Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Soft Tissue

I stopped playing football around 8 years ago. That makes it sound like a big deal, it wasn't, I was a social player. I played 11-a-side for some low division team in Plymouth before I left then 5-a-side in Cheltenham at Bentham Country Club. I did work for BG-Group for a time and played in their 11-a-side team but that was as far as it went.

I was always more fitter than I was a player.

One of the reasons I stopped was due to my knees. A cartilage operation in each knee and an ACL reconstruction in my right meant that I lost my confidence in lateral movement. The time out from these injuries was also too long - going from months into years that were lost time.

When I used to play football and in particular 5-a-side I used to twist my ankles a lot. So much so that I used to wear ankle supports and shin pads with ankle protectors in every game.

The last time I twisted my ankle must be 8-10 years ago.

It's not meant to happen when you run!

Sunday after Christmas I was up on Leckhampton Hill running with Frankie. The weather was pretty grim, wet and windy. As we were coming down off the top into the woods there's a stretch that's really runnable. We have run it loads of times, it's predominantly groomed path with some gnarly bits where there are roots and rocks. It's a short stretch. As we were coming down this pathway I was picking up a little speed with Frankie behind me.


She came past me on my right, four legs definitely better than two, then in front of me. As she did so my gaze was taken from the trail in front of me to her and in that split second I lost my footing and my ankle turned.


It was an aggressive turn, I did manage to remain upright and stopped pretty much instantly where my stomach heaved such was the immediate pain. For a split second I thought I'd broken it. As I calmed down the pain eased and i was able to walk on it. I walked/jogged the last stretch down to the car and home.



Once home and after i had cooled down it really started to hurt and was pretty swollen. A compression strap helped as did ice. Over the last couple of days the bruise has come out, dark along the bottom outside edge of the foot and then softer all the way up to the sock line. 

Some quick internet research and it looks like i won't be running for around a week maybe even two. I'm actually pretty OK with that as maybe an end of year rest is a good thing. I have been doing some weight training and yoga stretches in my basement instead. It's a nice change and something i should do anyway.  

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Why?

It's pointless me answering the why do you run question... 

You need to go and run, then run again, and again. It's never done. Finish one and plan the next. 

When you have been consumed by your love of running for every reason and for no reason then you'll understand the answer to the question. 

But when you're asked why you run you won't be able to answer either.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

You never regret the runs you do?

....only the ones you don't. Right?

Normally I'd agree, heck even more than that I have tweeted this and posted it on other social networks. A slogan for a t-shirt, a soundbite for the generation that loves a quote and the more motivational the better.

I would normally endorse that position and however reluctant i have been to get out the door once I'm out and with things flowing it does feel good. No regrets.

Today wasn't like that.

I don't normally write about training runs; they are normally all positive for one reason or other. The performance, the view, the mood, the flow, the distance, a new route, an experience... whether they be a 2.5 mile commute, 20 mile long run or self supported marathon or ultra distance i just love to run.

Today was different. I headed out the door around 2:30, it was cold and blowing a gale, it wasn't raining but there was wet in the air. I had a route of sorts in mind, planning a hilly route of around 15-18 miles. It would be hard and in the conditions even harder.

Running the first mile was into a head wind. Hard work. A couple of times i pretty much stopped. My Garmin vibrated after a kilometre and i was on 7:30 pace - hard work maybe but still running strong. I turned a corner and the wind was no longer in my face, my pace picked up a little.

I really wasn't feeling it though and at around 4 miles did think that the best option might be to bale and run the 2.5 home from there. I checked my watch and despite not feeling it i was running well. I decided to continue as running through town there were a number of places i could easily abandon the run and be home pretty quick.

Continuing i ran to Harp Hill, short and sharp i have run this a few times of late. It's a fantastic leg and lung test. Half way up i had to walk. That was it i knew i had to go home. I had been fighting it all the way around. I slowed my pace significantly, managing my effort to just get home. I didn't feel like i wouldn't make it but neither did i feel i could knock out anything quick.

When i got in i tested my blood sugar and i was slightly hypo at 3.6mmol. When i left i was high. I think i felt sluggish at the start as high blood sugar will do that. The weather was also a major factor. The wind was sapping, with proper blood sugar levels though that wouldn't bother me.

My heart rate was more elevated than normal for a run of that type and average pace. It would normally be around 120bpm but was at 130bpm today. That would be the impact of the weather but also indicative of perhaps a deeper fatigue or malaise? Higher heart rates indicating a body working harder.

All of this would not have mattered except that now a few hours on and i feel a bit rubbish. Depleted, empty and cold to my bones. I had Domino's tonight, something i rarely if ever do and only did as they have an option to order a cheeseless pizza (#vegan).

I'm sure it won't come to anything and that after a day or two i will be raring to go again but i wish i had listened to my body at mile 4 and just headed home.

It's not often i regret a run but today was one of those days...





Saturday, October 24, 2015

Minimal?

I was listening to a podcast the other day that was debating if Hoka's are minimalist?!?!

I can only imagine that they hadn't seen or tried a pair as to say they are minimalist is a little bit silly.

Are people really confusing minimalist with low or zero drop shoes?

Five-Finger, vivo-barefoot and those Merrell ones are minimalist (to name but a few). Hoka's and the like are just low drop.

Come on people lets keep it sensible.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Yoga

If it weren't for yoga I could not run how I am running now. 

The improvement in my hips, quads, glutes and hamstrings has been so marked the only thing I can compare it to is when you see someone tipping 25 stone and they go on a diet and lose a stone in a matter of 10 days.

When the baseline is so low it's easy improvements. Yet yoga is hard. It's tough on the whole body and leaves me spent. Half way through a class I'm ready for sleep. 

I love it.

Http://www.rosieglo.co.uk 

Friday, September 18, 2015

What diet are you?

MI've been thinking about writing this blog post for a while to capture some further changes that I have made to my diet. Having just watched Cowspiracy has tipped me over into writing.

For a few years I have predominantly used milk alternatives, soya, almond, hazelnut, coconut etc... I used them on breakfast cereal and sometimes to drink. If I made tea or coffee I would use cows milk. Similarly if there was no milk alternative available I would put milk on my cereal. I also ate yoghurt, cheese and eggs. A lot of all of those products.

