I would run along the Surf Coast Trail from Torquay to Anglesea then hop on the Great Ocean Road to Apollo Bay and from there get onto The Great Ocean Walk to the Twelve Apostles before hopping back onto The Great Ocean Road to the glamourous finish in Allansford. Ta da, I had a plan!! Who needs months to plan an adventure anyway!?
But I had no idea it was going to be that hard!
Leading up to this years Comrades was a bumpy road, in March I got diagnosed with a stress fracture in my Fibula. This was really frustrating as my training had been going so well and I was feeling super strong but hey these things happen. I knew it was a bit of a long shot but I had 3 months to Comrades. Could I let the stress fracture repair and be fit enough to get on that starting line on 9 June? There was only one way to find out, try! I didn’t take the decision lightly and sought the advice of my awesome physio Parys Edwards and radiologist Bev Roos, both who thought that I if my leg healed properly that I would be fine to give Comrades a bash!
Slightly ironic title as pretty much on the same day I found out I had a Stress fracture I had to have root canal and it got me thinking that I needed to get to the bottom of why I had a stress fracture.
It is really important that with any injury that you get they you try and figure out the cause. There is no point resting doing rehab and then cracking on like normal. This will inevitably lead to you getting injured again. I have had a few injuries in my time and have always tried to figure out the cause and build prehab (way better than rehab) into my programme.
The marathon was a bit of a disaster, it rained from start to finish and as a result my silly insoles slipped all over the place despite me having stuck them in place (clearly not very well). I ended up running with my heel hitting the carbon plate of the insole which quickly turned into a blister. I also ended up getting pins and needles in my foot because the movement of the orthotic raised my food and made my laces super tight. As I spent most of the race worrying about this and trying to claw the thing back into place with my toes I didn’t notice anything wrong with my right leg. Fast forward to the end of the race and my legs felt like they had been smashed with a bat, somehow I still managed to run 3:00:36, the course was 200m long so I am claiming that as a sub 3hr marathon! Over the following days walking was a bit of an issue and I knew something wasn’t quite right with my leg.
Turns out I had signed myself up to something quite ridiculous. We were going to attempt to run 90km a day for 20 days and on the final day compete in the Comrades Ultra Marathon. I was so bloody scared of what I had signed up to do but also intrigued to see how far my body could go.
After getting serious FOMO that pretty much all of my friends were doing the London Marathon (I have no idea why as I had done Brighton the weekend before) I started to search for a magical entry. Unfortunately I couldn’t trick anyone into giving me a place but I then stumbled across nohtaraM ehT. The Marathon just back to front, starting at the finish and finishing at the start. The instructions for the start were slightly ominous, meet at McDonald’s on the Strand at either 2am, 3am or 4am, don't worry there will be other runners there the posts said.
Chatting away to my friends at work on Thursday I started to get serious FOMO as they told me about the adventures that they had planned for the Easter weekend of climbing Snowdon and Ben Nevis. I had no plans and was racking my brain for something to do when all of a sudden I decided that I should put their weekend plans together and give the Three Peaks Challenge a bash.
Waking up at 6am and looking out the window to a flurry of snow falling from the sky you know that running 58 miles is going to be a challenge! Without thinking much more about it I donned my running shoes chucked on my back pack and headed into London to Marble Arch where I would start my little journey to run to Paris!
Sitting at home on a Thursday night Matt and I started to conjure up a plan to go and do a Microadventure. After a few ideas were thrown about we decided to go and attempt the Vanguard Way (VGW). This is a 66 mile long distance walking trail that goes from Croydon to Newhaven. The original plan was to do a bit of it on Friday night, wild camp and then carry on with the rest on Saturday.
The Haute Route is an alpine walking trail that runs from Chamonix to Zermatt, covers 180km and climbs 10,000m. It is usually takes 12 days to cover the route but we were going to see how far we could get in 5 days. Seven crazy fools had signed up to tackle this challenge all who had a varying levels of experience; Steven had cycled through Africa, Ross had completed the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, Mountain Goat Maeve had just got back from running Scaffel Pike Marathon, Will is normally found smashing up the track with very fast 5000m races and Andrea and Tom AKA ‘The Heavies’ are Crossfit extraordinaires who were used to squatting mountains not climbing them. This was going to be a fun few days.