Monday 5th to Sunday 11th October 2015

Training for: CTS Dorset Ultra (53k)

Runs: 1 (Hikes: 2), Total Distance: 29km, Total Time: 5:16

Week 6 of 13 - CTS Dorset Ultra.

Week 6 of 13 – CTS Dorset Ultra.

On Monday my ankle was feeling pretty good and I was feeling confident that I would be able to resume training on Tuesday. My plan was to run a week of progressively longer runs starting with 6km and finishing on Sunday with 11km.

During Tuesday’s run I felt great, my ankle was comfortable and I enjoyed being out in the rain running without difficulty. My fear that I might lose a lot of fitness by being out of the game for so nearly two solid weeks was put to one side and I arrived back home feeling happy and positive about my prospects!

Unfortunately my ankle didn’t give a damn about positive feelings and I woke up on Wednesday morning with the ache I have been becoming familiar with since Saturday 26th September.

I found it difficult to walk to the train station for my commute to work and by the time I made the return journey I had pretty much given up on the idea of running the Thames Meander Marathon as a well trained and ready individual. I had resigned myself to showing up at the start line under trained and possibly slightly injured and I had also figured I would probably not make it to the CTS Dorset Ultra at all! Thursday morning came and the ache and pain had subsided a little so I decided I would make an appointment to see my physio – I have an appointment for Thursday 15th October.

Making the appointment made me realise that all is not lost and I spent Thursday and Friday trying to make a positive end of year salvage plan! I will run Thames Meander and it is likely I won’t be as well trained as I’d like but that’s not necessarily a bad thing – I ran my first two road marathons under trained a did pretty well. Second, if I finish Thames Meander uninjured, I will run/hike CTS Dorset Ultra to close out the year and I will finish that race. I might not run it as fast as I had been training for to this point but, maybe the break will have done me good and I may surprise myself?! But, as I said, if I am not 100% after Thames Meander I’ll wrap up the year there I think – no sense in pushing too hard when I have a big 2016 lined up!

So, after struggling through the week wondering when I might be able to run and get out into the countryside again I had a realisation that I could hike! In fact, I had a realisation that I should hike, especially as I’m doing more mountainous and lumpy races next year and also considering I may end up having to hike CTS Dorset lest I record a DNS or DNF to finish the year. So it was that on Saturday I hunted down a decent walking route on

Gabrielle and I set off on a walk that encompasses sections of two of the oldest known roads in England (on the Ridgeway and Icknield Way, respectively) and covered 17km over 3 hours and 15 minutes – my log only recorded 14.8km as I forgot to press ‘Start’ on my Garmin, only remembering to do so when I first checked our bearing after 2.2km. During the walk we visited the highest point in Hertfordshire which, in fact, is not that high at all standing only 267m above sea level! But, when all was said and done, it was great to be out in the fresh air strolling along [throwing in a few ‘faster’ sections] and admiring the shift into autumn. It was so great, in fact, that on Sunday we headed back out for another hike on a local trail that I have run a few times and covered 8km in 1 hour and 20 minutes. I will make a note here that judging by Gabrielle’s hiking speed and desire to always go that little bit faster she could be made for 100 milers…

Hiking out the end of the week has cheered me up no end and has made me realise that I really do just like moving under my own power, outdoors and in the countryside – be that on a mountain bike, running or hiking. Just because I’m too injured to run doesn’t mean I have to despair, lose fitness and force myself to swim or lift weights! It really is an opportunity to teach myself to hike at a race pace which I am really going to need during the Lakeland 50 and, later in 2016, the Autumn 100. It’s even set me to thinking about incorporating a run/hike [rike?] into my weekly training schedule once I’m back to fitness – a hike out, run back kind of deal. I am now very much looking forward to pondering on different ways of working regular hiking in and also to purchasing my first set of poles!

Until next week dear reader, I wish you only happiness and joy on the trails, roads and treadmills of your respective lives.

Peace & Blessings

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