Then...... I listened to David Carter on the Rich Roll podcast and resolved to change my mind. The catalyst was when he spoke about tendonitis and how milk is a contributor to that. As someone who aspires to run a lot and who has suffered with injury this struck a chord. From that point coffee was black and black tea with milk replaced with herbal tea (specifically the Pukka 3-ginger tea). I also stopped eating cheese and dairy yoghurt. So far so simple.

When you look further there are things like cake - made with butter, eggs and milk. Home made pasta dishes with cheese. Milk chocolate, pizza, ice-cream the list goes on and they are all littered with dairy. Chocolate was easy to stop, same with cake - particularly as the BTP does a hippie seed bar that is vegan - home cooking is less easy as the family continue to eat everything and already make adjustments for me. Plus I have not given myself the label.

That's where, for me, this is most interesting. It seems that if you modify your diet there's a label. Vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, paleo, there's some that eat chicken but no red meat and once again the list goes on.

What I am is less important than how I feel. My diet is probably around 95% dairy free. Most days I am vegan occasionally I am not. I have always eaten a lot of fruit on a daily basis easily munching through 3-4 apples and the same number of bananas a day. Sometimes there might some others thrown in, Sharon fruit, persimmons, grapes, strawberries. What I do now is make my sandwiches with vegetables. Courgettes and mushrooms are a favourite. As is spinach, tomato and again pretty much anything we have in the fridge drawer.

In the evenings I am lucky in that Sue does not like to eat that much meat and certainly not regularly. We have a lot of stews made with chick peas, tomatoes and again any veg that's around. We also eat a lot of burrito's which are easy to make vegan, just leave out the cheese and sour cream (these were inspired by the Whole Foods burrito's).  

I've been doing this for around 3 months now, the impact is subtle but noticeable...

I feel better, I feel less clogged up. It's difficult to really describe this but it's like cleansing. I am due some blood tests soon as part of my type 1 diabetes care and it will be interesting to see if there's any changes there.

My weight and body fat has changed. I have lost around 5lbs in weight and dropped 2% of body fat in that same period. I wasn't trying to lose weight but it's happened and as its natural I am going with it. The body fat is a great bonus though and makes sense as meat and dairy are a lot of fat. 

My skin is better than normal. My eczema patches on my hands have gone and I'm not getting the mild irritations that I was. 

My blood sugar control has also improved eating this way. Less hypos and more steady control.

I'm going to continue with this. It's easy and works for me. I like the food and how i feel. It's very easy to get sucked into feeling like a crusader as there's much propaganda about how great vegans are and how crisp animal agriculture is. 

Me making this change is small in the grand scheme of things. It needs more and more people to do the same then thee can be change. 

What I do find weird is why wouldn't everyone want to feel this good?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Midnattsloppen 10km - Stockholm

I was in Stockholm last weekend on a short city break. While wandering around the old town we stepped into a shop selling local crafts. The lady working there started conversation and asked me if I was running that evening. I pressed her for more details and it was a 10km run at midnight. 

When we stopped at a cafe with wifi I set about looking into the event and more importantly seeing if I could get an entry. 

It didn't take long to appreciate that this race was not a small affair. With 40k runners spread over multiple starting waves getting an entry at the start was not going to be possible. I started looking on social media to see if there were any entries being sold or available. This was a problem as I don't read or speak Swedish! With Twitter being the easiest place to communicate there was nothing coming through. 

I had resigned myself to not being able to take part. 

I was then in the Stockholm Adidas store later that afternoon, just browsing. It was quiet and the assistant struck up conversation with me asking if I was running that evening. I replied that I wasn't as I couldn't get an entry. He then said that a colleague of his was selling one.

Five minutes later and I had an entry but for the 22:30 start. A quick check with Sue, we were going out for dinner that night, for clearance (!) and it was set, I'd be running that night. 

The entry comprised a race t-shirt, wristband and timing chip. No race number as all runners wear the shirt. 

I got a taxi to the start, or as close as possible as the roads were closed. On course there were hundreds of runners streaming along. Along the course music, bands and dancers kept the atmosphere buzzing and the energy high. Not sure which way to the start I fell in with a small group and walked with them. 

The start was well organised, each wave falling into their group 20minutes ahead of their start time. For me that was 2210, it was then a steady walk through to the start. In that short walk there was a warm up led by some dancers on a stage, a runners pledge (in Swedish so no real idea what that was about) lots of singing and lots of hand clapping. Looking around and it seemed that every woman had a blonde pony tail and every man a hipster beard of some variety. 

At 2230 on the dot we were off, the start line erupting in bright lights and a busty of even louder music as we passed over the timing mats. 

I had positioned myself about 3 rows back from the start to try and see what the runners were like and take it from there. Within 400metres of the start I was at the front of my wave having made up ground on all the runners. Ahead were runners from previous waves. This is where it got crowded.

The roads were closed but with the volume of runners were nowhere near wide enough. I set about weaving and looking for gaps between runners to keep my pace high. This was retry good fun but made it quite difficult. Just ahead of me there was a young chap running, he appeared to be running a similar pace to me (because I couldn't catch him) so I started following his path. 

We ran down the edges of the roads and weaved our way through. Him completely unaware of me on his tail. I didn't want to over take him just follow him. I felt like I was running fast and felt pretty agile. The cobbles serving to accentuate that feeling. 

The course then wound its way up a short, but sharp hill. It was carnage, people strewn across the road walking. I used the space that on the edges of the road to try and keep running but with people just stopping it did become difficult. Cresting the hill I powered down the other side. Making up more ground on those running way more conservatively down the hill. 

There were two more hills to come the next one was awesome and the last one proved how much my fitness is just off. 

The second hill was the longest of the three (i think) and through a park. With no street lighting the course was marked by glosticks on either side leading to an arch that was heavily branded with Boost (Adidas were one of the title sponsors) and lit up. The lights creating a tunnel a bit like when the Millennium Falcon used to go into light speed. With smoke from machines spilling out it was quite atmospheric through this section. 


The rest of the race followed a similar pattern. Fast flats along well supported streets. It was just over the 30 minute point that I started to feel the impact of my exertions and slow down. I have not trained much in the last couple of months due to injury and it started to show. I did not feel strong. My head was snapping back a bit. 


The final hill was particularly steep and I ended up walking as the people traffic was so heavy. It was then along straight to the finish. I did pick up my pace in that final stretch as all around people continued to walk and drag their feet. 


I crossed the line in 43:25. A fair bit slower than the sub-40 I was hoping for but in the circumstances a perfectly acceptable time. Far from disappointed it had been a great fun and a lot of fun. 

