A month in training

There are only 11 weeks to go until I ride and run coast to coast and back again. Eeek 😦.

This last month has been tricky in terms of fitting in enough training. There were two weekends away. A beautiful weekend in Queensferry and Edinburgh to visit a friend and another gorgeous weekend in Oxford to visit my son.

Pretty views in Oxford

On top of this I’ve had my first ‘funny turn’ aged just 54 😂. Seriously though I was knocked sideways for a day by some anti-biotics I was on. I didn’t realise they could actually make the floor spin like that. All is well now though 😁.

Despite all of this I’ve managed to hike, run and bike 362km, working out for 42 hours over the last 4 weeks (including strength and yoga). I’m quite chuffed with this – all things considered.

I’m just having to cram in the training where I can basically. I’ve taken to commuting to work on my mountain bike once a week. I ran 8km on my weekend in Oxford and my son took me out on a 14km hike through stunning countryside (on the outskirts of Oxford).

Sunny day – Oxfordshire – we did laugh as this was the only hill we could find 😂

I work from home one day a week so tend to fit in a yoga or strength workout in my lunch hour on that day.

Despite the seeming volume of exercise – I do feel somewhat undertrained given how soon my “event” is. I’ve only had two outings on my road bike and my longest run has been 23km. I will need to spend two days on my road bike and then transition and try and run 65–70km the next day. Hmmmm. There is some work to be done in the next two months…

This week I had a bike fit done. I’ve been wanting to do this forever. For those of you not into bikes, this is where they measure you versus the geometry of the bike to make sure you are in the best possible position to cycle well and minimise injury.

So I had Simon from RYD CC come to our house for my bike fit. Incidentally he is very good and I can highly recommend him if you need a bike fit.

I was fully expecting him to put my bike seat up. My husband has told me numerous times its too low and I could also feel this if I’m honest. The idea though of not being able to touch the ground when I’m on the seat always unnerved me and so I kept it lower.

Of course having measured the angles he put it up as expected. What I wasn’t expecting is that it went up by a decent 3cm if not more. My leg angle should of been 145/146 degrees and was previously 126. Oops. This could be the reason I was a) struggling up the hill in the lowest gear and b) getting backache. He explained to me that being so low I would of been pushing the bike up hill with my quadriceps muscles (main thigh muscles) having to push and push. You will have less power this way and be wasting vital energy not to mention putting a strain on your knees and back. Oops 😬.

He also adjusted the handlebars up for me and the whole thing now feels good, although of course I need to get used to it. I managed to practice stopping by sliding off the seat and then putting my foot down yesterday (I cant just put my foot down from seated now as I used to). I went round the housing estate in my PJ’s, bike shoes and helmet with Chris accompanying me as I was nervous. I felt like a 5 year old taking her bike out for the first time! 😂. I managed it though – hurrah 😃.

I can’t wait now to take the bike out for a proper spin. I’m getting a new doohickey this week (chain set) so will have to wait until after that is done. Once this is done I should have more power from the higher seat and access to lower gears (based on the chain set). Theoretically I should be able to get up any hill then 🤔.

My reasons for making all these changes is not so much to make the bike ride easier (although that will be a natural benefit) as it is to ensure my legs aren’t having to push so hard that I can’t run back from Sunderland to Whitehaven.

Quite a few of the hikes, bikes and runs have been oh so muddy this last month. Mountain biking when its muddy is quite fun – riding through puddles with it all splattering everywhere. Of course you have to make sure no one else is about when you do this. I’m always a polite cyclist.

The downsides of this fun are that my top resembles 101 Dalmatian’s and its tricky to carry a water bottle – at least one you would want to drink out. This month I put a plastic bag over the top of the bottle to cover the drinking bit – nifty idea, why didn’t I think of it sooner 🤔.

101 Dalmatian’s look
Plastic bag on my drinking bottle

The muddiest run was this Saturday gone. I’m used to charging along stony muddy trail paths but this run was on another level. I actually followed a route my partner had done the day before and got him to send me the route. I highly recommend this. Having a route that you don’t know in advance is quite good fun, leaving you guessing where you are going until you see the arrow on your watch tell you where to go.

He did warn me before hand ‘oh its very muddy and its rained again last night’. Still I took this with a pinch of salt – as I say – trail runs are generally muddy affairs.

