Let’s face it, after the last entry I needed a bit of time to recover. I admit 2 and a half years could be considered a bit extreme, but that was a hard year.
So what’s happening now and in-between, I hear you all asking, don’t I? Well, lots is the answer. It’s been a hugely busy period at work, at home and in sport and all have taken their toll, in good and bad ways, and to be honest while I intended to put the blog on hold, it hadn’t intended it to be quite this long.
I’m no longer running anywhere near as much as I was leading up to RAW 2015, in fact that was the last ultramarathon I’ve done, and in all likelihood will be the last I’m going to do. Firstly I’ve proven what I intended to prove to myself, secondly the training is pretty brutal both on the body and in time and thirdly leading up to and post RAW I was starting to have problems with both calves and feet, toes in particular. Whilst I could keep the calves at bay with stretching and yoga, the feet less so, to the extent that a visit to the doctors was required, followed by an orthopaedic consult at Addenbrookes. With a diagnosis of bone spurs on both big toe joints and a previous metatarsal fracture in the left foot. The bone spurs were causing restricted movement in the bog toes and that in turn was resulting in pain and I suspect altering my gait to cause other issues as well. Custom orthotic insoles help with the symptoms, but the cure being surgery is a last resort for a T1 Diabetic – infection is a much higher risk, and I still want my feet intact.
So nowadays I’m running no more than once or twice a week, bit with no pressure on training times, or the next race, it’s all about taking each run as it comes and just looking for a quality run.
Since the last entry I’ve also bought a bike, sold a bike and built another bike from a frameset, and I’ve spent the last two years getting my cycling back up to where it was previously, with 2016 being a good solid year and 2017 being a record year for me at an average 85km per week. This year is better than that so far.
I started doing something called Audaxes, planned routes ridden to a target time/speed range, but not as a race, the challenge is completion of the route as self sufficiently as possible, passing through designated points on the way. It’s a very social way of long distance cycling and so far I’ve been up to a 200km event with thoughts of going to at least 300km. So whilst the events themselves take quite a bit of time, the training and preparation do not, and they certainly don’t take as much out of me as the running did. Will I come back to longer distance running? Maybe, who knows, but I’m enjoying cycling so much it’s not on the radar at the moment.
When I can cycle 50km in a morning, with panniers on the bike, pick up shopping on the way home, and still get home before the family have finished breakfast, and then get up and do another 50km the next day and this is enough to keep the training ticking over to allow me to complete an audax each month and still be amongst the first few back home (not that it’s a race – see previous para) that’s pretty good to me.
Plans for this year now, and I’ll try and report back before another 2 years are up, are 1) carry on cycling, planning a cycling tour to Islay, Jura and through South West Scotland, 2) looking to build another recumbent bike and 3) increase the proportion of my riding on a recumbent – after all it’s so much more comfortable.