The Brazilian dancers towards the end being a particular highlight!

At the finish there were chutes guiding you through to get a banana and energy bar, drinks and then medal. I hung around at the finish for a while, soaking up the atmosphere and just enjoying being there. People were happy to chat, it was a lot of fun. Eventually I made my way back to the hotel, opting to run back. Turned out it was a little over a mile, if only I had know the way when I set out. I jogged back and was looking forward to a beer in the hotel bar only to find it closed. 

I headed up to the room, showered but was still buzzing, it took me quite a while to come down from the race. 

It was a brilliant race, really great fun and with a fantastic atmosphere all the way around. While it felt a bit different to a UK race it also felt very familiar. While the differences were slight the runners are the same and that's what made it the race it was.


Oooh there's a short video here... https://youtu.be/JpLgDN8RUdw

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Is this the best running shoe ever?

That's the bold claim made by Adidas in relation to the Ultra Boost
running shoe. The latest (and best?) incarnation of the Boost family
of shoes.

I have had a pair now for a few weeks and covered around 120 miles in
them. I have been using them as I rehab from my latest injury. My
longest run in these shoes has been 12 miles and around 90% of the
miles have been on Tarmac, the other 10% being on groomed or compact
trail. Nothing too mucky!

Just to recap that I switched to Boosts on recommendation from my
local Up and Running store. Having had a couple of pairs of Hoka's
which I really loved but that disintegrate after around 300/350 miles
I was looking for something soft but durable. The Boosts truly fit
that bill. I have had a couple pairs of the Adiboosts - they are
great. The upper is flexible and comfortable, no chaffing or
blistering from these and the outer rubber, made by Continental no
less, durable in the extreme. I have a pair with 800 miles of them and
they still look great, even if they do feel a little less than
responsive by now.

I was therefore very excited to be finally getting my hand so a pair
of the Ultra Boosts. Excited and disappointed that my attempts to get
a pair to trial for Adidas never came to anything.

I opted for the orange ones, they are incredibly bright. I love them.
If bright is not your cup of tea then they currently also do black and
blue. I saw on an email today that a green and a yellow pair are now
available for pre order. The colour ways are fantastic, modern
production techniques are really being used here to develop some funky
eye catching designs that in a running shoe also serve the purpose of
highlighting the runner on the road. Reflecting light or simply
catching the eye.

These shoes have a knitted upper that is a single piece. Your foot
slides into the shoe and is actually pretty secure without lacing then
up. The laces are threaded view a basket type arrangement that uses
the Adidas 3-stripes to secure the shoe and provide some stability
through the width of the shoe.

The heel cup is, as it is on the Adi-Boost, is an external skeleton.
Rather than have the plastic in the heel, for the heel to rub on, it
is external. With the shoe on the first thing I noticed was how low
profile they are. They sit incredibly low around the ankle. This did
take me a while to get used to and to feel secure in. I did worry that
my ankle would roll. It doesn't, hasn't and shows no signs of doing
so.

These shoes have a drop going from 33.1mm at the heel to 23mm at the
front. In this age of zero or low drop shoes it is quite interesting
that Adidas has decided to keep to a more traditional style running
shoe. They are not alone in this with Salomon also have a heel to toe
drop in many of their models. Thinking about this the rationale makes
sense as if these shoes are designed for ultra's then in the latter
stages of a race form will be ragged and heel striking will creep in.
Also when running down hill fast you use your heels. It's why the foot
and ankle can flex both ways.

I run on the mid/forefoot and these shoes feel great to me. The
softness in the Boost sole seemingly at odds with its depth.

The outer rubber is, again, Continental rubber so there will be no
issues with durability. They are also incredibly sticky; out of the
box they were squeaking like new tyres in a car park as I walked
around my kitchen and on the road they feel no different.

What I have started to experience when I run now is the boost return.
My recent injuries have been due to poor form. Essentially running
using my hips and quads and not engaging the glutes and hamstrings. As
I recover I am making a more conscious effort to pick up my heels and
use all the muscles that are necessary for running. As I do this in
these shoes my pace picks up naturally for little additional effort
and I feel like I am bouncing along. It's really a fantastic feeling.

It's like achieving flow on every run.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Did my dog save my life?

Early evening Friday, I'd been for a run and met Sue after work. We
were in the kitchen talking and she commented that I was slurring and
was I ok? I said I was fine and we went into the garden. I sat in a
chair and was quiet. Sue went into the house and I fell asleep or
maybe passed out.

I was woken what I think was maybe 10 minutes later by my dog,
Frankie, licking my hand and arm. I woke up, realised that I wasn't
feeling great and so went and tested my blood where I was hypo with a
blood sugar of 3.2mmol. Some sugar and three fig rolls sorted that
pretty quickly.

Looking back I was probably hypo when told I was slurring my words, or
certainly on the way to being so. I rejected this. It's hard to
explain this, I'm not stupid and yet when someone comments that you
may be hypo and even if you agree you don't. I don't know how to
explain this. It's not unique and certainly not personal but it is
really hard to accept from someone else, even from the person closest
to you.

More interesting to me is Frankie and what she did. She never licks
me, she never has. I don't like it and she must sense it. That she
came and licked my hand and arm when I was out of it woke me up and I
then realised for myself that something wasn't right. I don't know if
it was coincidence and she licked me because my hand was hanging down
by my side or whether she sensed something wasn't right. The former
becomes more likely when you consider that even if she comes into the
bedroom in the morning when I am sleeping she might lie against me but
never licks me.

So did she sense something and wake me up? Just thinking that brings
tears to my eyes.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Core exercises

This week I went to the Physio drop in at Cheltenham General Hospital to get a look at my hip/quad. Interestingly the physio did not think that the quad was the issue but that it was a biomechanics issue. Essentially a problem elsewhere manifesting in my quad as the weakest point in the chain.

This is more than likely to be weak glutes and core which, I know, are really poor. 

The exercises I am doing are 


There has been some improvement already as yesterday I ran 3.4 miles without issue. Sure it was slow but it was great to be running properly. 

I have some ambitions for my running but right now they do not go beyond being able to run a little when I am on holiday later this month. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Swimming, yoga and a little bit of running

I've been swimming a lot lately. Swimming mainly because my running
injury continues to keep me from doing what I really want which is
racking up miles on my feet. In the absence of that swimming has come
to fill a void. That the weather has improved and sunny afternoons in
the lido are far from unpleasant.