A bit breezy up on Cown Edge

I should of taken note. There was one bog fest of a field after another and trails that had no ‘runnable few inches at the side’. You just had to slide along with it and occasionally watch your foot disappear in “something” up to the ankles and hope your feet wouldn’t get stuck.

Todays hike was a ‘short’ 2 hour walk around and up Werneth Low to ultimately grab a yummy gingerbread latte and doughnut at the top at ‘The Pick me up truck’ coffee van.

Picture of Chris from todays walk
Me on todays walk

I was chatting to my son recently about my upcoming adventure and he asked me “have you thought about doing something abroad?”. It’s a reasonable question given that last years run and this years bike/run are both in the UK. Honestly my answer was ‘yup yup yup’ and I then listed all the hair brain ideas I have. Still those are for another day….

Raising Money – Jogle Run

I’m raising money for Mind and for The Menopause Charity. Both charities mean a lot to me personally. Mental health is incredibly close to my heart, I’ve suffered from depression in the past and know how much the right help can make a difference. I’m also incredibly passionate about the Menopause Charity – going through this myself now – I can appreciate fully its challenges. Climbing the three mountains will also really test my anxiety, which is why it’s so important for me to add this to my challenge.
I’ve never done anything like this before so I’m really nervous but incredibly excited and grateful to have the opportunity.

If you would like to support me then please donate to my just giving page, any donations are hugely appreciated!

Just Giving page – Mind

My Just Giving Page – Menopause

A weeks training through Menopausal madness and my first outing on the road bike in 1.5 years!

Well its been quite a week. I’ve recently switched my HRT (medicine for Menopause symptoms) to the continuous patches. Asides the fun of getting them to stay on when you are a sweaty sporty person, I’ve noticed they have yet to fully abate some of my recent menopause systems. The main one is anger. It can build up in you over the teeniest stupid thing and its hard to know where to go with it. It’s very similar to PMT only can pop up at any time of the month. Even not being able to find a sock can make me mad 😂.

It’s not to say that the thing making you mad wouldn’t normally irritate you. It’s more that your emotional resilience is significantly reduced or even absent. Thus you can feel instantly angry over something that would normally make you think ‘hmph’ but 5 minutes later you’d of forgotten about it. Especially if you’ve been given a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit. Come to think of it, that could work….hun….pleaseeee😁.

It’s all taking some getting used to and I’m not there yet but exercise does help – as it seems to with everything for me.

This last week I’ve done a fair amount of sporty stuff. 11 hours of it in fact. Most of this was on the weekend but I try to fit in what I can during the week.

This last week I had a rest day on Monday, went out hill running on Tuesday after work and got back home to do a short gym session with my husband. The run home was faster than I’d intended but I’d forgotten to take a head torch and was running on trails, through fields and the light was starting to fade. I didn’t have a phone with me either so 1/10 for safety efforts there. I will make sure to take all the relevant stuff next time.

On Wednesday I cycled to my Personal Trainer’s house after work, did a workout with her and then cycled home. It was a lovely ride down the canal and I really enjoyed it. Again the light was fading on the way home but this time I had lights and its kind of fun cycling when its getting dark. I like spooky!

Thursday was an easy day. I did a short recovery run after work but otherwise was more inclined to enjoy a gin and tonic in the evening and chill out.

On Friday I went out on my road bike – woohoo! I cant tell you how nervous I was. The last time I was on a road bike, I was returning it to the rental place in Mallorca a few days early because I’d experienced so much anxiety and panic whilst out on it. All of this came flooding back as I set out on Friday morning and I really doubted myself.

I did feel slightly uncomfortable on the first few roads as they were busy and I could feel the traffic going past me. Especially when the lorries go past, I’m not sure thats something you ever really get used to.

After that I was on lovely quiet country lanes and I started to really enjoy myself. In fact my main difficulty proved to be going uphill. I’d lost some of my cycling strength (to my surprise) and I was looking for a lower gear to get into (which didn’t exist! 🤔). I had to push hard in the lowest gear I had available to get up the hill. There is a hilly road we often go to called the Brickworks. It’s not crazy steep. I would say its a beginners hill but difficult for beginners maybe. I wasn’t expecting therefore, to struggle! Surely all my running would translate over?….

