foot syndrome came back. It’s just become annoying now, the foot swells up so that my toes look like chipolata sausages and it is very painful to put any sort of pressure on. After a few weeks the swelling subsides but we are now into January and I am still not running. Not good news. Hopefully I will know what the problem is soon and can get back running, no exercise is very boring and it means I have to do all the odd DIY jobs, terrible.

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