I don't swim with any structure, I pretty much turn up and swim. 1km
minimum and so far, 2 mile maximum. My normal swim is a kilometre as
it's less than 20 minutes and so easier to absorb into the day.

I've also been Doing yoga with 'Rosieglo Yoga'. This is something I
have been keen to do as the benefits for running and sport are
obvious. A solid core, improved stability and flexibility all help to
reduce the risk of injury and, I hope, help recovery from injury.

What I didn't expect was these two relatively new pursuits in my life
to complement each other so obviously.

My swim times for the 1km have come down steadily over the last month.
My first swim was around 19:30'ish for a kilometre. That has come down
gradually and prior to yesterday my season pb (I have no idea what my
all time pb is) was 18:13.

So how come I did 17:34 yesterday?

This was in no small part due to Wednesday nights yoga session. The
session felt harder, we held positions for longer and worked our
shoulders more. After the session I felt quite used up. I did not ache
specifically but knew I had worked my muscles, if not all of them or
at least a lot of them. I slept like a log and when I got up in the
morning felt really loose and agile through the shoulders and back.

When I got into the pool I felt that going for it rather than just
doing the swim was on the cards. I went through 500m in 8:30, the
first time under 9 minutes this year and then the kilometre 9 minutes
and a few seconds later.

I have been aiming for sub 18 for a few days and wanting to achieve
that goal. To achieve it by some margin was incredible. It really did
feel great.

This week has seen a shift to in that I have been running a little
bit. Conservative in both pace and distance going from 1.3 to 2.5
miles over the course of this week. My leg still hurts a bit but is
improving as previously I could not manage even 10 seconds before
having to stop.

Here's to improving swim times, more running and the new foundation of
it all, yoga.


Sent from my iPad

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Serendipity

Spotted this on my Garmin from a slow run last week and love the
numbers. Nearly missed it too as was resetting the display, I stopped
just in time!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Coaching

There are a lot of coaching resources out there, couch to pretty much any distance. Get around plans for half and full marathons and beyond. What these resources offer is a one size fits all when, patently, one size doesn't fit all. Plans like these work well for experienced runners, and yes I know I have contradicted myself as how can couch to 5km be for an experienced runner? 

The point is that magazines, websites and apps all have plans for runners to use and generally for free. There are then local coaches at running clubs, I've never been a member of a running club (preferring the lone wolf approach to my running) but there's coaching available on a group basis. 

There are then online coaches, the ones I am referring to here are from the ultra running community, offering packages of programme development, calls and emails etc etc. these services can be expensive with, from what I have seen, pricing from £100-£150 per month. But if you want to be coached by one of the worlds leading ultra runners then I guess that's a fair price...

I have been toying with extending my passion for running by moving into this arena and taking some very baby steps. Offering the service to friends and colleagues by word of mouth. I have had a couple of 'clients' coaching one runner seeking a sub 2 hour half marathon to a 1:57 finish and another seeking a sub 2:30 half marathon finish to a 2:21 finish where he ran the whole way (the training strategy had been to factor in walk breaks but come race day they weren't needed). 

That same runner is now doing his first triathlon, a sprint, in early May. I have helped develop the training programme that he's following for this. After his half marathon performance we were talking and he said to me "the training programme and advice were ace, you're a really good coach!" The compliment somewhat tempered by the surprise in his voice. 

I now have two additional clients training for marathons with very different goals. One, a woman, seeking to build the fitness and get around. The get around being done in New York in November this year. The other, a man, seeking a sub 3:30 first marathon at the inaugural Bristol to Bath marathon. 

In all instances the clients are far from stupid and could find, tweak and develop any plan that they could find on the internet. What they don't have is perhaps the confidence that it is the right thing to do. By having someone adopt the coach role they have a sounding board and someone telling them what they should be doing and giving the confidence that what they are doing is right. There's also the opportunity to tweak the plans as the runner develops. 

The get around marathon might develop into a 4:30 runner over time and the sub 3:30 target may move to sub 3:15... Spotting this improvement through having a sounding board, the coach, and then having someone help to switch the training around is a valuable service. One size doesn't fit all. 

I have developed the marathon training plans for both the new clients. As they are quite far off there's a base phase building to the specific training. I've put these together using online resources available and tuned them based on conversations. I will monitor the actuals against plan and then manage it as necessary. 

It will be exciting and for me really interesting to have two clients doing the same distance with two very different goals. 

If you think I can help you or would like to figure out if I can then why not email me (mbosano@gmail.com) as the first step? 

Whatever your goal I'm sure you can get there....

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Ashmei Trail Socks

Socks are an odd thing to review, they are important as they are the buffer between your foot and your shoe but largely they are invisible. You don't necessarily notice a good sock but you do a bad one. My sock of choice for the last 6 months or so has been an Inov8 trail sock. 

They are good socks, good elastic support and comfortable. The main issue is durability. Where the sock rubs on the shoe the fibres wear through leaving them threadbare in the exact spot that you need, er, thread. Look in my kit drawer and you can see the fibres that have worn loose. 

I've also been wearing some nike road socks that are again, decent socks, they are thin, polyester and quite durable. They offer little by way of cushioning and are more a liner.

Contrast with the Ashmei trail socks that I, along with a bunch of other wannabe ambassadors, were given as a gift for attending the ambassadors day. The first thing about these socks is that they look like a traditional running sock but someone like Hilly or Thorlos. Predominantly white with some coloured trim they sit just below the ankle but have a large cushioned tab at the back. 

Putting them on and you can feel the support through the arch of the foot and also the length of the foot. Elastic through the heel holding the sock firm. 

In the week since I was given them I decided to stress test them a bit by wearing them for 5 days worth of run commuting. A week where I also increased my mileage a bit. I wasn't washing them in between either. This was to test the durability and also the odor busting mix of merino wool and carbon. Marrying the natural wicking properties of merino with the thirst of carbon.

I ran 10 times over the 5 days and covered 38.9 miles. I was wearing an Adidas Boost shoe for all these runs. 

Remarkably after a week the socks did not smell. I don't have a particularly good sense of smell so managed to persuade Mrs. B to test them. Reluctantly she had a sniff, early in the week she said they smelled like damp wool, that was after I had just taken them off. Later in the week nothing really. Quite something considering. Consider that this is the sock, the clothes are made of the same/similar weave and so should perform the same. 