Near the top of the Brickworks

Still I pushed on and got to the top with my heart rate higher than I would of liked, but you have to start somewhere. I carried on and did a few more hills and started to feel better and find my rhythm. I even enjoyed some steep downhills I’d previously found scary. Funny how things can change. I was pleased to do 46km. It’s not a long ride for a club cyclist but it will more than do for me. I will need to be able to do 120km for the coast to coast challenge (in one go) but having done more than a third in a few hours, I feel more confident I can get there.

At the top of the hill

On Saturday I ran 16km at a much faster pace than I would normally do my long run. I don’t know why, but I just felt good and went with it. It’s nice to change things up now and again.

A weird thing that happened on my run. It suddenly gave me this screen on my watch. I think its trying to get me to run after a friend of mine who has done this section of trail. Odd…

Finally, today I took a train out a few stops and hiked home, covering 13km. All the sport caught up with me and I found myself eating a banana, a snack bar and a large tea cake in a matter of a few hours – then coming home for lunch!

Lovely views on the walk today
Great trail for walking
Mellor Cross

I’m really looking forward to my next road bike outing now. I know I have some way to go to build more confidence and strength but I know now I can get there. Perhaps I should use my inner meno anger to get me up those hills!

Escapism – where do you find yours?

I was thinking on my hike today about what makes me feel free/at peace/happy/comfy (take your pick). I think there are many things and many reasons why.

Watching a really good drama (been watching ‘The Gold’ or in equal measure a really bad reality tv show (thinking love island here) – I escape from reality for a while and immerse myself in whatever I’m watching. Yes I know – quite contrasting taste here 😝

Cycling/Running/hiking – I definitely feel at peace when I go out on my bike/for a run etc. I tend to alternate between a quiet mind/meditative state where I’m not thinking about much, listening to the birds, feeling the pace of my legs running; and having a busy mind where I’m solving problems or just thinking something through thats on my mind. I definitely feel free when I’m outside doing my sports.

I haven’t painted a picture for a while or tried a little singing but these things also have a calming meditative feel about them. They all take you away in your head for a little while.

This last week I was working at home one day and decided to take myself to a cafe in the lunch break. We are lucky enough to have one as close as the canteen is to my desk at work. I sat there enjoying my tuna toastie and latte and was thinking how free’ing it is sitting in a cafe. I can imagine I’m anywhere out on an adventure. There is something very calming about being on your own out for dinner or lunch or a coffee. I’m lucky that my husband is the same and gets this. He also likes to go camping on his own sometimes and will go to the nearby pub for a beer and a meal. It’s cool that we are both like this.

So how do you guys escape? Is it a hobby, a good book (oh thanks for the recommendations by the way!) or something else?

I took quite a few piccies this week. So here are a few.

Out on my bike ride. I really need to get mud guards. I was covered in mud all up my back. I should of taken a picture of it. It was like 101 Dalmatian’s on the back.
A beautiful view on my run by the canal
Side plank on a wobbly ‘thingy’ (need to ask my PT what this is called).
Out on my hike today and finished with some carrot cake in the park cafe.

Gymtastic!

Well I can ditch my gym membership now 😁. We’ve finished the home gym whoop. It was previously a garage and its already getting used regularly.

In my DIY glossing clothes testing out the workbench (which you cant see in this picture I realise!). I am lying on a black workout bench honestly. The Turbo is ready at the far end for next cycling workout.

The mirror isn’t flat yet so standing in front of it is like being at the funfair! Or maybe I’m just wibbly wobbly.

As well as finishing off our gym we’ve been busy decorating the hallway. Lots of debating before we fell in love with this blue colour for the walls. It was also a great chance to finally hang the artwork I’d done when I was 19 at art school, It had been kept in a folder in one garage or loft after another for many many years! So we brushed off the dust and had them framed.

All abstract – we thought they went well with the blue walls – sorry the photos on the left aren’t very clear

In other news I increased my long bike time up to 2 hours 45 mins. I’m increasing it by 15-20 mins each week. For now I’m just going out on my mountain bike and I’m surprised by how much I’m enjoying it. In a week or two I’ll get the road bike out and I’ve booked in for a bike fit to make sure I’m as comfortable and correctly set up as I can be. I suffer from a bad back sometimes so its important to get it right.

