Ultra blog – week 21

28 Jun

Run more, eat more, enjoy the solitude

I’ve made it this far and it’s been a real journey. I am amazed at what my body has achieved so far and know now it can support me all the way.  Provided I take good care of it.

The one important lesson I learned is that a body needs fuel. I made the mistake of not increasing my food intake while I was increasing my mileage week on week.  I complained to my physio that I was aching all over and felt incredibly tired all the time.  I thought it was just to be expected, but he made the ground breaking statement that I must eat more food! Now that I am running upwards of 50K a week I need more calories.  It made so much sense but I didn’t feel any more hungry than usual.  Whatever the reason for that, not surprisingly, as soon as I started eating more I felt so much better.  I didn’t cram in loads of junk food though, I was just eating more but sensibly.  But I had decided to become a vegetarian half way through my training.  Not a good idea but I’m an all or nothing kind of person.  So I had a period of adjustment there.  I still eat fish and I crave sushi most of the time.  A sure sign of what this body needs.

With that minor obstacle over, generally I have been injury and illness free.  I had an issue with my ankle which the physio warned me was my Achilles tendon.  Then my osteopath suggested it was the Tibialis Posterior.  So I dutifully carried out the exercises they both gave me and revelled in their manipulations, now, much less pain.  My body is definitely getting stronger and I do feel as if a few weeks back I hit reset and I’m good as new, if not better.  Now I am spending so much time on my feet I just have to deal with some serious blisters.  But skin can heal.  It’s tendons, ligaments and bones that tend not to.  And the blisters tend to heal overnight if treated properly.  So all in all I have been extremely lucky so far.

I am much better at running on consecutive days (run streaks).  I’ve learned a lot about mid-run nutrition and just coping with covering so much distance.  Fitting in runs around work and life in general has been a pleasure, rather than a chore.  On holiday I managed two 10K runs around Rome and loved it.  Having the whole city to myself very early in the morning when it was cooler was one of the most profound experiences of my life.  Also, getting in those long weekend runs before the temperatures rise during this year’s heatwave has meant I have seen so much wildlife and that has been a fantastic experience.  There have been so many positive benefits to this ridiculous amount of running.

In fact, I am seriously concerned about how I am going to cope without doing so much once the big race is over. On my last recovery week I had two rest days in a row and my life felt meaningless.  I was irritable and snappy.  Whilst in contrast, these final three weeks of peak training have left me feeling isolated and lonely because all I am doing is working, sleeping and running, and repeat and I haven’t had a social life at all.  I know it is just for a short time but it’s just something else to deal with.  Who knows how I am going to cope after the race?  I may need to give that some serious thought….

Until then, only three more weeks to go. Let taper madness begin.



One Response to “Ultra blog – week 21”

  1. cat h bradley 29/06/2017 at 2:03 am #

    Sometimes eating more is like a light bulb–who knew with so much energy expenditure you need to put more in! It’s basic but so easy for us to forget or not realize. So glad you are finding your fuel, good luck with tapering and your race!

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