Thursday, 24 September 2015 21:04

Feeling a Tad Tingly

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Feeling a Tad Tingly!!

Phew, after Outlaw I took a well earned 6 days break to re-charge the batteries and catch up with work stuff, a necessary evil, work stuff that is. I then did a few days gentle training and found myself on the start line for the inaugural Hoad Hill Marathon.

It was the day before my birthday, not any old birthday I hasten to add, but my 50th and I had decided that this marathon was part of my celebrations. In true Lake District style precipitation was falling freely from above as myself and a group of likeminded friends and strangers ventured to the start line. I was looking forward to this run as it was on my home turf so to speak and I knew the area, although not the entire route! More of which later.

The start meanders through the town and out through the local villages and then over Birkrigg, providing some stunning views of the area, even if they have to be viewed through the rain. A little jaunt along the coast for a few miles proved to be nice and flat, although it is very pebbly along here.

After around 8 miles the route heads back inland towards Hoad Monument, best describe as a pepperpot shaped monument atop a hill. It is what I would call a spikey climb, short and sweet to be tackled wearing crampons and a rope harness! I reached the top gasping for air and took on some much needed water, yep even though it’s raining the old body still needs liquid to function, before setting off down the back end of Hoad, a more meandering path that leads through a small wooded area.

A little jaunt over Flan Fell before heading out into the wilds once more. This was the part of the route that I didn’t know and in some ways I’m glad I didn’t know what was coming. The road just seemed to go up at a steady angle for about 3.5 miles, over puddle splattered rutted paths, disappearing into the clouds of mist swirling around the moor. It was very eerie as this moorland is a windfarm and I could hear the whoop whoop of the giant blades before I could see them. Well done to the marshals up here because the weather was foul and the moor very bleak.

The descent was an ankle breaker, over rough heather and water logged marsh land. I was concentrating so much on my foot placement that I hadn’t noticed the rain had stopped, there was even a glint of sunshine in the distance. Indeed with only a few miles to go I was able to take off my rain jacket and get some warmth from the sun, I mean it is August after all!!

A thoroughly enjoyable day out, even if it did rain for most of it, however the afternoon brightened up considerably and we had a great 50th party.

A week or so later, after a few days of sniffling (man flu) I noticed a slight pain on one side of my stomach, at first I didn’t think anything of it, but became more concerned as the days went by. It was very tingly and had spread around to my back as well, but still on the one side. Eventually a diagnosis revealed that I had shingles, a nasty little viral infection left over from the days of chickenpox. Fortunately, I didn’t have a bad rash and the pain was just on my body but, it just wiped me out physically. I was worn out by the afternoons and unable to do the training that I wanted to do. I was sleeping up to 9 hours at night so knew I was physically tired.

Some 5 weeks later and I actually feel a lot better, still sleeping loads more than usual, but that’s not a bad thing and back on the training regime, although not as hard as usual.

I have Ironman Barcelona next weekend. After my epic race at Outlaw in July I was hoping for a decent time but have re-adjusted my goals to just go and enjoy the experience, the atmosphere and hopefully some sunshine.

No pressure then, only 140.6 miles and the 17 hour cut off to beat.

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