Thursday, 27 December 2012

A wee update

Been a while since I last wrote some rambles.

Since the Jedburgh Ultra it has been a continuation of what went before in 2012. I was happy with my run, felt I going in the right direction. Took a few days rest, I was planning a few leisurely runs just to keep myself ticking over for the Brecon Ultra a couple of weeks away.

Then I caught a cold. Sniffled for a week missed the Kilmarnock X country race, one of my favourite races, but unlike the last cold which turned into Sinusitis and laid me off for 6 weeks I was determined this was not going to happen again and headed straight to the docs. Too late, another course of antibiotics and another steroid nasal spray.. geeze what am I doing wrong?? Doc told me to wait till last minute before deciding whether to run the race. So I did. On the Friday I spent most of the morning weighing up my options. Turns out I really didn’t want to drive for 6 hours arrive at 2 in the morning get very little sleep then run 40 miles round the Brecon Beacons with a cold. So I pulled out. Maybe another time.

My training went to pot but as the ultra season was now finished I wasn’t much bothered. I was visiting the gym, taking Munro out 3 mile runs and not much else till the Glee run. This was the first time I had managed along to a Glee run but was apprehensive about my fitness and hoping I wasn’t going to hold everyone up. Turned out just fine. But poor Munro doesn’t run well with too many people around. He was way too excited and darting around folks’ feet. As usual I was well off the pace at the start, even a slow fun jog I couldn’t keep up. As the run went on I coped better and started to enjoy it. Then fell. A dull one landing right on my front, arms out it was my chest that took the fall and it hurt… it really bloody hurt.

Sooo, for the next week and a half I could do nothing but slow walk/jogs with Munro. Ribs were sore but sneezing was making me scream with pain. As with these things, time heals all ills, just as well for some of us!

The Marcothon had begun and I again signed up for the yearly month of madness. Would be rude not to.
I tried to get back running, doing the minimum distance and my ribs were slowly getting better.
But, and for me there usually is a BUT. I toddled off to the gym, planning 5k on the TM and 30 minutes on the spin bike. Usually at the gym I wear my barefoot minimal shoes and stupidly didn’t take another pair for my TM run but hey I wasn’t too bothered, I’d been wearing these wee babies for a couple of months and felt 5k would be ok.

Big mistake! Normally when you feel pain you stop, don’t you? I wonder how many of you are sitting there saying.. well, no. Me too. Acht it’s just a wee ache. On I run, my calfs feel like they are about to explode like in cartoon fashion .. bang.. blood and yuck all over the place, and did I stop? No, cos I’m doing a 5k and I will finish.

Marcothon duly hit the skids and I was in major resting mode. Kind of makes me laugh although I know it’s not really funny. I could barely walk at all for days. Anyway, 10 days later and my legs were feeling pretty normal again and the wee burns on my feet had all healed. Lesson learned.. I hope!

Glad to say a couple of weeks have passed incident free. I have managed a couple of mid distance runs. Been to the gym, made a complete fool of myself trying squats with a bar for the first time. I spent a week practicing my ‘move’ at home without an audience. Second attempt went well and I have to admit I have been offered nothing but help and encouragement from the big scarey guys in the weights area.

So as we head towards another birthday and a New Year I’m looking forward to the challenges I have set myself for 2013. I hope never to have such an injury ravaged year ever again but 2012 was pretty character building to say the least.

Here’s to 2013 : Hardmoors 55 : Cateran : WHW race : Glenmore 24

Safe running

Karen & Munro

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Jedburgh Ultra

Well that was fun!

I was looking forward to this run, guess the long summer off had given me a bit of motivation and this was a goal I had set myself.

Weather was a bit drizzly and way too cold for my liking. It is always fun people watching at the start of races. The difference in race attire was interesting. There was the likes of me, expecting to be at the back of the pack and slow so dressed accordingly with full tights rain jacket gloves buff and a spare everything in the rucksack. Then the racing snakes, shorts vest and wee arm warmers, geeze I was cold just looking at them, but to even it out there was a bit of everything in-between!

I digress..
I had a plan, start slow a then slow down, just my usual then. The first few miles I was last bar none. Just plodding along I passed people as they stopped for injuries or wardrobe malfunctions etc. Sometimes folks went past me and this stupidly worried me, I started thinking I was slowing down so soon, then I would go by same people?? am I speeding up? I didn't think so. I reckon some folk got their pacing a bit muddled.

The mud on the route to Maxton was bad. At first I tried to run round the bogs but quickly realised that wasn't going to happen so straight through it was. My shoes were getting sucked off one minute then when getting clear of the bog my poor shoes were covered in so much mud they weighed a few extra pounds each. I quickly realised this was going to be a long slog.

