Wednesday January 1st 2014

Workout Soundtrack: –

8km 38:59 (42:30 with picture stops) (Country to City, session 5/Injury test run #1)

Workout Soundtrack: Earth Crisis – ‘All Out War’

50×1 bicep curls, 30×2 dumbbell bench press, 20×1 wide press-ups, 20×1 close press-ups, 30×1 sit-ups, 15×1 marine crunch, 2:10 x1 standard plank (Australia Holiday, session 5)

I saw in the New Year with my Dad and then around 0015hrs walked the ten minutes back to my house to try and catch some Zs before getting up at 0530hrs for my Early shift today! It didn’t really work out that way as I couldn’t sleep – there were a lot of fireworks and Loki (my dog) hates them so he was trying to burrow his way under my bed for a few hours and then pacing around whimpering for a while before he eventually settled around 0230hrs thus allowing me three hours of sleep!

I spent my waking hours constructively thought. Once I realised the futility of trying to sleep with such a distressed animal around I flicked on my lamp and began to plan another long haul trip for next year. As you know, I’m already heading to Australia for 2 weeks in March but now dear reader I am planning to head somewhere else around October/November. The shortlist so far reads a little bit like this:

  1. Afghanistan (embedded freelance reporter/photographer),
  2. Nepal,
  3. Sri Lanka,
  4. Iraq,
  5. South Korea,
  6. Tibet.

Ideally I’d like to try and make the Afghanistan trip happen over all of the others as I have always wanted to visit a war zone and experience it for myself – up until around the age of 15 I wanted to be a war correspondent and I realised last year that sometimes you just have to throw caution to the wind and go for it! As Scott Jurek said: “Sometimes you just do things!”. If I can’t make that trip work out then my second preference is Nepal with Sri Lanka a close third. I guess we’ll see how my initial planning goes in the coming months!

Anyway, I woke up at 0530hrs and my feet were in agony as soon as I moved my toes. As I mentioned yesterday I have two deep cuts where my 4th metatarsal, on both feet, joins with the foot pad. It seems they cause me most discomfort and pain when I wake up or if I’ve been at work wearing boots or shoes all day. Yesterday I spent as much of my shift as possible in flip-flops which seemed to help with the healing process but judging by how it felt this morning the healing process is slower than I thought and the location of the cuts is quite fragile. No matter what, I resolved to go for a test run after work as I intend to start 2014 running come Hell or high water…or damaged feet!

I got home from work around 1700hrs and by 1730hrs I was underway with my run! I took my camera with me in one of the extra pouches on my S-Lab 12 as this was my first run of the year and I felt it would be good to document given the conditions I was expecting on the trail! The condition certainly did not disappoint – I found that most of the trail was either washed out and just pure mud or was ankle deep in stagnant rain water. To be honest, although it slowed me down significantly I was kind of glad as on the short 300 or so metre road section leading to the trail head my feet were really hurting – the mud and cold water soon seeped into my Asics Gel Fuji Attack and my feet were numb within the first klick and a half! I’m typing this now with a fair bit of feeling returning to them and they are actually quite sore…I’m still not sure about C2C but as I mentioned yesterday I’m going to make the final decision on Wednesday. Two things worry me the most: long term damage to my toes and, to a lesser extend, logging a DNF on my first ultra – I’ve never DNF’ed a race in my life and I don’t really want to start doing that on a fairly flat ultra course because I have a feeling it would play on my mind on every subsequent marathon or ultra start line to come afterwards! Anyway, discomfort and pain aside I really really enjoyed my first run of 2014 and I’m glad I overcame the sleep monster when I got in from work – I managed 3 hours of sleep last night followed by an 8 hour early shift which was enough for me to fall asleep on the way home and nearly miss my train. Thankfully as soon as I started awake on the train and got to my feet my mind immediately went into ‘I have to run!’ mode and I am pleased it did!

Post run and pre-dinner I managed to fit in a short weights and core session. I left out leg lifts, Russian twists and dorsal raises today as my lower back is feeling a little tender after I’ve put it through its paces over the past few days – it’s all good though, the idea of having a set of exercises I can do on rotation allows me to select which muscles to rest and which muscles to work to a large degree so my programme is, thus far, working for me! It’s plain to see that it’s working too – my abs are already toning and I can see the bicep and tricep muscles becoming more pronounced – a great way to start 2014 I think you’ll agree 🙂

Hope you’ve all had a wonderful first day of the year and I hope y’all have 364 more to follow!

Until the ‘morrow dear reader, I bid you bon nuit.

Peace & Blessings x

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