A Stag herd at Lyme Park – spotted on my ride

I practiced navigation on the bike again and have found I can read the map on my watch if I pull my glasses down my nose and peer over them. I have to slow down to do this but not fully stop so this makes things easier.

My long run was 19km this week and I keep it deliberately slow and easy to keep my heart rate down. I’m not yet certain whether I can keep increasing my run each week if I’m increasing my bike. I may have to keep it static or reduce it even. Doing your own training plans is a bit of trial and error.

I still find I’m getting very tired lately. I can be full of energy one minute then simply need to stop what I’m doing/nap the next. I’ve started using the HRT patches so am hoping they will improve my mad hormone swings and settle my moods and wavering levels of energy. That said I did 11 hours of exercise this week and I’m 54. I do wonder sometimes if I should expect less of my body. It does feel hormonal related, however, its is hard to know for sure.

Btw has anyone got any book/author/thriller recommendations? I tend to get attached to a particular author, read all their books and then be looking for something new. I’ve just read all the books by Louise Candlish. So if anyone has any thoughts let me know 😀

Coast to Coast training and motivation – 19 weeks to go

Last week I started training in earnest for my cycling/running 3 ice cream, coast to coast adventure (well if I eat one when I start and one when I reach each coast thats three – seems like a reasonable goal to me!)

My motivation for training, however, has been very hit and miss. I appear to be in a new stage of Peri-/Menopause (who knew there’d be even more excitement!) and I’m experiencing crazy mood swings, lack of motivation and above all else, extreme tiredness. Its difficult to manage and doesn’t lend itself to long runs and bikes on cold wet days. I’ve taken to having afternoon naps on the weekend. All I need now are slippers and a pipe (I have the blanket). Actually I have the slippers come to think of it.

None the less I’ve managed to get out a few times and generally feel better after a few warm up miles outdoors. My road bike is still tucked away for winter so I’ve been out on the mountain bike instead. So far I’m enjoying getting back in the saddle. I need to remember not to put my water bottle in the holder on the down tube of the bike, when I go mountain biking. You inevitably ride through mud and sh** and the drinking bottle starts to look less appealing….

In order to train intensely over the next few months (as I really don’t have much time compared to the time I had for JOGLE) I will need to build my strength up further in order to avoid injury.

My husband and I have turned our garage into a gym recently and so have started working out together. This is a lot of fun and we can help motivate each other. He is also training for a few Ultras this year so also needs to minimise the risk of injury.

Our cat is still wondering how a new room has appeared as if from nowhere. He keeps going in there, sniffing around a bit and running out again. Bless.

As well as physical training, I need to practice navigating on the bike. Navigation when I run or hike is easy (aside when paths just aren’t there! 😆). I have used my Fenix watch for this and its easy to follow. The problem with cycling is that I have to wear prescription glasses to see the traffic in the distance and the watch or onboard Garmin ‘thingamy’ is at reading distance. I simply cant see either when I’ve got the glasses on. This is something I need to ponder on. I could get varifocals but really don’t fancy them. Perhaps my bike screen with the map could be enormous, like size 50 font? Or my watch could beep madly at me when I have to turn left or right? (Any thoughts?)

A new adventure!!

So I genuinely wasn’t planning on having any adventure this year but then I was talking to my husband one day about running coast to coast and pondering the idea of simply doing it over a ‘long weekend’.

That conversation turned into ‘why not take a week to do the coast to coast trail’? I did consider this but after much consideration I decided I liked the idea of running the shortest coast to coast cycle route on foot. Since this would only take 4 days max and my hubby had mentioned the idea of me taking a week I came up with the idea of a coast to coast duathlon.

So in June I will cycle from the west coast to the east coast and then run back again. This adventure will be quite different from my last one in a number of ways.

  • Its just one week versus seven but I want to run as far as I can each day on the running section. Rather than limiting myself to say 40km a day I would like to see what my body is capable of and keep going till I cant go anymore.
  • I will definitely camp or wild camp so that the first point is possible. This gives me the freedom to carry on into the evening and reduces admin.
  • I have yet to decide whether to do the bike in 2 or 3 days. Ideally 2. For many club cyclists this would seem fairly easy, however, I’ve never been a great endurance cyclist and I haven’t been on my road bike in 14 months! So it’s definitely a challenge for me!

