Retain Your Beginners Mind

 
I think the quote from Shunryu Suzuki says it all really.  Regardless of your pursuit or goal.

 

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The Purpose Of Today Was Repair

  

If you’re planning on recovery then the right fuel is just as important as rest, ice etc.

So today I’ve mostly eaten delicious fresh food, dipped my foot repeatedly from freezing cold water to boiling hot water.  But more importantly furled my recovery.

 
And here’s the results after just 2 days…

  

yesterday morning

 

Earlier today


There’s still room for improvement, but soft tissues damage and them at much sweeping is going to take a day or so more to fully subside.   The 7 mile slow run I managed to get in was proof of the improvement, since despite the stiffness of the top part of my foot their was only a dull ache to put up with. 

Now, having worked on the top of my foot with some arnica oil, it’s time for the other important part of recovery….

Sleep. 🙂

Beware!  The Dangers Of Shoes… 

Not just the dangers of shoes, but th dangers of not listening to the feedback that your body give you.

I ran the Fellsman and was asked to shoe up, and after just 4 miles, due to the wet conditions, my shoes had pressed long enough on the top of my for to begin some soft tissue damage.  16 miles later and I’d refused to listen to the signal of pain, and after finishing and removing my shoe, the damage done was visible.  One huge, red, soft lump.

Monday followed Sunday and the swelling spread throughout my foot.  The ankle joint creaked when I flexed my foot up or down.  Serious RICE time, a trip to Buxton Physiotherapy Clinic, serious tissue work by Nick Allen and the swelling is subsiding.

Still, how do I cope with the inability to train for my summer challenge?

Body weight WOD making good use of my Swiss ball to remove the weight from my foot.

Here’s the drill:

5 pull ups

10 press ups (feet on Swiss ball)

10 sit-ups (feet on Swiss ball)

30 second plank (feet on Swiss ball)

30 second side planks (both sides and feet on Swiss ball)

3 sets with 10s rests

The side planks really work on activating he core and the glute medius that is often the cause of ITB problems when it tires.

Fingers crossed, the icing, raised foot and flexing of the ankle joint speeds up the healing process and I’m back to running and working on more running focused conditioning.

Yet another lesson learnt.  Listen and fix sooner.  Don’t push through as you’re proving just one thing….

You can get injured just like everyone else!

So, what do you do if you are injured and can’t do your normal activity?

What I Learnt About Tailwind & The Fellsman 

The Fellsman is labelled as one of the toughest (if not the toughest) UK Off-Road ultra marathons.  It’s a horseshoe, 61 Mike route, with 11,000 feet of vertical ascent on an unmarked course that is mostly off track.  I completed it late last night, having been given special permission to run it barefoot or in Luna sandals.

Now, I really don’t think they expected me to stick with the barefoot thing, and at mile 40, I was grouped with 3 great runners, but was told shoes on or no more running in the race. Rules are rules, so on went the shoes and sad thing is they have caused a fair sized lump on the top my left foot, where the shoe was obviously pressing on one of my tendons.  Still, I have no one to blame but myself.

During the race I was planning on making some videos but the conditions where harsh, and navigation takes too much concentration to allow random videos, but I did make a note of how I felt every 10 or so miles, so here’s what Tailwind Nutrition is like.

5 miles with 4000′ of constant climb, and I felt fine.  In fact I felt rather good, with plenty of juice in the legs to push up the field.  I managed the nutrition in take (only tailwind) fairly well, with gradual sips along the way.

At mile thirteen after a ridiculous 2 mile climb up Gargarath, at a 3m to 4m in 1m gradient, I felt great!  Tailwind was going down a treat, nothing was really tired, and I felt like I had plenty of energy despite the really harsh, wet and windy conditions.

Then I made a mistake with my intake.  It’s actually hard to know how long you’ve been moving (distance or time) when you haven’t got a watch on.  I didn’t really refuel with anything for the next 10 miles.  The most input in was about a third of a bottle of Tailwind mix, so the inevitable slow down happened.

Now….

Here’s the bit I learnt.

With other nutrition, when I’ve not managed it well, I’ve never really managed to regain the same composure and energy level.  It’s pointless battle that inevitably leads to the desperation shuffle.  I mixed up some tailwind and started to drink it in small amounts but far more often.  In a 3 mile stretch I made sure I drank at least 1/2 a bottle.

Everything carried on working, but my energy levels started to return.  No gut issues meant I upped the intake again.  Energy levels felt awesome, which I really needed to try and push through serious foot pain cause by the shoes I was made to put on due to ‘safety’ and ‘insurance’. This is what amazed me!  I’d caught up again!?  I didn’t really feel like I’d reached a low point from not eating enough, and even at mile 59, after 18 hours of trudging through swap like, endless bogs, I could still manage to run!  And, because of the  electrolytes in the drink I didn’t cramp up or suffer from dehydration.  In fact I finished and (sorry about the typically trail runner thing to say!) my pee wasn’t dark?!