There were parts of the route that were excellent too, good footing through the woods and along the riverside. I still barely lifted my head though. I have a wee problem with self preservation and seem to focus totally on the ground in front. I'm sure this will pass as I get my confidence back.

I caught up with Ellen when she took a wrong turn along the river, we met at the point where she should have turned. It was good to blether for a moment but I needed to stop for comfort break. This meant I was on my own for quite a way to the Rhymer Stone checkpoint. I had put in a drop bag and it took me quite a few minutes to get my stuff sorted. Folks who I had passed a while back were now in front for the big climb up the 3 peaks. I put my head down and tried just to grind it out. The bottom of the first hill was very muddy and slippy but soon began to look like a normal path. I only stopped briefly to take in the views on the way up but my lungs were bursting and I really wanted to sit and rest. At the top I had caught up with Adrian who I tried to follow on the downhill but he left me like I was standing still. No way am I bouncing down a hill. Repeat on the second hill but I didn't catch him on the third which gladly was much smaller. Others went by me on downhills I think I lost about 4 places.

Back into the woods and I had my confidence and mojo back. Just kept plodding away.

I was trying to watch my nutrition as always, usual problem for me. For this race I had decided on gels/tablet/coconut ice and I had a banana in my drop bag. I also had a rice but couldn't find my spoon and shovelling it in with my mud covered fingers was a bit off putting. I had my isotonic drink in both my water bottles and a wee bottle of irn bru. I thought I would manage, and I almost did.

Not sure if it was a mental melt down or an energy one but I had made a wee pact with myself. With my fear of missing the cut off times I had told myself... run all the way to Maxton.. then only 10 miles to go, you can walk this if necessary. Seemed a good idea at the time and by the time I had reached Maxton I was feeling ok, I did try to keep going with this high for as far as I could but unfortunately that wasn't very far!! I had caught and passed Ellen and Stan by this time, but knew I would soon be looking at their backs. My hamstrings were cramping and my stomach was rebelling. I had just taken my last gel and there was no way I was loosing it. Hold the tummy contents at all costs!!

Soon they passed me again and now my aim was to keep them in sight. I duly lost them in the woods and it was really quite dark and I panicked like a panicky thing. I bolted down the track trying to find them!! Once I caught them I was hanging on no matter what!! 4 miles to go and I was trying not to cry like a spoiled 2 yo having a tantrum. I was hurting and I wanted it over bubble sniff sniff, ha don't you just love how childish you become?
Alan Robertson caught us on the wee back road with Adrian joining us on the road in Jedburgh, and that is how we finished five of us together giving the timing mat an overload.

I'm glad I hadn't listened to my inner demons earlier on and picked myself up to tick another box towards recovery and fitness.

Well done to the guys on their first year, the run was fun if very difficult. The marshals were great and well done the guys out on the hills!!

Happy running

Thursday, 20 September 2012

WHW challenge

Apologies as this is really long. Best get a coffee.

A while back, probably sometime between breaking my leg and coming to my senses I decided I wanted to spend a few days on the WHW route.

I had missed the race although I did do marshalling at Glencoe. Still not quite the same as taking part though. I booked myself into the Inversnaid hostel, then, was planning to get to Kingshouse and finally reaching the campsite at the Ben Nevis where Bryan would have arrived and pitched our tent. My plan was to have one of the baggage companies carry clean clothing to the different hostels.

Ha, the best laid plans. How it panned out was Bryan offered to meet me on day 2 bringing my bag with him then me carrying on with the dog on the last day. Our night in the campsite got cancelled as Bryan had a morning at Uni next day. We also changed our stay at Kingshouse to Tyndrum. I would stop at Victoria Bridge and Bryan would drive us back to Tyndrum as I thought it would be just too far for me to manage.
So overall, approx 30 miles per day carrying my full rucksack on days 1 & 2.

Day 1. The weather forecast was rubbish. I dilly dallied about the house packing/emptying my bags etc. Bryan drove me to Milngavie with a plan to set off just after 10am. Ok, we got to Milngavie about 10:45 the rain was bouncing and I was in a pretty low mood with the thought of 30 odd miles in the rain. I have never made any secret of hating the rain, there is just nothing fun about being cold, wet and chaffing for miles and hours on end. As we sat waiting on the rain to go off (no chance) ok lighten a little the time ticked by. I then realised I didn’t have a head torch and with time passing I was not going to make it to Inversnaid in daylight. I expected to cover about 4 miles an hour so time was now getting tight.
I then realised this was my run and I made the rules. So I promptly decided I would start at Drymen and miss out that puddle soaked path also the part on the road. I really don’t enjoy that part and was glad I was going to miss it!