As for durability, well the integrity of the sock was maintained, they did not feel sloppy or loose at all during the week. The elastic keeping taught. They were a bit bobbly towards the end of the week, a inevitable (?) by product of using wool. They also showed some signs of rubbing on the big toe as you can see in the picture. There was no obvious wear and no signs of any weak spots.

These are very good socks, the fact that they don't smell means makes them ideal for someone like me that run commutes. I get through a lot of kit and sometimes at the end of the day to run home it can be quite nasty putting on the mornings gear. Not so with these socks. I really liked the oversized tab at the back of the socks, this made getting them really easy and at no time did it feel like pulling it would damage the sock. 

The best feature though, for me, was the elastic support given to the foot. From the heel through the length and then on the bridge of the foot this is a really supportive and secure sock. 

The longest run I did in these was around 7 miles, the shortest was 2.5, as I've already mentioned I wore my adidas boost trainers for all runs. 


While these were a gift the review is honest and unbiased. It is actually quite hard to review a sock as there's not a lot you can really say. These have clearly been thought out and designed to be functional. They are quite expensive but as a measure of how good they are I have subsequently ordered another pair. 

I would wear them with confidence on a long run and suggest that you could do so out of the box such is the performance of this item.

Top class socks!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Ashmei Ambassador Day - what a great day that was...

What a great morning!

Today was the Ashmei Ambassadors day, i started by preparing the car; blacking out the windows, putting on the diplomatic plates and some small flags that sit on the bonnet above the headlamps. I didn't but i did make the drive to Tring, it was a beautiful morning, bright and sunny and very cold. It was a couple of hours drive and it pretty much flew by. Arriving at Ashmei HQ was quietly impressive, large automatic metal gates with a large banner. They opened automatically, very bond. On site it was very relaxed and understated. Old farm buildings converted or otherwise. The Ashmei HQ was easy to find not least of all because the large Airstream caravan parked outside. 



It turned out that this was actually named Phoenix after the owner's son, Ashmei, incidentally, is an anagram of his daughters name. Simon met me at the entrance and showed me inside.

On walking into the HQ the energy was immediately apparent. To call it a buzz would be to do it an injustice. It was vibrant. Friendly and excited chatter, athletes all getting to know each other, drinking juice or water (where was the coffee?) and munching on fruit or croissants. There was also a large plate of Fererro Rocher (we were being quite spoiled). 

Registration was at the back of the room, stickers for your name, a disclaimer and a 'fun fact' later and it was socialising and networking. My mind went totally blank when asked for a fun fact - quite embarrassing really. I started talking to Julie Kummer of Like the Wind magazine and Freestak, it had been her husband Simon that had shown me in when i arrived. After a short chat i went and had my photo taken, the last piece of advice being to make sure i didn't have any croissant in my beard!

There was then an introduction by Simon and then a presentation by the Ashmei founder, Stuart Brooke. This was an impressive talk by a man who is clearly passionate about what he makes and why he makes it. Had there been a rail with clothing to buy at that moment i think everyone in that room would have been getting their cash out. The ethos, effort and thought that goes into each piece of clothing was beautifully articulated and made perfect sense. 


We were then all given a pair of the trail running Ashmei socks as a gift. Of course we all put them on, there's nothing quite like that fresh sock feeling and these didn't disappoint. Snug, supporting and soft all at once. Today's run wasn't really a session to test them properly but i am looking forward to wearing them on my next long run. 

There was time for a few questions and then we got changed ready to head out on a run or ride. This was to be an hour or so. The weather had turned a bit while we were inside and so it was actually pretty cold when we headed out. Short sleeves were a bit of a mistake. The route we ran was beautiful. We were in the countryside and on the trails within 5 minutes of leaving the HQ. Up towards the Ridgeway along to a beacon and then back around. There were some excellent vista's and on a sunnier day the view would have gone for miles. On our return leg we coincided with a local race. Cheering on the runners and making way for them to run through our large group when we encountered them. 


The run was great, views and terrain aside it was really great to be running with like minded people and getting to know them. I was running and chatting with a triathlete when i tumbled. Spectacularly. Crashing hard on my right shoulder. I was fine but it was embarrassing as the group stopped to help me and check i was ok. That would now be my fun fact "on an ambassadors selection day i face planted on the run". 


Back at the Ashmei HQ there was more grazing at the buffet table. Some final conversations with the other athletes and then a farewell from Simon. 

Nobody really wanted to leave or at least that was how it felt. This was a party that could have gone on and on. The environment was welcoming and familiar and the people there all shared the same passions. To be outdoors doing their sport whatever it might be. 

As i walked to the car I felt so incredibly motivated and energized. Like i wanted to run again and maybe the whole 70 miles home. When you spend the whole morning in an environment built around running with people that feel the same then i don't see how you cannot be touched by that. 

The reason we were all there was because we want to become brand ambassadors. If i were selected it would be truly awesome. To be associated with the people and Ashmei brand is exactly where i would want to be. There were, though 40-50 other people that all feel the same and who are all equally awesome, positive and motivated. I do not envy those making the choices and only hope that i feature in their thinking. If i don't then i genuinely wish whoever is selected well as hey were a great bunch of people and will do a fantastic job i am sure.



Friday, March 13, 2015

Ashmei Brand Ambassadors

Quite often you see competitions or give-away's advertised online. It will be something like "follow company x and RT this message for a chance to win _____", or "tell us in 120 characters why_____". I've entered a few of them and even won one once - Meridian Foods sent me a box full of nut products after a "follow and RT" type of competition. 


These type of things are random and from what I can see people enter them just to try and win. They might not be interested in the product but free stuff is free stuff! Contrast this with the invitation to submit an entry to be a Brand Ambassador and it's very different. I saw the advert on Facebook that Ashmei were looking for Brand Ambassadors. Clicked the link, completed the form and hit send. I never expected it to go any further. 


Imagine my surprise then when barely a week later I received an email invitation to an Ashmei Brand Ambassadors Day on 14th March at their HQ in Tring. 


To say I was excited was an understatement so I accepted the invitation. Actually the first thing I did was look up where Tring was as I'd never actually heard of it before, it's close enough so then I accepted the invitation. 


When you look at the Ashmei website and product set it is clear that they are a quality outfit. Everything oozes with that quality and style. Reading reviews of the products online and they are not merely for show, the products work, the quality of the presentation being matched by the products themselves. While it seems obvious to say you cannot have one without the other that's very clearly not always the case. 


