21 weeks to go………

The last few weeks in training have been interesting…..

There was a great 32k run carrying a small amount of kit, stopping to make a brew with my new kraku stove in the warm sunshine. This run also included my fourth time filtering river water using my mini Sawyer filter which filters out 99.99% of all bacteria. It doesn’t filter out viruses (but you wouldn’t unduly expect many in UK rivers) and it doesn’t filter our chemicals (simply dont use river water near factories).

Photos from the beautiful 32k run

The day after this run I became ill – very ill. Probably the worst case of gastroenteritis (assuming thats what it was) I’ve ever had. Following the initial gruesome bit (details spared here) I carried on feeling sick, a bit dizzy and generally rubbish for several days. Was it the water? Or did I just eat something dodgy? Or did I make contact with something undesirable on my run and then eat my sandwiches. 🤔

To say that this experience made me paranoid is an understatement. I’ve been second guessing everything I’ve read about water filters. However, I’ve regrouped and done some more research. Well I contacted an amazing Adventurer on Twitter and she advised that she uses purification tablets on top of a filter unless she is high up in the mountains. Following my mini ‘hiccup’ I’ve decided this is also what I shall do.

After my “recovery week” I intended to cautiously step back into training for week 1 of my new workout plan. My coach at North_Endurance sets out a new plan every month. Week 1-Week 3 build up gradually with week 3 being the hardest. Week 4 is then a recovery week where sessions are halved or made easier in terms of intensity. Each four week plan might incorporate a new element or goal and will generally also include a new strength workout.

This months plan includes the following new elements:

  • One weekly run including the rucksack with full kit and weight
  • A longer gym session to test muscular endurance
  • A 3 day weekend of aerobic endurance. Fri is long run, Sat long (well ish) bike and Sun long hike.

My long run will build to 21 miles by the end of this plan. Next month the coach will put me on back to back runs Sat/Sun but reduce the distance (then rebuild it again).

I’ve been very impressed with my coach. He’s kept me injury free so far (my own attempts to poison myself aside). Long may it continue!

I absolutely loved this last week of training, although I will admit it left me shattered by the end of yesterday and I’ve had today off to rest with another rest day tomorrow.

On Monday I did an hours workout at the gym. I’m really enjoying the gym and strength work so this was all about the fun for me.

On Tuesday I ran with my rucksack for the first time. Well technically speaking its not the first time I’ve run with a weighted bag but it was the first time with this particular bag and the first time its been that full. I managed to pack it with 6kg. In reality it’ll be more like 7-7.5kg for JOGLE as I will pack adventure food, a tracker and yet more water in a bladder. I simply don’t have these things yet but I should get the bladder soon at least.

I was pleasantly surprised to find I was not only able to jog but to keep this up for a full hour quite easily. It felt really comfortable on the whole. The only issues to resolve are getting a bladder as the pockets at the front are not large enough for soft water bottles and finding a way to stop the small ridge in the back of the rucksack from rubbing me and causing chafing when I run.

Wednesday and Thursday included a turbo session, a short run and a death by Emma session with my PT 😬😆. She worked me seriously hard but its good to feel I’m getting stronger.

On Friday I ran 23km, mostly on road. It’s amazing how easy road running feels when you always run on hilly trails. Having said that I was still slow as a) I got lost (as always!) and b) I was bollocksed 😆.

Lovely view from Broadbottom just before the getting lost episode

On Saturday I went on a hike with Emma and some of her friends. It was a really lovely day and we walked through beautiful places on undulating trails. We parted ways at the top of Jacobs Ladder and they continued onto Castleton finishing a long day of 24km and I finished my 19km in Edale meeting up with hubby who had also hiked 22km from a different starting point (so clearly I was the laziest that day 😆). We were both carrying full kit and camped in Edale at a lovely place called Fieldhead Campsite. I can highly recommend.

Top left and clockwise: Vegan brownie after a long hike, stopping for lunch with the ‘girls’ on our way up Kinder Scout, me first thing enjoying a cappuccino in my tent, two of us having a good natter on the hike yesterday.

Thankfully my lovely husband brought me a second sleeping bag as it was -1 degrees and my season II sleeping bag just doesn’t cut it in those temperatures. I was toasty warm and had a lovely sleep listening to the sounds of a nearby stream as I drifted off. The pint of beer and nip of Martell brandy at the Nags Head helped though. A lovely finish to a lovely week.

Beautiful photo from the hike

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