I’m on a Podcast!

Oh yes indeed. When Simon Staples and Rob Cowlin asked if I wanted to guest appear on Episode 3 of Band of Runners I could hardly say no.

You can listed or download it directly at bandofrunners.podbean.com, find it on iTunes or have a listen on Spotify! The Spotify stream is embedded in the post below.

We have a chat about everything running, from race histories, favourite races, DNFs and upcoming 100 Mile Ultras. Have a listen!

Cotswolds Way 100km (DNF)

So the Cotswolds Way 100km has come and gone. With heat reaching 39°c it was brutal going and, ultimately, too much.

A DNF at the half way point was the end result. See my recap of the first 50km here!

Garmin Forerunner 645 Review

It’s finally here! My first gear review. I’ve worn the Forerunner 645 for over a year now, from 5ks to 100ks so I’ve had plenty of time to put it through its paces. Click the link here or select it from the drop down menu under “Gear Reviews” above to read my thoughts.

My new Forerunner 945 is arriving today, which promises greater battery life, advanced running metrics and on board, full colour maps. I’ll post a review of that once I’ve had the chance to test it thoroughly.

Running Transformations

As in the “About me” section, I ran Brighton Marathon in 2014 with absolutely no training. “Run” is probably generous, as it was more of a stagger, hating every single step so much that afterwards I threw my running shoes away and didn’t run a single time for the next three and bit years.

In 2014 I was the largest I’d ever been and my mental health was all over the place. So one weekend in 2017 I bought a pair of running shoes, went out for a run and collapsed in a heap. Then signed myself up for a number of races to make sure that I kept on going out.

2017 to 2019

The first photo is from one of those early races in 2017. I’d already lost a lot of weight by then and in my head I was at the top of my game, fit and slim (which relatively speaking, I was). Two years later, I know how wrong I was.

When I ran that half marathon in 2017 I don’t think I’d ever even heard of an ultra marathon. I certainly had never contemplated one and would have thought the idea of ever doing so was absurd.

Over the past 12 months I’ve run 24 of them (soon to finish my 26 ultras in 52 weeks), including 10 on 10 consecutive days. Goes to show there’s always something more to aim for.

Running is great for my physical health but essential for my mental wellbeing. I’m incredibly lucky that I found it and that I have those who relentlessly support me in it.

Holiday Running on the Jurassic Coast

I’m on holiday! Which is just an excuse to run in different scenery – in this case the Jurassic Coast.

The scenery here is stunning. It’s really made we want to run the Ultra Challenge Jurassic Coast 100km next year.

It’s also given me a chance to do some extra testing of my Salomon Sense Ride 2s – still trying to decide between those and my Nike Terra Kiger 4s for the Cotswolds Way 100km in a couple of weeks.

Here we go again…

So this is a fairly big one even for me, even if the ultras are “baby” ultras. Thursday, Friday, Saturday morning, Saturday evening and Sunday 🏃

Saturday will be the hardest to judge. Get around the morning ultra as fast as I can to give myself a longer rest before the afternoon one, or treat it like one long ultra with an enforced lunch break? 🤔

Not entirely sure I even have this in me at the moment if I’m honest but I’ll give it everything. Run until I drop and then start crawling 🙌 after this it’s three weeks race free to recover before the Cotswolds Way 100km.

As ever, I’ll post a combined race report of the five-in-four after they’re run.

The Importance of Sports Massages

So, in between my race reviews and (coming!) gear reviews, I decided to do the occasional blog post. Not every day, but just with things that are mildly more interesting than a training run but don’t make it to the reviews pages. Starting…. Now!

I like to think I’m fairly good at this whole running malarkey. I am however totally rubbish at taking care of myself afterwards and between races. I’ll occasionally use a foam or stick roller to work out a few knots in my legs but beyond that I have a tendency to neglect myself.

Naomi, deciding enough was enough, bought me a voucher for a sports massage. So off I went after work to the Greenwich Spa. It’s been 18 months since I last had a sports massage (I did say I was rubbish), so I’d forgotten just what to expect…

Pain. A lot of it. Unrelenting for 55 minutes. Phrases such as “Dear God, what have you done?!” and “This is such a mess, I don’t even know where to start” were uttered with alarming regularity.

Half an hour spent working on my back, before concluding that she was “just starting to shift some of these knots but I suppose I’d better have a look at your legs”. Which were…. worse.

Again, no surprise there. Another 30 minutes of pain, with pressure on knots that had no intention of so much as budging. More comments: “You know this bit is supposed to be able to bend right?”. When I finally dragged myself off of the massage table I felt…. good. Slightly broken, but generally with a feeling of “better”.

And so, I’m committing myself to a sports massage once a month in order to try and keep things under control and much more regular foam rolling. It’s silly not to take care of my legs really. So much effort goes into races and carrying myself around them on wrecked legs does me no favours. So onwards and upwards! And hopefully less pain…