The coast to coast route I have decided on is Whitehaven to Sunderland (and back). It’s approx. 210km (each way) but will no doubt be 220km+ by the time I’ve faffed, got lost etc.

So there you have it, the coast to coast duathlon. I would of made it a triathlon but the ocean is in the wrong place.

Wish me luck 😁

John o Groats to Lands End

After two long days of running on tarmac, I was relieved to see the start of a trail path I would take. The B7078 snakes its way down through southern Scotland criss crossing the M74 every now and again. I stepped onto the stony trail and smiled to myself. There is nothing like that feeling of being all alone on a trail, jogging along at your own pace, enjoying nature. After 33km that day, I had another 7km to run on this path, then 7km on the road until my campsite. Life was good.

The path was wide and comfortable to run on. To my right was a forrest of densely packed trees and to my left small mounds of grass, with occasional clearings you could pitch a tent on if you needed to.

Peaceful trail path in southern Scotland

I came to a section of the path that had been taken over by a wide stream. There were no stones to cross over on and it was deeper than my trainers. The sun was shining so I took off my shoes and socks and paddled across, enjoying the feel of the cold water on my feet as I made my way to the other side.

Setting off again I was looking for a cross roads of the paths ahead. The direct path ahead was called Old Road. It was marked clearly on my watch but also on google maps. I came to the junction and there was nothing straight ahead of me but trees. Lots and lots of trees.

To my right was a path which I tried out in case it led somewhere useful. It ended after just 200 metres with a pile of rubble and a digger. Ah, not too useful then.

To my left was another path. I couldn’t see the top of the path or where it went but I could hear cars in the distance. I had two choices. Go back 7km or go up the unknown path towards the sounds of the cars. I chose the latter. It was a steep climb but my frustration at potentially losing time meant that I jogged uphill. This was unusual on this trip as the 12kg backpack normally meant this was not worth the effort.

Reaching the top, sweating profusely, I found myself on the quietest A road I’d seen since the highlands. There was a recently mowed grass verge on the right to walk on but with hardly any cars about, I ran on the road, only stepping off onto the verge when I needed to.

I reset my route and my watch told me I had 9km left. Phew, the alternate route hadn’t added too much mileage then. After a few km I saw a viewing point on the other side of the road. Crossing to take photos of the views I realised this was the Devils Beeftub I was looking at. It was utterly stunning. As I carried on down the hill, I enjoyed beautiful views to my left as I jogged. Even when my jog turned into a painful hobble for the last few km, I was thankful for the missing road earlier on. If the road had been there, I would have missed out on these views – these moments. I was happy. I exhaled slowly and breathed in the views, the feeling of being here, being at peace, being content.

The Devils Beeftub
The Devils Beeftub

The idea of running JOGLE was in my head and my dreams for many years. The idea of running via the 3 mountains came about just two years before I set off. It was also around this time that work agreed I could take the time off and I set about finding the right coach for me.

Although I wanted my adventure to feel free and not too overly planned there was still a lot of planning that had to be done in the time up to the run. A rough plan of the route, an idea of timing, ensuring training and handover at work, practicing with kit and of course the actual physical training, running, walking, strength work and cross training. Thinking back I’m glad I did this over such a long period of time (1.5 years).

I set off on 3rd September from John O Groats with my husband there to wave me off. I didn’t want to let him go. The confidence I’d previously had, left me completely in the last hour and I found myself clinging to him tightly. So many doubts set in. What was I doing? Could I do this? Wild camping alone on my first night? I had very few places to get water or food for the first 3 days. I was carrying my water filtration kit and a lot of camping food and snacks. My kit weighed in at 12kg and boy could I feel it on that first day.

A nervous smile at the start

I finally let go of my husband, turned and ran without looking back. I couldn’t look. I had to just think forwards, onwards. Perhaps it was this mindset that meant I ran well or rather too fast on that first day.

I paid the price for going too fast and getting too giddy in the afternoon of Day 1. My stomach started to cramp and I found myself constantly eyeing up fields left and right for somewhere to take a rest stop.

I managed 47km on the first day and found somewhere perfect to wild camp. Snuggling up in my sleeping bag on that first night I felt my nerves gradually ease away. I’d done my first day. I was alone and felt completely safe and happy. I knew I had to find water the next day but for now I was relaxed and lay with my kindle reading Jenny’s Tough’s Solo; finally drifting off into a contented sleep under the stars.