We drove to Drymen and I quickly got out the car into the rain and started my wee adventure. I plodded slowly trying to make sure I kept an easy pace, I wasn’t too fussed as I knew I only had 20 miles to run, cool, a nice short day. There was a diversion for logging through what used to be a forest just outside Drymen. I duly followed the signs, sliding through mud and slime up past my ankles, lovely, barely started and my nice gore-Tex shoes are soaked! The rain poured the rain went off, the rain poured the rain went off, just that kind of day. My only slight fear for today was the Conic hill. I was glad I still had fresh legs as it was a bit slippy with all the rain, it was also a bit busy with charity walkers. This was a perfect reason to just slip in behind them and take my time.

Seemed like it took an age but I finally got off THAT hill, in one piece and no broken bones. The rest of my day went well, plenty food stops, eating as I walked up the hills. My mind had rerouted some parts and I surprised to reach this part so soon or wondering where that part had went. Seems it’s been a while since I covered any real distance on The Way. I finally got to Inversnaid Hotel. I was struggling, a lot more than I thought I would, it was after all only 20 miles!! I hadn’t really researched where the hostel was but had heard many people say it was up the hill. So off I set, what felt like a lifetime later with legs hinging off I finally see the old church. 

Oh so glad to be there. I had carried clean tights and 2 tops in my bag minimum toiletries and was planning on sticking my wet clothes in the drying room. All goes to plan, I get me wee room I have THE best hot shower, get my wet clothes hung up then head upstairs for food. Excellent wee dinner couple of beers chat with some other walkers. I would recommend staying at this friendly wee place any chance you get. Off to bed before 10pm. Day 1 approx 20miles 6hrs 23.

Day 2. Up for 8 dressed and back upstairs for breakfast. No full brekkie here but flakes, porage, toast, yogurt and fruit. Tea/coffee. A bacon roll was £1.50 extra.
I left for my planned run to Victoria Bridge at 9. I let Bryan know my expected arrival time as he was planning on being at BoO for me. Weather today was so much better, all my clothes had dried fine except my shoes. After a couple of minutes I’d forgotten they were wet but it did allow me just to run through today’s selection of mud and puddles with no worries.  
My first day had past with no more pains than the usual heavy tired legs and strangely weird sore heels. Today however my right leg started to really hurt. My calf/ankle and sole were aching. I plodded on determined not to take pain killers as these were one of the many things that had possibly caused my sickness at the Glenmore. Ahh suck it up I thought. Once past the mucky farm I could not move without limping so I stopped got the shoe off took off my support bandage loosely tied the lace and carried on.
Not sure how much better it felt but was enough to give me a boost and get my head down for the climbs through the forest. I do like this part and it is hard not to enjoy it.
I plodded to Auchtertyre, now out of water but in no more pain I stopped for a nice cold can of 7 UP. A Mars Bar found its way into my hand too so I had  a seat outside in the sun. Finished I refilled my water bottle in the wee kitchen and carried on.
Along here I managed to get a signal on my phone, called Bryan and told him I would just be stopping at Tyndrum. 

Funnily enough the sugar did what I would normally have taken painkillers for, my leg was feeling a whole lot better and I was running comfortably into Tyndrum. Had a natter with Kirsty, made our plans for day 3 and I made my way to the wee Hobbit house. I was again cold and sore. These wee houses have fantastic heaters and the place was toasting in no time. Would have to recommend a stay at The By The Way Hostel. The Hobbit house was cool and shower block very clean. I admit to this being my first ever getting out there and staying at hostel type trip. The places I picked were on others recommendations and I was very glad I listended :-)

Bryan arrived on Q and I had my holdall with proper toiletries and clean clothes. Bliss.
We went up to the Green Welly for pizza then a long walk (in the rain) with Munro. Bed time again. Day 2 Approx 20 miles 6hrs 20.

