Monday 19th to Sunday 25th October 2015

Training for: CTS Dorset Ultra (53k)

Runs: 4 (Hikes: 1), Total Distance: 47.5km, Total Time: 4:40

Week 8 of 13 - CTS Dorset Ultra.

Week 8 of 13 – CTS Dorset Ultra.

Last week was a great return from injury and I was looking forward to lacing up and getting out on Tuesday. I headed out onto my local trails after work and was glad to feel no lasting effects from racing cross country on Sunday – thank you very much foam roller and YouTube yoga! I spent most of the run thinking about my training for the week ahead. I decided to enter a local 10 mile road race on Monday evening which I was due to run today – alas, I did not make the starting line because during my shift on Wednesday I began to feel quite unwell!

Illness, or at least the spectre of it, being no excuse to skip a run I got home on Wednesday afternoon and, no problem says I; I’ll just go for a road run and stay off the cold and damp fields. It’ll be fine! No speedwork as is usual on a Wednesday and no hills, just an easy paced aerobic effort…until about 1km from home when I decided to dust off the boosters and hammer a Strava section looking for a CR! In hindsight this was probably a mistake because when I rolled into the finish of my run my shoulders ached, I had a headache and my nausea was threatening to turn itself out from the inside…and to make matters worse I didn’t even get the damn CR!

I woke up on Thursday feeling pretty crap. I had a headache and generally an all-over body ache but I swallowed some ibuprofen and got myself to work! I had noticed on Wednesday that I started to feel nauesous and more fatigued after eating so all day Thursday I just ate toasted wholemeal pitta and avocado – it’s my version of a dry toast diet! By the end of the day I felt drained and more than crap. I got home, had a water and banana smoothie, and then lay on my bed for most of the evening looking blankly at whatever happened to be on the TV. I feel asleep at around 2230 but woke up shivering and feeling extremely cold at 0000hrs – I didn’t get back to sleep until around 0400hrs and by that time I had made the decision to do something I rarely do: call in sick at work.

I spent Friday sleeping. That’s it. Just sleeping. I woke up a couple of times during the day to drink some water and eat some pitta bread. But that’s it. Sleep, some more sleep and then a little more sleep. It was an exciting day.

So, now, you may be expecting me to say I took all day to start feeling better on Saturday and eventually got out for a run. Well, think again because I woke up on Saturday feeling like I’d dreamed the past three days! I felt pretty much 100% and good to go. I woke up hungry and in need of coffee but also with a real urge to run! I put the coffee pot on, cracked two eggs and whisked them (ready to scramble on my return), threw on my running gear and headed out the door within 20 minutes of opening my eyes. I decided to stick to the roads around my home so I’d never really be more than a kilometre from the front door if I decided to call it in but, miraculously, I kicked into my aerobic gear and ran a complete circuit of my neighbourhood covering 8km in 40:56. My lower back was aching a little by the end of the run but I think that was the remnants of being ill and the lingering effects of a new strength/core regime. I got home, demolished my breakfast and then did some yoga! A miracle I tells ya, a miracle!

Finally, to round out the week, instead of racing on Sunday I decided to go out for a morning hike/run. Initially I was planning a 10km hike out and then a run back along the same route but the route chose itself pretty much towards the end. I hiked up to Bentley Priory Nature Reserve along part of the London Loop trail and then found I had completed almost a full circle of the reserve at 10km – I decided to hike the entire perimeter to make it 11.05km before stopping and getting sorted and ready for the run back. I stowed my Salomon Bonatti jacket, UD Fastdraw handheld, Buff and gloves in my pack and then began my run.

Peace, tranquility and beauty. Autumn in the English countryside.

Peace, tranquility and beauty. Autumn in the English countryside.

I ran a hard loop of the Bently Priory perimeter and then got back on a section of the London Loop trail that would take me most of the way home! I had intended to run as hard as I could manage for the entire route home but I found after 1 hour and 39 minutes of fast hiking my legs were not really up for that kind of workout! I did my best to keep the pace up but, as well as having the hike in the legs, the going was pretty soft and muddy underfoot for some quite significant sections. I ran the whole route back, well, most of it anyway as I had a weak moment where I walked a few steps at 7km! Between 5km and that point I was really struggling with negative thoughts – ‘Why don’t you just fast hike back’, ‘You need lighter shoes for this kind of thing’, ‘This is too hard’, ‘It’s too muddy’ – but I manged to conquer them by admiring the scenery and thinking about the races I have booked in for next year that will require utmost discipline, determination and a good amount of running/hiking on tired legs!

I’m glad I decided not to race 10 miles on the road to round out the week. I have a feeling that it would likely have put my miraculous recovery in some doubt because there is no way I could have toed the line without putting everything on the line and running as hard as I could to gain an official 10 mile PR! Sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture and make the right decisions and I feel that I did that this week. In fact, looking back over the year I’ve had, I have learned a lot and I have put a lot of learning from previous years into practice. Granted, I haven’t had as much success as I might have liked but I really feel that going into 2016 I’m going to be a physically and mentally stronger runner – particularly over 50 miles and hopefully beyond that.

Anyway, that’s enough looking ahead to 2016 for now! I’ll save that for December!

Thanks for stopping by and reading through. If you’re new to my blog I hope you’ll come back and read again next week and if you’re somewhat of a regular I’d like to thank you for your continued support.

I hope the trails, roads and treadmills treat you well this week dear reader.

Peace & Blessings

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