My journey from John o Groats to Lands End took me through the remote highlands down to the Great Glen Way and onto Fort William. I met up with my husband there as we were going to climb Ben Nevis together. Unfortunately my feet had other ideas and struggling to walk at this point the idea of climbing mountains was abandoned. Instead I took a rest day, hobbled about Fort William and purchased a new waterproof poncho to go over me and my rucksack for the rest of the journey.

I was, and still am gutted about the mountains, but my feet were such a mess I was struggling to walk. At the time I thought it was the mileage. I later found out it was the trainers I was wearing. Unfortunately I found this out too late. I did, however, decide to keep the route of going via the mountains. I wanted this adventure to be unique – to be my own version of JOGLE.

I said goodbye to my husband in Fort William and set off to run the West Highland Way (which I can highly recommend) in new trainers. My feet slowly recovered (although I put this down to the trail paths at the time). Like the Great Glen Way it was utterly stunning and this definitely made the mileage and hills easier. In fact I preferred the hilly days as you were rewarded with beautiful views.

Happy on the Westhighland Way

From the West Highland Way I made my way down to Glasgow and faced a new difficulty. The urban jungle. So many large roads and roundabouts, multiple pedestrian crossings. Lots of people and lots of noise.

Southern Scotland down into England was possibly the least exciting part of my journey. This was by choice. There are some very beautiful places you can run but I chose the shortest and least interesting route. It did make for swift progress to England though. Once south of the border I was excited as I was now going to head into the Lake District and over to Buttermere to meet my husband. Meeting up there on a Saturday morning in gorgeous sunshine, we climbed Scarth Gap and Blacksails Pass together heading for Wasdale Head where we both enjoyed a rest day together.

Together again going up Scarth Gap

The day of leaving Wasdale Head was a difficult one for many reasons. I had to part with my husband again and get back into solo mode. I had to walk over Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass, which are incredibly steep (33% in some sections). I was back in the same trainers I’d worn in the first 9 days and realised after only a few km they were the source of my pain. At the end of this difficult day of hobbling, I made it to Ambleside where I walked into a hiking shop, bought some new trainers and threw the old trainers in the bin as I left. Goodbye instruments of torture!

The next week was one of the hardest of the journey. I covered high mileage every day and spent my evenings working on routing and finding places to stay/sleep. This would be a combination of camping, hostels and B&Bs. For the latter I was constantly contacting them and asking for discounts where possible. I had almost no rest time so would make the most of the running/walking time, when I could just let my mind wander and not think about route planning and admin.

After reaching Chester I knew I had some slightly shorter days ahead but I was now going to have to turn right and head around the coast of Wales. Part of me wanted to just go directly south as I could finish JOGLE in two weeks from this point. But I’d promised myself that climbing mountains or not I wanted my JOGLE to be unique. I still had to head around Wales to circumnavigate Snowdon.

My first day running along the coastal trails of North Wales was very very very wet. It was also really windy and my black poncho would fly up every few minutes. I’d lift my arms out, grab the flying poncho and yank it back over my backpack to keep everything dry.

On my first night in Wales, my brother and mum came out to meet me in Trelogan and took me out for a meal. It was so lovely to see them. My brother made me some make shift shoes out of plastic bags to where to the pub as my trainers were soaking wet.

How to go the pub when your trainers are wet!

This was essentially my fourth ‘support point’. My fifth point was near Snowdon where my PT/friend Emma was coming over to pick me up and take me to Anglesey for the night at her cabin. She dropped me off the next day at the same point. Other than my 5 support/kit exchange points on the journey I did the whole thing self supported. (Self Supported is where you may carry your own kit but also supplement this with getting food/water/accommodation en route. It can only be sourced in a way that is available to anyone taking on the adventure. In other words strangers can help you but a friend bringing you kit is classed as support).

Me and Emma. She looked after me and took me to her cabin in Anglesey for the night.

The run through the rest of Wales was largely wet and hilly. That’s a reasonable summary of how it felt :-). It was, however, also so so beautiful. Most memorable was the mountain paths to Llandiloes from Machynlleth and from Llandrindod Wells to Talgarth. The sun came out on that second day and there were breathtaking views the whole day.