It seems the American hype is less hype, and more fact 👍🏻

Now here’s the best bits of the race.  The few hours when the weather dramatically improved 🙂

   
   

What’s Your Nutrition Plan in Ultras?

I’ve just had a great little conversation with Mike from Tailwind UK!

I know what two things you are likely to think…

1.  Tailwind?

2.  Tailwind in the UK?

Well, it’s not quite here yet but it’s so close that I can smell that miracle powder in the air.  Tailwind so far in a 2 weeks of training, seems to be some sort of miracle powder, and it’s hard to believe it was invented in someone’s kitchen!!

Normally, I’d have a plethora of foods from caramel waffles, brioche buns, flapjack, crispy bacon, salt tabs and some cliff shot jellies.  This year, I’m gonna carry Tailwind and use the few food stations on the 61 mile ultra I’m running on Saturday for anything solid I might fancy.  

So far, the support from Tailwind has been awesome whether from the UK contingency or from the U.S., giving me tips on how, when to use Tailwind during a run and after to help with recovery.  In fact, how often does a company contact you when they think that maybe you need a little bit of help with the product they sell?  In my experience, never!

Saturday, will be the true test and I’m going to try something I’ve not really done before during my 61miles of off-road Yorkshire fells.  I’m going to make a video blog of the race, whilst racing, so you’ll see Tailwind in action, and see what an incredible race the Fellsman actually is.  

Fingers crossed for good running weather, but I’m not sure the Trail Gods are giving without some sort of sacrifice.

Keeping Things In Perspective And Shifting Goals

when you have a 1206 mile charity run planned, your A-race isn’t actually what it seems.  No mention is made, no time is set, but it will be a challenge.  A training run with a difference, where to goal is to finish strong and then run the next day.  Now, it not the London Marathon, but an ultra called the Fellsman.  61miles of unmarked course, almost all off trail and with 12,000ft of vertical.  Hopefully the weather is good and I don’t have to sacrifice the finish line beer I will carry with me for the whole race.  

If your racing, make sure you remember that you are not Captain Hook!  😉👣👣👍🏻

Team Purple Is Racing?!  Support By Getting A T-Shirt :)

If you want to support a great cause (funding for research into the treatment and prevention of strokes) then get your tshirt by asking for one in the comments.  £10 for a top quality technical top!!

Great week of getting to see ideas become real, and seeing people showing their support for a great cause.   The local runners ran the Herod farm Fell race and demonstrated how to look good in purple.

     

Today, I joined some of them and ran a trail 5k followed by a 10k fell race called Chicken Run, proudly showing the purple t-shirt and setting some personal barefoot bests.  

   

     

I seem to learning that the only thing or person to listen to is my body, and that to find out what is possible, you need to test your limits yourself.

Have a great weekend 🙂

First Week Ever With 100 miles Of Running!!

Well, when I say 100, I mean 99.9!!

Blisters from two weeks ago are healing up and I’ve used it as an opportunity to test out different ways of covering and treating them.  This is going to be really useful come summer time, when I’m running 1206miles barefoot across the UK.

I’ve also started to break in my Luna sandals.  I really love running in them, and since barefoot is a little out till I have replacement foot skin in place, they are the next best thing.

I’m a little surprised how quickly we recover and how straight forwards 100 miles of running was.  It’s done wanders for my confidence in my summer challenge, but I will have to try a 200 mile week later this year!!  Sounds completely insane, but the kniwledge that I’m capable of it will make all the difference in those inevitabl low points.

Hope you’ve all had a great week and here’s to the week ahead 🙂

Justgiving.com/barefootlejog   

                 

Grand Week Of Training

So far a solid 70 miles in the bag, with a mix of aerobic and anaerobic training.  Today 10kg weighted vest 5 miler was tough, but if it doesn’t kill me it’ll make me stronger.

I keep repeating the same things in my head.  Is 1206 miles barefoot going to be achievable in 6 weeks?  Will I fail?  How will I cope physically after so many days of high mileage?

To dispel the doubts I searched for some runspiration and found some quotes of achieving the impossible.  Time to switch mindset 🙂

  

Nights Like This Make The Impossible Less Daunting 

Sometimes, there are doubt whether we will complete impossible tasks we set ourselves.  My legs were tired from gunning the hills, by broken blisters had filled with grit and my shins where cut to ribbons from the brambles.

Still, once the Sun put on its show, it was as if nothing else really mattered.  I suddenly realised that actually, I can get through anything if I just remember to see the beauty of what is around me.