Day 3. We planned to leave at 9 and Kirsty appeared with Milo (her gorgeous Vizsla dog). Munro had an ohh who are you  moment before deciding Milo was ok and we all set off for BoO. This being my 3rd day my legs were kind of sore but I seemed not to notice and we struck out at a decent pace. A few times I had to ask Kirsty to walk as I was just running out of puff, but moments later I was ok and we were off again chatting away and the time passed quickly. Lots of sheep and cows on the first part of the route. Milo was very well behaved and never gave them more than a look, Munro on the other hand I had to keep shouting back to keep him in check. At one point a big coo looked too easy as he ran at it, naturally it duly kicked him and he was very well behaved after that!!
Kirsty had to turn round at BoO as she had to get back to the hostel. I carried on in a real good mood and full of energy. Stopped for a moment at the foot of the climb as Bryan was waiting there to make sure I was ok. He was going to drive to Victoria Bridge. I was up and over the hill in good time, down onto the road and again met Bryan. Still on a high but asked for a wee banana as I knew the moor could very easily stop me in my tracks. The rain had been on and off so far, nothing too bad but I had my full waterproofs with me. I have learned never to underestimate the Rannoch Moor.
It had been decided before I left that I would run to Glencoe and that would be the end of my wee adventure. In a way I was sad this was my last leg but also very relieved as I was starting to feel I was on my last legs!!
I plodded with determination, not only was I not going to let the moor beat me, I was going to enjoy it. Ok maybe enjoy is the wrong word but I jog/walked comfortably. Reaching the cairn I knew I didn’t have far to go. I would have whooped my way down but my legs were aching and I was almost in survival mode. It is what it is and it’ll stay what it is till the end so get on with it!! Day 3. Approx 17 miles 4hrs 30.

 A nice shower in the new shower block at Glencoe (£1:00 10 mins) then into the cafe for a bacon roll and coffee. Perfect end.
Huge thanks to long suffering Bryan, couldn't have done it without you and to Kirsty and Milo for the much needed company on day 3.

I dropped approx 10 miles per day and at no point did I feel I could have done them. Perhaps next year if I manage to train right through I’ll have another wee shot at it.

So what did I learn? Lots, but most of all… it was fun :-)

Happy running

Karen & Munro

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Glenmore 24

April 28th, fell and broke my leg during the Highland Fling relay.

July 10th, allowed to run again. 2k on the treadmill building it up with .5k every 2nd day.

That quickly sums up my summer and training for the Glenmore 24. I could have changed to the 12 but then I would have had to run quicker and I really didn't like the thought of that.

On the the run up I managed a great run on The Way with Fiona and Caroline. This really helped my confidence and I was positive I could manage a good 50miles.

Then a couple of 18 miles + with Stan, these I felt more rattled and definitely not comfortable. I just kept running out of steam... nothing left... tank empty and I'm walking downhill never mind uphill.

I'm sure it was due to not getting my mind back into to training mode that I kind of overlooked my feeding and nutrition. I find I can manage a long run with some Isotonic, tablet and a wee crumpet with jam. I can tell you I was quickly found out during the race.

Onto the weekend. We arrived Friday night, wee 6 man bivvy tent Bryan and Munro. Got our spot in the corner with the hope of keeping Munro away from too much activity. He can get a bit jumpy but as it turned it, he was totally fine all weekend. We camped on the Friday night, Mark and Geraldine arrived, Stan later on. The wee hayfield was filling up.

As is necessary we had to walk Munro before bed so a few of us start out to walk the route. As I ran the race last year it was assumed I'd know the way... wrong. Lost lost lost!! but eventually we find our way onto the wide forest road. It was exciting to see the route. My long wait to run again was almost over! As it happened, glad we took our head torches as our dilly dallying took us a good bit longer to get round.

Saturday morning, I'm not sure well rested is a phrase I'd use but I did get some sleep. Unlike a a few who were having a ball in the marshals tent. Hangovers were order of the day!

Stan had suggested we go into Aviemore for a full breakfast. Seemed like a good idea. Whilst there we lost Mark & Geraldine, met John & Lorna, waited over an hour for our order and ended up stuffing our food down and quickly making our way back to the hayfield trying not to panic.

Stan wanted to get the medical stuff done, I was a bit on edge with nerves and didn't want to hang around with so little time.
Eventually it was time and we were off, Stan left behind in the medical tent! I took my customary place at the back of the field and walked up the hill out the hayfield.

My first few laps everything went fine but on reflection I was already building up my fall. Rather than eat solids I was only drinking isotonic, fair enough, but at half dilution as I didn't think I could drink the 500ml and hour required to keep my carb intake up. Soon I was gasping for water, drinking like it was running out, still eating nothing so Bryan tried to remedy this by making me eat half a crumpet. I had a few cups of chocolate milk too. Oh dear. 7 hours later and I'm hungry so ask Bryan for soup and bread. This was fine and off I go.

This was a bad lap. Negative thoughts creep in. I'm not fit. Why am I doing this. Who am I kidding.  I'll never get round this lap never mind all night. Just a few of the drag me down thoughts that seemed to be winning. I plodded the lap out and asked Bryan to come with me for the next one. So off we set with Munro in tow. This really picked me up and I was quickly feeling good again. Another lap down and Caroline is there supporting Neal (pulled out due to tummy issues) and asks if I want her to run with me? oh yes. So we gibber and gabber for 2 laps and my speed is up as my mood but my stomach was hollering noooo.