This week I have been very excited as the day approaches, even finding myself saying yesterday that it was two more sleeps! They day is structured with arrivals and photo's between 10-1045. Then there's a presentation and Q&A before two groups head out for an hours run or bike ride. I liked how in the invitation it stressed that this was not a race! 


It would be completely beyond my imagination if I were to be selected as one of the four athletes they pick for the role of Brand Ambassador - I am going as I definitely want to be in the mix but more importantly as it will be an interesting and, for me, a unique experience. I will also get to meet like-minded motivated people passionate about their sport. That's what I think it is I can offer, I am so passionate about my running and what it gives to me that I try to share it. I have done, and continue to do, a bit of coaching and want to build on that. Not because I want it to be my job but because I want other people to get out of this sport what I and so many other people do. That sense of self-confidence, mental equilibrium and a fantastic feeling of well-being. 


I am sure I could offer something valuable in the role and would love to be a Brand Ambassador for Ashmei but if I don't make it I am sure it will have been a fantastic day.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

DNS - Did Not Start

I have missed out on quite a few races that I have entered due to
injury. The pattern would normally be...

Feel healthy -> Enter a couple of races -> Complete the first Race ->
breakdown -> Miss next race. Repeat to fade.

A year ago I made the decision that I would only enter a race once I
had finished the next one and was sure I was healthy and physically
able to do it. This didn't last long and towards the end of 2014 I had
entered the Thames Trot and then, for four weeks later, the Groundhog
Marathon.

Things were going against trend... I finished the #TT in good repair
and was looking forward to the Groundhog. Thinking being that with a
good 7-10 days of rest and small recovery type runs I could do a 25-30
mile week, have a weeks taper and with the residual strength from the
ultra training maybe even PB at marathon distance. It felt possible.

A week after the #TT I succumbed to a heavy cold <insert man flu gag
here> sore throat, bad cough. Even a couple days off work. Felt
rubbish, after about a week the cough went to be replaced by a
streaming nose. Through all of this the inevitable aches and pains
that come with a cold. I felt rubbish.

The irony here being that it all started 2 days after I had my flu jab
where I had boasted to the nurse that I had not had a cold in months
if not years!

I tried a couple of runs during that time when I was feeling ok and
while I was able to complete them it was possibly the worse thing to
have done, the improvement in well being being quickly returned to
rubbish in the space of a slow 5km.

This past week I felt like I had shaken off my cold. A few IPA's on
Saturday night seemingly doing the trick - medicinal you understand.
With Groundhog a week away, it's this Saturday, my plan was to do some
easy running this week and try for a long run of 8-10 miles to see how
it went. I ran this on Tuesday evening, quicker pace than I was
expecting I was just running on feel and felt ok. Afterwards I was
shattered and the following morning stiff as a board.

Waking up this morning I didn't feel great. Not as bad as before but
just an indicator that I have probably pushed to much too quickly and
that running a marathon on Saturday would be the wrong thing to do,
assuming it is even physically possible for me. It's a horrible
decision to make and not taken lightly but feels like the right thing
to do.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Just enjoy it?

I was in a running shop today, Run and Become. A great shop that sells
a massive variety of shoes. For such a small shop it's quite
remarkable. I was browsing, actually I was looking for some Adidas
Ultraboosts, they didn't have any so was looking around when a lady
that worked there asked if I needed help.

I replied that "I'm just browsing thanks"
She smiled and asked, "do you have any races coming up?"
"Yes", I responded, "a marathon in a week although because of my cold
I've not been able to train properly for nearly two weeks"
"Have you run one before?" She asked. Putting aside my affront, surely
I look like a runner don't i?
"Yes, and I ran a 50 miler 3 weeks ago"
What she said next was, to me, incredibly interesting. She said, "well
you're an experienced runner, maybe this one is for enjoyment and
experience. To be there."

I nodded and agreed then she went behind the counter. I left shortly afterwards.

I've been thinking about it all day though.

I haven't and don't race a lot but when I do I want to race. I don't
think I'll win but I race to do the best I can. The Groundhog marathon
was to be about striving for a PB, now it will be about finishing.
Maybe in not being in the shape I want and needing to rely on residual
fitness and experience the race day will be more enjoyable. Clearly I
love running so maybe low expectations and a relaxed approach will
open a whole world up. I will be in the moment and because I won't be
killing myself racing the watch i'll be better for it...

I might even race more...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Blood(y) Ultras

As a type 1 diabetic I have regular blood tests. Every 6 months in
fact. They check a load of things and I normally get feedback on my
HBA1c (http://www.diabetes.co.uk/what-is-hba1c.html) and my
cholesterol. Everything else presumably at normal levels and so not
worthy of mention.

This time was different, I had low iron, low platelet count and higher
levels of bilirubin in my liver. I am seeing the doctor in the morning
to get clarification on each of these and to determine what I need to
be doing and should be doing to redress the balance.

In the meantime I have done some internet research and they are all,
probably, linked. The root cause is my training regimen but it also
goes further than that...

Iron
Found in leafy greens (kale, spinach, cabbage etc) and meat red meat.
Meat is the top of the list, actually liver is top of the list but as
I eat neither it's a bit of a problem. I do regularly eat my greens, I
also eat a lot of chick peas. I am assuming that this is not enough to
sustain the amount of run training that I do. Not that the volume is
that massive but perhaps combined with my age and diet it is.

Since having this identified I have been taking a supplement to
restore my levels which I will cease after a day or two.

Combine this with damaged red blood cells and the issue is compounded.

Red Blood Cells
These live, normally, for around 120 days in the body. After which
they die but as they have been alive for 120days the body has time to
replenish. During endurance training and running particularly they can
become damaged and die prematurely. As the body has not had time to
replenish then the count is reduced. This contributes to the lack of
iron.

(http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/523124_4)
(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7740249)

Bilirubin
I have copied this definition from the website
(http://www.patient.co.uk/health/liver-function-tests). The second
bullet near the end of the passage is relevant...

