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Donning my SIU hat – 10 weeks to Pilgrim

It is time to catch up, get a grip, suck it up and do whatever it takes. The Pilgrim Challenge is, in training terms, just around the corner. I think this might be an early mistake of mine for the new year. I’ll let you know. Meanwhile, I’ve just realised it is merely TEN WEEKS AWAY and I’m struggling to run 5km. This does not bode well but miracles can happen. Nah, scratch that. Miracles WILL happen. If I discovered ultra-running in 2012, well 2013 is going to be my year of ultra-exploration (within my own limits, of course).

Now, I haven’t been sitting on the couch ALL the time these last couple of months. Since the Paras 10 I’ve taken time out and I’m now attempting to crawl back to something resembling running. I’ve done loads of cross-training and strength work so my problem isn’t going to be fitness. My problem is just my bloomin’ knees – but that’s about to change. I have now donned my SUCK IT UP hat and we are MOVING!! Besides, I need to be running these days. Stress! What do you do when you’re stressed? Well, run, of course! And when you’re sad/confused/pissed off? Run! And when you get up in the morning and have a crick in your neck? Why that’s easy …… Run! I guess I’m not the right person to ask if there’s something wrong and you’re looking for a quick fix because running is sort of my cure-all for everything. These days I’m even hoping maybe it’ll turn me into a better parent LOL Three solid weeks of being told every single morning that you’re the worst mother in the world and that your child hates you is not good for the soul  At this stage, I’m almost starting to believe it, but at least I know how to escape from it – RUN!

No point rambling on with details. I did an easy 7 miles the other day. Started fine, Mr ITB came to visit quite quickly though and really pissed me off. That’s when I put on my SIU hat. Out again this morning – another 7. Enough with this rehab stuff. The strength is there, everything’s there and I think at this stage that many of my ITB woes are in my head!! I could be wrong, of course, but we’ll see. This morning I went back to old tactics – I did a run/walk. Right now I’m interested in time on feet and getting a wee bit of distance in on at least a regular basis. 7 miles will do for now and knee feels GOOD!! The walk/run strategy seems to work for me so I’m going to stick with it, increase the distance and gradually drop away the walking bits – rather than the other way around. Feels good to have a plan!

Meanwhile, had a great session with fellow runner Keith Jackson on Brighton’s Jacob’s Ladder – one of my favourite ‘alternative’ outdoor playgrounds  Ten times up and down the 153 steps makes for a great glute-firing workout. It can be death-defyingly boring on your own but doable all the same. The trick, of course, is to add an ‘element’ to every second ascent – so pace and strategy are varied. Yes, yes, I know, to the Killian Jornet’s of this world this wee set of steps is akin to climbing to the top of your kitchen stool, but for us mortals it’s quite a challenge and 3000 steps makes for a great leg blast. Of course, neither Keith nor I were expecting an impromptu sprint interval in the middle of our session. There’s nothing like surprise to add fire to your workout and when you spot a gentleman 153 steps below you disappearing into the middle distance WITH ALL YOUR GEAR, it’s time to step up the pace a smidge!!! *Note to self: Don’t leave backpack at the bottom of the steps* You might well say ‘serves you right’ – but those steps are hard enough without carrying extra. Besides, we were the only people there apart from this man who, I might add, passed us on the steps on his way down and even said Good Morning and made a comment about our efforts!!! What, you think it was too hard to put two and two together? You really believe he saw all our stuff and didn’t for a second think it might belong to the two people he’d just passed??
Well, anyway … takes all sorts, I guess, but jeez I took my life in my hands coming down those bloody steps. We’d spent the first couple of descents trying to push a lot of the wet leaves to the side, half the steps are broken, they were all wet (it was raining – is it ever not raining?), so the entire flight was pretty scary. Anyway, I flew (how could I not? I was in my Hokas!!!!! Attn. and then I sprinted and all I could think was ‘Shit! I don’t have a plan! Shit! I don’t have a plan!’ … I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do when I caught him – only that I was definitely going to catch him.

To cut a long story short, catch him I did, grabbed my jacket, my backpack (complete with phone, car keys etc. etc.), hurled a few non-too-complimentary words in his direction and went back to complete the workout! Couldn’t be arsed with any more involvement. Need to save my energy for another two flights …

Why is there always a drama when I’m out and about? I think I’m jinxed.

Did I mention that on this morning’s run I got locked in the public toilets? And since it was chucking it down outside do you think there was anyone within miles to come to my rescue? #hadtoclimbovertopofdoor

HokaOneOne, Jacob's Ladder, Pilgrim Challenge

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