I’ve been suffering from writers block lately. I know there is a jumble of words in my head but its difficult to spit them out in any particular useful order. After some dithering and focaccia bread making, I decided if I just start typing perhaps the thoughts will spill out and the writing will take care of itself. We will see – miracles do happen.
With 24 weeks to go till JOGLE, training has been increasing. I’m still covering 3 runs and a hike a week – this will no doubt increase in the next months. The runs are one hilly one, one short slow one and one longer one that gets longer each week. This one is following a marathon plan. This last week it was 24km and next week it’s 27km. The long run is my favourite run. It allows me to get out onto the trails and lose myself for a few hours both in mind and sometimes literally 😆.
On top of the runs, I do a long hike with my husband carrying a 30L rucksack and full camping/JOGLE kit. Longest to date was 30k but todays was “just” 19k. I say “just” because they are genuinely really hilly and often include some technical ground. By technical I mean loose large rocks, slippy muddy steep hills or boggy fields. This is all the norm for most trail runners or hikers but its definitely more energy sapping than running or walking on roads.
My coach plans in all the training runs for me. He also sets out one bike session and two strength sessions each week. Recently my strength workouts have become more advanced. Where I previously did a plank, I now do a plank with leg lift. Where I previously did calf raises I now do them on one leg holding weights. In addition to these two sessions, I see my PT each week who gives me exercises that push me to my limit.
It’s good to see that I’m starting to progress. I can do moves I couldn’t do before and the stronger I get the more my PT introduces something new to push me again. Currently she is also working on my back strength. This is something I will certainly need for carrying my rucksack day in/day out.
This last weeks training totalled 12 hours. In my head this doesn’t sound a lot when I consider I will need to run/walk for 6-8 hours a day. But it is a lot and my body is tired today. I’ve had achy hips, a twinge in my ankle and my right shoulder makes lovely cracking sounds when I rotate it. Hopefully my body will adapt to this loading and start getting less tired – of course then I will add more training and hours 😉.
The only addition to my kit has been some merino wool liner gloves with touchscreen compatible pads on the thumbs and index fingers. I absolutely love them. Considering how thin they are they have kept me warm when its been 2 degrees and I’ve still had them on when the sun is shining and my hands dont sweat in them. I also love the pads which mean I can take photos or check for messages without taking off my gloves.
My stove has arrived. I haven’t had a chance to use it yet though. I’m still waiting for the accompanying gas cannister to arrive – kind of essential. I should hopefully get a camping opportunity in April so this would be a good time to try it out. Fun times 😀.
This week I practiced with my Fenix watch for the first time using my own route. Or rather using the route that Komoot found on the app. Picking a starting point and an end point and letting the app choose something suitably ‘traily’ I found myself on new paths, exploring steep steps in a wood, jogging up paths that looked like dry river beds and crossing fields with no obvious path. All the time you simply make sure the little arrow is sitting on the purple line on your watch. It’s easy to use. It just feels odd to not know where you are and simply trust it. Fun though 😀.
I also used my water filter again this week. The more I use it the faster the water will flow out. So its good to practice. You simply screw on the blue filter onto your bag (in which you’ve collected river/stream water), turn it upside down and squeeze. You can squeeze into your own clean bottles or just drink directly from it by sucking on the blue filter at the other end. Now my runs/hikes are getting longer I’m finding this gadget very useful and the water tastes really nice too.
I’ve had emails and information from both Mind and The Menopause Charity now. I can set up just giving for both. This is something l will set up circa 3 months out from the run.
I’ve had some nervous thoughts lately. Will my body allow me to do this? What if my hip/Achilles/back gives up? What if this/what if that? Two of my friends told me ‘you’re catastrophising’. So true – clearly something I’m guilty of. Oops. It’s good to have that honesty from friends. I need to be positive. I need to remember I’ve been in pain before and I dont give up easily.
It also makes me think though I need to train my mindset as much as I train my physical ability. Both are so important, perhaps the mind is even more important. I’ve seen some interesting books on Mindfulness and The Chimp Paradox that I might give a go. On a lighter note, I’m currently reading ‘ducking long way’ which is a really funny, easy to read book on Ultra running. I highly recommend it if you are into running.