This chemical gives bile its yellow/green colour. A high level of
bilirubin in your blood will make you jaundiced ('yellow'). Bilirubin
is made from haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is a chemical in red blood cells
that is released when the red blood cells break down. Liver cells take
in bilirubin and attach sugar molecules to it. This is then called
'conjugated' bilirubin which is passed into the bile ducts.
> A raised blood level of 'conjugated' bilirubin occurs in various liver and bile duct conditions. It is particularly high if the flow of bile is blocked. For example, by a gallstone stuck in the common bile duct, or by a tumour in the pancreas. It can also be raised with hepatitis, liver injury, or long-term alcohol abuse.
> A raised level of 'unconjugated' bilirubin occurs when there is excessive breakdown of red blood cells - for example, in haemolytic anaemia.

All of which, if correct, indicates that the issues should not be
anything serious to worry about as the root cause is understood.
Obviously I'm no doctor and may have interpreted things to
simplistically. I'll find out tomorrow.

This does perhaps raise two questions....actually three questions...
1. Is a vegetarian diet good for endurance runners?
2. Is ultra running any good for you?
3. Should I switch back from IPA to drinking Guinness again?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Thames Trot a week on...

A week or so after the Thames Trot and I've had time to digest and reflect a bit....

First thing is I had my hip checked out, diagnosis is a strained symphis pubis ligament (http://www.caringmedical.com/treatment/pubic-symphysis-injury/). Nothing too serious at all. I ran on Tuesday, a couple miles on a treadmill and again today with 5 miles over two runs on my commute. While not quite full of beans I am fine.

I've been thinking about how underwhelmed I was when I finished the race last Saturday a lot and spoken to a couple of people about it as it was bothering me. I felt like I was being ungrateful when I really wasn't. I think it comes down to a couple of things. 

1. I wanted to race. 
I didn't think I'd win or even come close but I wanted to race. I wanted to do the best I could. I wasn't able to do that so never left it all out on the course, never buried myself to do the best I could. When I crossed the line I was fine. Sure I was tired and sore but actually very well.

2. I executed the plan.
I had a training plan, I followed it, only dropping 47.47 miles over the 4 months (I love that it was 47.47) and so on race day was able to do my thing as per the plan until I fell and then just couldn't. 

Those are both positives and enable me to look forward with some confidence. I ran 50 miles. In less than 10hours and was able to manage my body through 28 miles on some horrible terrain. I stayed calm, in the moment and just got in with it. I could have lost it with myself, I could have withdrawn, or dnf'd but I didn't I saw it through. I'm proud of that. 

Looking back on the race there's some things that really have come back to me...

The course..
I enjoyed the course, despite the mud, the opening few miles on the frozen trails were great, some of the villages beautiful and the bridges with 5p car tolls - seriously - just seem crazy! The section through the woods with the stairs cut into the hill was a welcome change. Running through the streets of Reading was surreal after so long out in the peace. The bridge at the finish in Henley was incredible (even though it was dark). There was a moment where running on my own I could hear behind me the honking of geese, it got closer and louder and a metre or two above the water flew a flock of around a dozen Canada geese. It was incredible.

The people...
Ultra runners are great, friendly, cool, with beards and happy to chat. I ran with a number of people all of whom were great. Running with Kirk was a highlight. The surreal moment was the Hull City fan. He came alongside me with his phone out, I had mine out but was looking up Henley on a map. He was checking the football scores. Told me that Ivanovich had scored a winner for Chelsea and that City had only drawn with Hull. That really gave me a lift and then he was gone.... I wonder was he ever really there?

The people extends to the race organisation and aid stations. Just brilliant. Beaming smiles, supportive and helpful. 

Mantra...
Karl Meltzer of Talk Ultra always talks about "doing his thing" - that was my mantra. With a plan to run 9min miles I kept repeating to myself "just doing my thing - just doing my thing" it worked. It kept me calm and very much in the moment. That was possibly the biggest learning point for me...I was firmly, unequivocally and totally in the moment. That was the best bit. I experienced every footstep, sight and sound as was not plugged in.


I was and am incredibly grateful to have been able to complete this race. It's an experience like no other. To be moving for that long, just moving, strips away all other thoughts. You are just moving, everything is focused on that. Once the body realises that it's remarkable what it can do. How quickly you can move and then when it's over how quickly it can repair itself. 

To be in the moment for that long, to enjoy that sense of peace and unspoken unity with those around you is not something I take for granted. 

I know I can do better than I did here but if I don't it won't be a problem. Just finishing is a victory and the journey is more uplifting and significant than the finish....

Monday, February 9, 2015

Thames Trot Ultra marathon :: 7th February :: Race Report

ran 50 miles. Me! 50 miles. I say ran but it was a mixture of running, walking and shuffling. I keep saying it in my head as it sounds awesome. Even if the race didn't quite go to plan I still finished it and in under 10 hours. 
This was the Thames Trot 50 mile ultramarathon set-up by Go Beyond and also known as 'The Boat Race'.

The day started nice and calm. We stayed in the race start hotel, Hawkwell House, breakfast was at 7; fruit, cereal, yoghurt and then poached egg on a muffin. Oh and coffee. Then it was to the conservatory to register and pick up my race number and timing chip. Back to the room to get changed, I'd already loaded my race vest the night before, then down to the start. 

Have deliberated extensively, far too much so, my final kit was...
- Adidas Adizero Boost shoes
- Inov8 socks
- Compressport calf guards
- Skins under shorts
- Brooks shorts
- Nike combat short sleeved tshirt
- Nike combat lightweight fleece long sleeve top
- Gore running shirt
- buff
- Asics running beanie
- running gloves
- Salomon S-Lab 5ltr race vest

I was changed and ready, the off was 8:30, at 8:15 I headed down with Luca for company. I was feeling pretty nervous at this time and said as much to Luca. He just looked at me and said "you do this every weekend" he was sort of right and wrong but just made me think how much training I have done. I relaxed a bit.


Nice and nervous at the start!

As the crowd gathered there was plenty of gear on display. A couple of hardly soles in T-shirts. Lots of Inov8 running shoes, one guy in VFF's, and lots of race vests. Salomon Ultimate Direction, Kalenji, Nathan all prominent. 
 

Crowd shot - milling about before the off.

We were called to the start, the horn sounded and off we went. 400m down the hill on the road towards the river. The throng already stretching out then bunching as we crossed narrow bridges over the river to the far bank.

My plan was to run 9min mile pace and try to run the whole race at that pace. I started well enough although had to keep checking my watch as it is harder than you might image running at a pace much slower than normal. My pace hovered around the 8:45/9:15 mark as we all progressed across the frozen single track. 