So it was decided I stop, get something decent to eat and let it digest a bit before setting out again. Lets just say it never happened. As much as I tried I could no longer keep all the watery gunk down and I chucked up. Violently. Mark came in from his tent next to us to see if I was ok. Again more discussion about what would be best. Sleep and let my stomach settle.
I lay in my sleeping bag and listened to the 12hr runners pounding round the little loop. The count down, the cheers then the quiet. I quickly fell asleep only to wake bursting for a pee at 03:30. Ahh well, might as well run, I'm getting up anyway!
My first lap (14) was fine and I was way overdressed. It was really quite warm out there. Got a brilliant wee sing song form Geraldine & Lee at half way.. nutters! Onto my next lap and I'm feeling delicate. Thirsty, hungry, baokish etc so I walk a bit. I had made myself markers where I walk and run so was not a happy bunny to be walking outwith my markers. On the downhill my tummy again decides I have not treated it well and again empties itself in a fun projectile way.
I get to Ada, inform her I'm still not doing well and will be stopping for another while to try gather myself.

Slept the rest of the night and eventually woke after 8 I think. Bryan asked me if I was going back out. I counted my laps (15) 60 miles. I had set my gold target at 70. I said no. If I'm honest I never gave it a considered thought. I was still feeling sick. My body was knackered, even though my running legs felt fine I knew I'd done enough.

I wanted home. I wanted showered and I wanted my bed. So we left early but not till Stan gloriously got 100miles. Well done.

A huge well done to everyone who took part. It is a fabulous weekend, the organisers and marshals all doing a brilliant job. Always great to catch up with folks, meet new friends and to watch in awe of some great performances.

I've not jumped back into training, instead taking a week off with short jogs with Munro round the local trails. Now I can't wait to start again, in particular work on my nutrition, add in some speed work and some hill. First though is to complete The WHW in 3 days next week. My wee challenge with myself. Looks like I'll need my rain jacket!!

Happy running

Karen & Munro

Friday, 13 July 2012

Going forward

It’s been a while since I last had any motivation to write in my wee blog.

The WHW race has been and gone. I have read so many reports. Each one an insight into what every single person put into the race. Heart soul and a whole lot more.

My small part went well. The weather at Glencoe was not particularly good to us. Wet, windy, cold and in general just bloody miserable. If I said it once I must have said it a hundred times, thank gawd I’m not running!! I think, no, I know I would have moaned gurned and gret the whole way!! As Tim noted ‘you picked the right year for a broken leg’.

We stood under our wee makeshift shelter trying desperately to keep it from blowing away down the valley. Runners came, runner went. From the first placed Terry Conway all smiley and happy and under no duress whatsoever, to the spaced out hobbling Karl, who looked like he had no real idea where he was! Team Pyllon were in good form as were mum & dad Knox. My heart went out to a female who arrived in tears, telling us she was beaten and didn’t know what to do. George advised her to take some time, get dry clothes on, something to eat and let us know how she was. 20 mins later she came back, crying harder now as she knew she couldn’t go on and gave us her band. I really hope she comes back next year to give it another shot.
Silke came through looking happy and strong as did Caroline. Fiona looked like she was having a ball all smiles and waving. The Deerunner (George) came over and introduced himself and hoped I was recovering well, thanks. Tiny Lesley came through looking like she was in a lot pain and hobbling slowly. How she managed another 26 miles I will never know. Bloody gutsy.

The last runners came through just around 2300hrs, we were still expecting about 17 others but it appears quite a few dropped out before they reached us. The sweepers came through and that as they say … was that… . We had a visit from a very cheery Andrew Murray as he made his way home. Nice of him to pop in make sure we were doing fine.

We headed to Fort William and stayed at the Leisure Centre till after 3 waiting for Tim and watching the finishers. Good end to our day. After a few hours sleep we were back. Quick walk up the hill at Braveheart carpark we met Victoria enroute to her 2nd goblet and looking very cheerful indeed. Back at the centre we arrive just as Caroline finished. She was delighted but exhausted. I had to queue up to get a sweaty hug, there were so many folks there supporting the magical finish for the one’s who had been out 2 nights.

Sunday night and it was a nice meal with some of the family then onto the pub. Too much drink and chat, but good fun catching up and meeting new friends and old.

