What have I been up to since the HM110 DNF? Well, not a lot to be honest!
I took a long time getting going again last summer, had a bit of time out after twisting my knee quite badly. An MRI scan showed wear and tear but no serious damage. Eventually, once Autumn came I was able to get going again.
I stalled a little over Christmas and New Year, I twisted my knee a second time, then got a cold which quickly escalated into a chest infection and peaked with me cracking my own rib through coughing!!
By this time however, I had already entered the Fellsman for April 2017 and my training was at a standstill.
I had managed to streak through Christmas, but the cracked rib put an end to that and I had to quit after 98 days. Very frustrating.
The only races I have done since the HM110 are Levisham Limping, which I don't remember much about, other than crashing about half a mile from the finish as usual and not being able to eat my cake! And the traditional Captain Cooks Fell Race on New Years Day. I really enjoyed that, I was nursing my knee and 'taking it steady' but was only 30 secs slower than my PB.
I am streaking again, it will be day 70 once I have been out. My training has been hit and miss at best for this forthcoming Fellsman and to be honest I am shitting myself at the prospect of it! The longest run I have done this whole year is 18 miles, and that was yesterday. I have had some good 30+ mile weeks, but not enough of them. I am still struggling to eat on the run, I seem to have lost the ability to even swallow now. I have done no cross training what so ever, bar a few Harriers circuit sessions.
I am running as part of an unofficial team along with Gavin and Brett and I am really worried that I will let the side down.
Yesterday, we went over to the Dales to meet up with Hester and Brian (and the two dogs of course) and run part of the Fellsman route. We did a car swap and started from the road side check point at Fleet Moss.
We crossed Fleet Moss without too much hassle. It is not the 'death soup' I have been led to believe, but it is tricky from a navigational point of view as there is nothing to see. Especially when you consider we will probably cross this in the dark...
As soon as we set out, I knew it was going to be a long day and I spent most of my time pretty much at the back.
From Fleet Moss, we crossed over to Buckden Pike. I hadn't eaten much, a little malt loaf and some slices of apple, and the climb really sapped my remaining energy. It was very steep! Thankfully, Brian knew a better route along the top than the one Gavin and I had taken back in Feb, and it was almost pleasant to run along. The problem is the stupid tussock grass, that stuff is hard work.
It was along here somewhere that Gavin voiced his concern over my pallor and I was nearly sick trying to eat some more malt loaf. Bloody stuff wouldn't go down.
Brian gave us (me) the option of bailing out rather than climbing Great Whernside. It was very tempting, but no-one else was bailing, so I said so long as no-body minds me walking, I'll carry on. I could see the climb up the mountain ahead and wondered if that was a sensible decision... The next mile or so of grass track was quite nice to run on and I kept my concerns to myself.
Everyone walked the climb, I had to stop a couple of times to catch breath, even Brett caught me up at the top. He was running out of water. We shuffled along the ridge and eventually caught the others at the main summit cairn. While I still felt rough, I didn't feel any worse than I was before and I knew it was all downhill. Literally.
It was probably a couple of miles downhill, still on tussocky boggy ground and I nearly fell so many times, I swore at the top of my voice more than once. Brett was talking about ice-cream at the Scout Hut (there wasn't any) and Hester waited for us a little lower down.
Somehow, we all ran together back into Kettlewell.
I was so pleased I had done the last climb and Brian congratulated me on 'toughing it out'. The boys did another car swap and we finished the day with soup and chips at the pub.
I have to keep resisting the urge to say I enjoyed it, 'cos I really didn't!! I am not filled with any more confidence than before...
|(Almost) ready for the off! L-R Me, Gavin, Brett and Hester, with Teasel the terrier and Harry the Collie.|