The weather was much better than anticipated and fortunately there was no rain. The first couple of hours in the bitter cold the path was really runable. It was frozen solid. It was almost like running on Tarmac although you did have to watch it as there were lots of ridges that were like rocks and roots.

The first aid station arrived quite soon at just before 10miles. I grabbed a bottle of water and some of the famous fruit cake and continued. The cake, fruitcake, was lush! I continued at the same steady pace making up some places on runners already slowing down or taking planned walk breaks. 

Another aid station hit in 3 hours, right on cue as I was planning that 10 miles would take me 1hr 30. More cake, more water and off. This continued and I was feeling so confident. I kept saying in my head "I'm doing my thing" and it was working. There was a section that was on the road and I picked up my pace leaving a small group that had come together, behind. We then got lost....

The group reformed and 6 men actually got the map out. We ran together and figured our way back on course. We then ran together for a few miles as we approached and went through 20 and 21. I started to ease forward, upping it from 10min pace to my goal pace of 9 minute miles. This is where disaster struck.

That's a tad melodramatic but it's where the wheels came off. The tow path was changing from the compacted frozen gravel to a grassy, muddy path. Coming in the opposite direction were three people walking a dog. They pulled the dog to them, I thanked them and then said that were 5 others just behind me. Next thing, bang, I hit the deck. 

There was a small grass bank with mud across it. Not sure what foot slipped but I felt my hip flex and stretch as I unconsciously tried to right the slide. It stretched too far and then I hit the ground. Hard.

Immediately I could feel my right quad throb and my hip was really sore. I got up as the other runners came around the corner. I ran with them for a while until I couldn't hold that pace. The discomfort in my right side becoming too much. 

I walked for a bit to get some composure. Then, now on my own, tried to run again. The path was now covered in really slippery thick mud. My footing was all over the place and each correction was agony. At one point on some single track as I slid in all directions I thought if I fall I will either face plant into barbed wire or slide gently and forever into the cold Thames. More walking.

This was the start of my walk and run/shuffle strategy. Very frustrating. 

I reached the 30 mile aid station to be greeted with a picnic. There were sausage rolls, pork pies, crisps, breadsticks, more cake, water and electrolytes and luckily some falafel. I scoffed I a load of food here and had some electrolyte. A really helpful volunteer took my bottle and filled it for me (from a tank!).

I was reluctant to leave this station, it had a great vibe and runners seemed happy to kill some time. The next couple of miles were on the road and through a housing estate. Again navigation was difficult and I ended up in a small group of runners. We arrived at the path and off again, I started running with a guy that was doing 9min pace. We were chatting and running and it was easy, until it started to hurt. I slowed down and arrived at walking pace.

The next few miles were mud, mud and mud. I walked, walked and walked. 

There was a nice stretch through some woods and I ran for a bit with an accountant from Cambridge who supported Liverpool. He was, however, a nice fella. Eventually he dropped me and I never saw him again, perhaps because I am a Chelsea fan.... This became the story of my race, I was going backwards. I picked up then with a chap called Kirk. We ran together for probably a couple of hours on and off. Chatting about family, training, upcoming races and generally chewing the fat. Eventually he dropped me as the inevitable mud took its toll I was unable to run but he continued. 

There was a surreal stretch through this where we ran through Reading. Leaving the Thames Path to skirt around some building works we were surrounded by high rise and cars. After having had it so peaceful this was quite a change. In a group I don't know what we must have looked like, survivors of the apocalypse or something. We must have smelled bad too! It was also quite odd that having been out for so long it still felt like morning and so even at 2pm I was saying good morning to people that we encountered or passed on the path.

At the final aid station I begged how long to the finish to be told 10k. I was pretty gutted but then smiled when the aid station chap said that it should be around 30minutes for me! In my dreams. 

The light was now fading (head torch time) as time ticked on and there was more mud. I was being over taken with far too much regularity now. As Henley approached I was told there was one more field and then some road. Relief.

Finishing in the dark...

I ploughed on (see what I did there) and on firmer ground was able to run a bit more.  Coming into Henley I crossed a long bridge, there was time to get lost once more with a couple of other runners, we were all now in head torches, before the finish was in in sight. Luca and Amélie were waiting for me with about 200m to go. Seeing them was awesome, really gave me a lift. I made sure to be running and even managed a sprint, or maybe an improved shuffle, to the finish. 

Action shot!

It was done. 

Evidence of my fall...
 
I was mightily relieved but not emotional, not drained or particularly exhausted. I felt really intact. I had done the whole race. I had just run 50 miles. I was a bit underwhelmed at the finish as I wasn't in difficulty. Although I had been managing my body over the previous 28 miles or so at no point did I think I wouldn't finish. On reflection the training I did was obviously correct and the right amount as I was not broken by it. I had fuel in my tank as I had not been 'racing' the second half.
 
I grabbed a cup of tea, I really needed something warm now as the cold was biting, and grabbed my kids a couple of pieces of the fruit cake and then walked to the car. Got changed by the boot and was then craving some savoury after so much gel, shot bloks and cake.
 
We found a chippy 5 minutes from the race finish and never has fish and chips tasted so good.
 
As a diabetic my blood sugar is pretty vital, this means basically eating enough to not bonk. Important for everyone racing but, perhaps doubly for someone with Type 1 diabetes. At the start of the race my blood sugar was 12mmol. I had had 6 units of insulin with breakfast. When I tested at the end of the race my blood sugar was 4.1mmol. I had eaten a couple packs of Shot bloks, a couple of gels, a trek bar, a Meridian foods nut bar, 4 helpings of fruit cake, a load of falafels and some breadsticks. I hadn't tested during the race as I was feeling fine and in control. At no point did I feel like my blood sugar was getting away from me. I have run miles and miles so know how my body reacts to this.
 
It was then a drive home (me as passenger!) - I had a hot bath and some more food. I thought I would be exhausted and asleep very soon. It didn't come, I watched the football on TV and eventually went to bed around midnight.
 
I am looking forward to my next ultra, as always there are lessons learned but I know I can do it. I can do it and be in control and not break. Isn't that what ultra running is...
 



Cup of tea at the end...

Results Update...
I finished 144th out of 259 finishers in an official time of 09:37:38.

My splits between each checkpoint...
CP1 - 01:32:17 
CP2 - 01:29:55
CP3 - 01:48:48
CP4 - 01:34:36
CP5 - 01:33:54
Finish - 01:38:08