The last two months have been full of highs and lows. I’ve had times where I’ve felt like I was ready tostart the Africa run right there and then, and there have been times where I have doubted that I’ll be able to start at all.
April began on a massive high with the completion of our beautiful logo. One of my best friends in the world designed it for us. She isn’t a graphic designer but obviously she has massive talent in that department and really should be doing this type of work. I gave her a very complicated spec and she made a logo which completely matched what I had asked for. Fortunately for us she has more of an eye for these things than I do as what I had asked for didn’t really look as good as I had envisioned. She then put her own twist on what I had requested and made what has turned out to be a vibrant, creative representation of what our trip is about. Big thank you Alison Mouncey, you are absolutely incredible!
The next big high came from completing a 107 mile run along the Cotswold Way. I won’t go into too much detail about this again as you can read accounts by each member of the team in our previous blogs. This was a massive success for the team and we learnt a lot about how we need to work together and what kit we need to get sorted before we leave.
The completion of the Cotswold Way came with a massive low for me. The first part of it being the emptiness that I always seem to feel when something I have been planning for a while comes to an end. But the more worrying thing was that in the last mile and a half of the run my left knee started to hurt. I had been worried about this knee as I suffered with some tendon problems throughout my Freedom Run. Since this happened I have been seeing my physio, Michelle Pennell, and she has been treating me for cartilage damage. Hopefully, with treatment and the exercises I have been working on I should still be able to complete my Africa run. So for most of April, my training became mostly based on short slow runs and lots of time spent stretching, icing, exercising, sitting with a hot water bottle on my butt etc, and not the longer distances I was hoping for.
Motivation was improved when I got invited to the Berghaus Trail Running Team weekend in the Lake District. Again, the there is a separate blog you can read about this event. It was great to meet a group of people who also love to run in the outdoors, and hear about their stories, adventures and goals.
April total mileage: 217.5 miles
April longest run: 40 miles
At the beginning of May I had just started to try to increase my mileage after learning to deal with my knee problems. When along comes another injury, I pulled my right calf quite badly. I don’t know how I managed to do this, whether I had done something in my clumsiness, or if it might be due to overcompensating on one leg due to the knee injury. Anyway, however it happened, it wasn’t pleasant and I ended up having most of a week off of training. And again spending a lot of time resting, icing, stretching etc.
Thankfully, my calf repaired itself just in time for the Mow Cop Killer mile. Which lead to the next ‘high’. Me and Mike were first male and first female in our race that we entered. If anyone fancies a gruelling hard slog up a steep hill, I would definitely recommend this race!
May has been a weird month for weather as well. I don’t know if everyone else is the same but my motivation completely disappears when its cold and rainy. There have been a few days where the weather has been fantastic but typically those are the days where I have been working long hours or had other jobs that I need to get done so can’t run. The days where I am able to get long runs in have been dismal. I suppose I need to get used to this and man-up as the summer doesn’t look very positive this year. Its going to be a shock when I get to Africa!
As I write this I am feeling in control of the injuries that I have and they aren’t causing me too much grief. As long as I keep up with all the instructions I have been given by Michelle I am feeling pretty positive about things. Me and Mike have entered our first marathon at the end of June so fingers crossed I don’t injure myself again and my fitness improves before then. Bring on the summer!
May total mileage: 109.8
May longest run: 10.8