Next on my agenda is the Glenmore. I am now more & more thinking I will be running 4 miles and resting, running 4 miles and resting for the whole race. My recovery is continuing well, but I am still not allowed much training and I really can’t see me being fit enough to do the Glenmore justice. Tuesday was the first day I was allowed to run. 2k on the treadmill, today 2.5k Sunday I will be allowed 3k. This will continue till I can run 5k comfortably with no pain. At the moment I am following the Johnny Fling recovery method of sticking my leg in a bucket of cold water after exercise. Seems to be working fine as the swelling is minimal. I have been really knocking my pan in on the other machines, 125 floors climbed on the stepper, 20 mins on the spin bike 2mins fast 2 mins stand up, summit master is taking a beating and the Xtrainer is just too easy. I am a wobbly sweat sodden mess when I leave the gym but what is a girl to do if she can’t run?

A holiday perhaps? Off we went, Bryan Munro & me. Small 3 man tent, sleeping bags oh and gas heater! First to Barra then onto Eriskay, South & North Uist. I have decided I really don’t like camping. Barra is way too small and I couldn’t get off the island quick enough even though we found a great wee campsite and went a lovely walk over hills and along the amazing white beaches.

 Uist I was enjoying and we had a great wee spot to wild camp.

Unfortunately I had also booked an appointment at the Hampden clinic for the Monday night, duly forgot about it, then remembered then had to come back home missing out our 2 planned days on Skye. Plenty left undone there. Another visit is a must but I’ll either take the big tent and pitch for a week or hire a wee camper. No more 3 man tenting. I am way too claustrophobic for that!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Staying positive

Yep great title but the next bit is 'why is it so hard'?

Since my last post I have tried and mainly succeeded in keeping upbeat, looking forward and making sure my recovery is continuing in the right direction.

The last week however I have struggled. I'm fair missing the buzz of the years biggest race, feel almost flat and sometimes actually sad! I mean how can you be sad just because you're missing a race? Crabbit hingin moods? Not exactly normal but you can think okay, everyone gets them... Don't they? As per cheer me the female way, online shopping for nice new gear which is not required, does the trick everytime.

Moving on.. Lots to be positive about, last week I swam 20 lengths after 1hr 30 cardio work in the gym. I started at 6 lengths but have built it up. For most not much but as I haven't been in a pool (holiday splashing aside) for many many years I thought it deserved a mention :-)
The physio also reckons I'll be back to light running by the end of next week. I am extremely excited about that! At the moment I'm only allowed non impact exercise except my bunny hopping :-) I'm up to 20 of them per day too.
I'm hoping when I up the exercise I can loose the few (ahemmm) extra lbs I've acquired over the weeks!

To keep myself amused & it is required if your going to play any part in the WHW, I have started a list. Just to make sure we (wee George & me) don't get cold/hungry or eaten alive by midges at Glencoe! It has been interesting reading all the Facebook postings and blogs. The nerves are really starting to hit home! Kind of glad I'm missing that part! I think I was flying last year!

Can't finish the blog without a mention of Debs & her amazing achievement at the GUCR. What an inspiration!! Huge well done.

Nothing left to say except good luck to everyone taking part next week. I hope to see each & every one of you as you reach 70 miles. Caw canny and enjoy :-)

Karen & Munro

Friday, 11 May 2012

2 weeks on

Well almost and what a difference it makes.
I have stayed at home, swallowed painkillers to overdose levels and by Monday into Tuesday things were looking a lot better.

Now I have no idea where I got the idea that a broken ankle would heal in a couple of weeks but there I was all happy and confident things were good. I was actually getting about the house easier without the crutches and able to move my ankle in a few small stretches.

Till Wednesday. That is the day I had an appointment at the fracture clinic. The day I was looking forward to. Actually getting out of the confines of the torturous 4 walls. The day I was going to ask about going to the pool, getting on the static bike and the cross trainer at the gym.

Well after another X-ray an hour of waiting about I got to see the doctor. He was very pleasant in a nice young doctor kind of way and I think I may even have made his day with my wee list of questions, because he laughed and laughed and oh how he laughed.

Go home, sit down and remind yourself you have a broken ankle.
No pool, no bike, no nothing. I did however get a very in-depth lecture with pictures on the make up of my lower leg/ankle and all the parts that do all the different things to make it work, what holds it together and what keeps it strong.

We discussed at length all my plans for the coming months and he put things into a recovery kind of perspective. I think I must have been in there for an age as the waiting room was empty and there was no staff on when I left. Think everyone was on their lunch! So 2 hours later and I guess it was my saddest day so far.

