Day 2 – Lunch & Moments

Nothing more than
a collection of moments.

               
Receiving several kisses from butterflies.

Finding a nice fellow who told me of the perfect camping spot. 

Racing the tide and winning (just!).

Pasty and a full belly at Portreath

Talking about running and stuff with Keith.

Eating squashed chocolate truffles that now resemble poop.

Remembering a great man who to all appeared ordinary.

The miracle of tumble driers.

Running the jellyfish gauntlet.

Eating a huge red apple whilst running through Hayle.

 

Day 1 – Two Decisions That Should Have Been Made Early

The whole point of large challenges is learning.   This morning, seeing the wet and windy weather I should have made a decision.

The decision should have been to delay by a day, as tomorrow promises far nicer weather, and would have givent the trails time to dry a little.  

The second decision was to do as I said I would do from te start….. If the weather is wet, wear my sandals!  I didn’t for the first unknown number of miles, and since I started with wet feet, the impact is obvious.   Luckily two things where done as part of the planning.

First I decided on a schedule that was managable and gave me additional days should I need to use them.  The second is carrying a pair of my sandals.  I guess there will be lots of criticism for my decision to get the sandals on in the wet, but there is that time limit I’m having to stick to.  

Now I have to make a decision on the route I take to Gwithian and whether I’ll cut the day short. I need to make sure I can get tent dried off before bedding down and that I have enough time to rest and make sure I can start to recoup the 2/3 hours I lost today due to the weather.   
Currently, I’m sat in Zeanor having a tea (laced with Tailwind) in the company of a pleasant gentleman named Jeremy. He joined me part way to Zeanor and has been kind enough to show me the way and buy me a tea.
Enjoy your Sunday’s.

 
Oh, and the pebble is now that little bit closer to John O’Groats. 

Day 1 – Adventure Begins With Slight Delay

The weather through the night was horrendous!  Gale force winds threatened to rip me and my tent off the ground like we were made of tissue paper!  Then, after several hours of being battered, a tent peg decides it has had enough, rotates and unleashed the edge of the tent, changing a slightly wind battered tent into a writhing animal!! 

It was time to put those fast packing skills into practice and thank my brain for making that last minute dry bag purchase.  Now I sit and wait for the wind to die down so I can start.  Wet is not the best conditions to run in, so today is going to be a challenge, but luckily there is a van to sit in and wait.

It’s going to be a long day….  

 

Adventure Begins With A Road Trip

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 Feeling slightly worse for wear after some celebratory “schools out” drinks, but at least there’s good company along the way and since I’m not driving, plenty of time for catching up on missed sleep.  

It seems I’m currently stuck between excited and nervous, which appears to be a strangely calm location.  First day needs to be gotten out the way, but for now I’m planning on enjoying myself.

Have to say thanks to Adam and Rooth for being Adam and Rooth.  Possibly the best two people I have the pleasure of knowing :)

The Secret To Barefoot Toughness

It’s all in the training ūüėú

 

Joking aside…

Picking the toughest terrain to run across and doing this consistently is probably the only secret to making tough terrain easy and learning to relax as you move across it.  

I’ve got a long way to go before being an expert but then again, I have 1206 miles to practice on starting this Sunday (26th of July)!!

Acknowledge To Avoid

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It’s all too easy to fall into a hole. ¬†Sometimes, we don’t even realise that it’s happening until it’s too late and all that is ahead of us is a slow, hard climb out.

Part of the process seems to be to acknowledge where you are or where you’re heading before you get there. ¬†Everyone has moments where they realise that actually, everything isn’t ok, and part of the journey has been how to deal with this, avoid it and manage when your there.

Here’s what I’ve found helps, and although it is purely a personal thing, contains no magic bullets or new strategies, sometimes it helps to have someone repeat what you already know. ¬†So, for what its worth here they are:

  1. Learn not lie – this isn’t just to others but also to yourself. ¬†We know instinctively when things aren’t quite right and all to often we push on, making a small piece of grit in our metaphoric shoe into a giant jagged rock.
  2. Acknowledge it if its unavoidable – sometimes, situations, poor planning, bad luck and distractions take us places we really don’t want to be. ¬†Acknowledgement, in a matter of fact way is often the only way out.
  3. Just pause, look and absorb РThis is probably the simplest way to deal with a low point.  We miss so much when that low point hits.  Tunnel vision kicks in, our brains focus on the wrong things and we lose that ability to be aware of our surroundings and actually appreciate where we are.
  4. Smile – Stopping and smilling for no reason at all is odd at the best of times, but combine it with a random laugh and its like rocket fuel! ¬†It’s almost like a reset switch that puts everything back on the right track.
  5. Be ready to fail – Now this is an interesting one for me. ¬†Samurai and martial artist are instructed to fight as though they are already dead, removing that fear of dying and allowing them to act without hesitation. ¬†those negative thoughts of failure are like tiny grains of sand in that same metaphorical shoe. ¬†They continue an imperceptible grind and then you notice a huge tear that wasn’t there before, all from the constant low level nagging. ¬†Acknowledge the failure and be ready to deal with it and then use it to make you mentally stronger and ready for a rematch

Like I said earlier, I don’t believe any of this is actually in any way new, groundbreaking or a¬†magic bullet. ¬†It doesn’t even apply purely to running, but hopefully it acts as a memory jogger and that little kick for someone who needs it.

9 days to go…..

Before I Forget… Thanks

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The thanks goes to all those who have donated so far, supported the page by liking, sharing or getting involved in anyway with the whole adventure.  To those that have given advice, said hello at races and been generally positive.

Special thanks go to the following people:

Mike at Tailwind Nutition UK for his early support and words of wisdom.

Peter Ambrose for being the Peter Ambrose and stepping in to fill shoes that needed filling.

Buxton AC for keeping me running and for the supportive members.

Bob at Backpackinglight UK for the advice and the equipment that was kindly donated.

Bev who convinced the Fellsman committee to consider letting someone apply their own footwear rules.

The Fellsman Commitee for allowing me to run with my own choice of footwear or not in the first 40ish miles.

Goyt Valley Stridera for being so blooming nice and giving me somewhere new to run.

Claire at Trail Running magazine for the magazine space and early support.

Vicky at Stroke Association for her support.

AC Workwear for the promo t-shirts and the tops I will wear during the run.

Nick Allen at Buxton Physio for his advice, free treatment and muscle management tips.

Sarah Guise (Weleda Advisor) for her introduction to Weleda arnica balm and would Nappy Cream.

The people who purchased BareFootLeJog t-shirts and wore them to spread the word.

Peter Bailey for being Peter Bailey the t-shirt master mind and customer 0.

Bevon Blackwood for his last minute hardcore gym programme.

Adam and Rooth for the lift down and for being Adam and Rooth.

Thanks to the people who have offered addresses as drop points.

I hope I’ve not missed anyone out, but it’s been such an intense few months since I made the idea public that I’m likely to have forgotten something or someone.  

It’s almost time for me to do my part and I know the journey to this point would have been far more difficult if it wasn’t for you guys.

Introducing The Equipment – Part 3 – The Sandal Dilemma!

To those who know me and know about my running also know that I have had lots of different shoes! ¬†In fact they have the impression that I have a giant shoe room, filled with different styles, makes and colours of shoes. ¬†This isn’t actually true. ¬†The only true part is that I spent the last 2 years trying lots of different shoes and finding out just one essential fact…

After around 200 miles max, I destroy shoes, regardless of the make, design or reputed longevity. ¬†Then I decided it was time to give Luna sandals a go. ¬†So far, I can’t fault them. They are comfortable once they mould to your feet and the straps bed in, and more importantly, they seem to last!!

Now, the plan is to do the entire route without any footwear, the sensible side says take some in case and then the pack weight side kicks in and says if you’re not going to wear them, they are just extra weight!

The choice of which has been narrowed down to either the Luna Mono sandals or the Luna Venado sandals.

The Mono are a thicker sandals, have a slight tread that makes them good on trails and road (particularly when wet) and they have a slight recess where the straps pass under the shoe, which in theory means longer lasting straps.  They are a slightly more giving rubber, so they mould around the foot quickly and they are really comfortable.

Th Venado are thinner and have no tread pattern at all.  Due to the fact they are thin they mould to the foot really well, but they have an weakness which is wet grass or slimy mud.  Their strength, apart from the comfort side and the fact that they are thinner meaning more ground feel, is that they are nearly half the weight of the Mono.

So the Dilemma is simple… ¬†Weight or Durability

Right now the Mono are the ones I’m going to carry, but I get the feeling that could change ¬†my mind at any point during the next 12 days!!!

There is lots of reviews on these sandals as well as lots of people who are adventuring around the worlds in their Lunas (and by adventuring I mean mountaineering, running or hiking some incredible trails), but if you want to know a bit more about them just pop over to Lunasandals.com