Leaving Wales and heading to England via the incredibly long Severn Bridge was so exciting. I’d had a great day so far that day. The sun was shining, I’d had lunch with Abichal from Ultrarunning World in Chepstow and I was finally going to be back in England for the last stretch to Lands End. It felt like the end was in sight.

The last 12 days took me through Monmouth, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. I had a day walking with my son, who came out to meet me. I was thrilled to hear him say that I’d inspired him to do something like this one day. What else could a mum want?

There are a lot of hills in Devon and Cornwall. I’d been warned about this so it came as no surprise. None the less my Achilles started to complain in the last week and I took to walking backwards up some of the hills.

On the last morning, I woke up in Penzance feeling giddy with excitement. I wasn’t sure what time to set off. I’d told my husband who was meeting me at Lands End that I’d get there at 12 lunch and not before. I didn’t know though if my legs would be tired knowing they would be stopping soon or if I’d have more energy than ever before. In the end I set off at a time that allowed me to make it not long after 12 if I was slow and I’d simply walk a little if I was too fast.

8km into my my mere 19km I realised I was going too fast. I allowed myself to walk for a time and enjoy the feeling of this being the last day. This is the last time you will ever have this moment. Enjoy it Lorna.

With 3km to go I found myself on the last stretch of the A30 heading for the end of my journey. I couldn’t believe it. How had I made it here? Obviously I knew the answer to this, but it just didn’t seem real.

In the last hundred metres I could see my husband on the finishing line. Standing near him was my son. I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was supposed to be up north at our house this weekend. I pointed at him and promptly started crying. Just as I started crying, I noticed my brother pop out from behind a wall on the left. I was so shocked and emotional. I ran over the finishing line grabbing my brother in a big bear hug, sobbing on his shoulder. Reaching out I gave my son a big hug and then hugged and kissed my husband.

The last hour of my adventure was filled with congratulations, photos at the signpost and a lovely mug of tea and cake in the cafe. I felt elated, happy and in a state of shock all at once. It has taken time for it all to sink in. I’m not sure it fully has yet.

Elated at Lands End after completing 1855km, 26066m of ascent in 49.5 days 😁

There are so many photos and moments to share I couldn’t include them all above here. I’ve included a number of other favourite photos and moments below.

My makeshift waterproof cover (bin bag) for my skort
The Shin Falls where I saw a salmon jumping upstream
The top of the Devils Staircase
This tunnel was so low I had to bear crawl under it
Happy snuggly times in my tent (with breakfast)
Out to dinner with my mum and brother
Emma cooking me pasta
Rob came out to see me near Abergavenny
Karen came to see me in Tiverton
My much loved stove
The mining trails in Cornwall
Reaching the sea near Marazion
My brother in the foreground and my husband on the left
My son on the left – my emotional cup runneth over
After the signpost photos. My son Tom (left), my husband Chris (middle) and me right.
After I finished we went for a walk in Penzance. Enjoying the views and fresh air before we all went for a meal and some celebratory drinks.

John o Groats to Lands End run starts Saturday

I (probably) won’t be writing blogs whilst doing my run (unless I get blotto on whiskeys and start rambling) but we (hubby or myself) will be updating Twitter or the Facebook page see below. If you wish to follow my ups and downs (eek) then take a look there. I also have a tracker which goes live on Saturday 3rd Sept. I’ll post this separately but it can also be found on https://lornatri.com/under JOGLE tracker 😄🙏

Twitter: @lornarunsjogle

Facebook: Lorna runs 3 peaks JOGLE

Views on our way — already so stunning

Tracker has arrived! – 8 days to go

With just 8 days to go my tracker arrived this week and today I’ve been testing it out. The tracker will be used when I do my run so that anyone can follow me and see where I’m up to in the journey (see JOGLE tracker in the menu).

The tracker will go officially live on 3rd September. For now its in test mode (when I switch it on).

Today I’ve been out and about in the car and also walking here and there. Below a screen shot after I visited some shops.

You’ll see the tracker also has a donate button which links directly to the fundraising pages for Mind and the Menopause Charities.

Tracker location updates every few minutes.

When I start you can go to lornatri.com, find JOGLE on the menu and JOGLE tracker on the submenu. Click on the link there and you will be able to follow me as I go on my adventure.