No Alps holiday, why go all that way and pay all that money to be in pain and miserable. That to be honest was not my plan for the holiday but I can see 9 weeks after an ankle break walking 10 miles + a day is maybe not the best idea.
My plan for the Devil has also hit the dustbin. Too much risk of re injuring the ankle, tired legs on rocky ground is not a good combination.
The Glenmore however stays. This is going to be my training goal. I guess I will have plenty weight to lose and my fitness will be pants. Planning physio ASAP, I’ll need to make sure I don’t overdo it when I get the all clear to start training again.

So for another 4 weeks I have to keep the brace on with no more exercise than normal everyday walking about the house.

It will fly by I’m sure. I’m so looking forward to the WHW as I’m now doing the Glencoe checkpoint with George (my race backup). It would have been such a downer not to be involved in some way, so midgie meat we are.

Stay safe

Karen & Munro

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

And it's all over for me

Torts Relay Teams

No WHW for me this year.
I know it can happen to anyone and this weekend it happened to me. A bad slip and a bad landing saw me hobbling off the Conic Hill on Saturday during the Highland Fling relay race. I was sure I had heard a crack, I was feeling very sick and my ankle felt huge and numb.
Lots of people stopped, runners and walkers offering me help and pain killers. I am so grateful to them even though at the time I refused all help. I think it was a mixture of pain, shock, disbelief and me being bloody determined I could run it off if I could just get off the hill.

Long story short I didn’t run anything off and by the time I got to the easier path I was met by Robert and George, thanks to the female runner who was on a training run and passed my message to them.
Between them they helped me to the car park and by that time I knew it was well and truly over for me.

BDTP managed to get through to the drop out marshal and update her they no longer had a sweeper. Natalie our leg 3 runner continued my run then her own covering 21 miles. What a girl, well done Nats. This was added to our leg 1 runner in one of the male teams having breathing problems and dropping out. George took over his run then his own leg 3. We were dropping like flies!!

I got a couple of ice packs for my ankle and sat in the back of the car with my leg elevated. Of we went to Rowerdennan, oh trying not to be sick on that wee bendy windy road! We passed an ambulance going in the opposite direction, Mags reckoned we should have stopped it, only finding out later that it was Ellen who had fallen further on and broken her arm, I think right on the elbow and had lay on the damp cold ground for a very long time waiting on the ambulance. It was a bit upsetting to find out that folk complained about her blocking the path and the ambulance blocking the road WTF and whoTF are these people? I do believe in Karma.

I was managing to hobble about even in quite a bit of discomfort. I filled my boots with painkillers and I was having positive thoughts that it was just a bad strain and was probably a branch I heard crack.
We got to Beinglas farm and I thought I should see if I could get my ankle strapped up. Neil who I recognised from being a runner at a lot of the ultras was on duty as doc. He had a good look at my foot and gave his diagnosis as fractured fibula but as he didn’t have X-ray eyes I should go to A&E and get it seen to.
Oh dear

Now I don’t get out much and I didn't want to have to go home early, that would also have ruined other folks weekend (they don’t get out much either) so I decided the swelling was huge anyway and I could still stand in it. Would do till Sunday. Huge fish supper and a few beers later I was convinced I made the correct decision.

Sunday morning and it was still the same which means it wasn’t worse so all is good. Arriving home I got changed and Mags, Nats and Moira came up to A&E with me. Approx 2 hours wait! The girls wanted to wait but it had already been a very long weekend so I had to practically send them away! I listened to episode 13 WHW podcast and surfed away the time. Soon I was taken for X-ray and Neil’s diagnosis was confirmed.  2 long thin cracks running from ankle to mid calf. Nurse put a huge heavy plaster on it and gave me an appointment for Monday.

I was amazed at the lack of negative thoughts I was having. Thinking hard about things I knew I have lost nothing that won’t be there for me another time. So I was over the moon after seeing the doc on Monday who just seemed to know what I was thinking without me saying anything. So you’re a runner then? You wont want a stookie if we can help it then? Can’t have your bones stiffening up can we? I’m like ok ok ok.

I have a brace which even with the painkillers is bleeding agony, but it is going to make a huge difference to my recovery so a wee bit of pain is doable. I also have an ankle brace below the leg one to stabilise the ankle. These braces I can take of for showers etc, maybe even get myself into the pool once the doc says I can. So glad I haven’t cancelled that gym subscription yet!
Much better!

This morning I entered the Beacons Ultra .. yes!  booked my accommodation.. yes!
So that’ll be The Devil, The Glenmore 24, The GO33 and the Beacons. So much to look forward to.
Not sure about our holiday in the Alps yet, I’m hopeful but not pinning my hopes on it.

Stay safe.

Karen and now unfit Munro x

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Eating, Sleeping, Dreaming The Way

That is exactly what I feel I am doing at present. It is all consuming, I've even ran it in a bad dream, yep I blew up somewhere along the route because I had set off too quick... oh just for a moment I wish I was, well, normal.

But I'll concentrate more on the waking moments, the ones where I'm trawling the Internet looking for tips, blogs, nutrition, gear etc. Or the ones where I'm studying maps, time, distance for my next wee recce out. The 10 hour training days of travelling & running. The days are counting down, the weekends or for me, mid week days are crammed full of training runs, long, short, tempo, recovery.

Sometimes life gets in the way like yesterday my day was full with family commitments. Nothing for it but an evening run up the windfarm. Headtorches had to go on 3/4 way round, what a lovely clear night even if it was freezing and the wind was cutting us in two. Had my dinner just after 2200hrs.

Nothing gets in the way of training!

I seem to have got myself back on track after my wee cold. The planned run from Glencoe to FW went ahead, but it rained, a lot. Crossing the Larig Mor was nothing short of a nightmare and I totaly spat the dummy and chucked all toys out the pram. I was just so fed up with being cold and wet on my long runs. Stan just laughed at me as I f'd and blinded the miles away. I guess it was funny, but not at the time!! By Lundavra the sun was out the wind had died down and all was well. Perfect training really. Huge downs but also realising that the ups will come along and appreciating them when they do.

I have added into my training a LSR on the flat. I was finding running any distance hard, always looking to stop for whatever reason I could find, these runs were to get me moving all the way, keep running no hills no breaks just struggle on. Not finding them fun but coping with the constant running. I do have a marathon in a couple of weeks.. which I'm looking to finish in about 4hrs 30 with a negative split. I have also been pretty regimented with my food. Small amounts often, making sure I eat real food at regular intervals.

My diet at home is nothing like it used to be, no cheese, pizza chips etc. It's all steak, chicken, pasta, fish, veg and worse of all very little beer!! I get my wee treat to the pub for pizza when shifts allow... oh the joys. With that and my 15 minutes gym ball every day I'm sure I'm going to start noticing some weight loss ... at some point!!

This week into next are pretty easy, kidding myself on I'm tapering for the marathon then the miles will be getting wracked up again as I'm only doing a relay leg of The Fling (2). Super excited about eventually getting to run a race!

So back to the surfing for me, ankle support and waterproof trousers required, new shoes soon. Then a wee recovery jog to the garage to uplift Bryan's car. I'll be listening to pod cast 12 as I run.

Yip eating sleeping dreaming!

Karen & Munro

Friday, 16 March 2012

Training resumes

After 8 days under the duvet feeling sorry for myself I finally reappear. Still choked still ill and still feeling sorry for myself. Nothing left but to go back to the docs. First course of antibiotics finished with no improvement so now I feel like I've wasted a week!

As I'm due back at my work on the Friday I decide I want to do a long run on Thursday and try and get back into it. Tim wants to come along so Thursday morning we head up to Crainlarich. The weather forecast wasn't looking too good but it was dry as we arrived. We parked in the layby just before entering Crainlarich got ourselves and the dogs sorted and off we went.
It wasn't long before the rain started but nothing too bad. The miles to Auchtertyre then Tyndrum went by fairly quickly and I was feeling ok although I was running really slow, my legs were tired and I was still struggling to breath easily. I even noticed myself wheezing, something I have never done. The part over to BoO was quite miserable and we got soaked, so much so I went into the hotel and changed into what dry clothes I was carrying in my rucksack.
We continued out of BoO up to the cairn at the top of the hill (Murdos support point). This would give us a round trip of 30 miles. My farthest this year. I was still struggling but coping. Then the open moor back to Tyndrum and I started to flag, big time. I was holding Tim up and couldn't see me making it back to Crainlarich. We decided Tim would go on ahead with the dogs and pick up the car, I would stop at The Green Welly and wait there.

It seemed as soon as I was on my own I knew I would have to knuckle down and get on with it rather than whine about poor wee me not feeling well. I had been nibbling at my bag of tablet but still had a good lot left, so I just ate the whole bag in one go. AAhh my teeth! Soon after coming up over the hill and being able to see down the track towards Tyndrum I perked up and ran the whole way, not exactly with a spring in my step but fairly comfortably. Thank you tablet.

I felt I could have ran on towards Crainlarich but that would have upset the plans we had made and I'm not sure my sugar high would have even got me to Auchtertyre. So into The Welly I went. Large bowl of soup, juice and coffee. Now I was feeling better but chittering like a crazy thing. All my clothes were wet. Had I my bank card on me I would most definitely been standing in a nice new dry shiny rig out when Tim got back. But I didn't. A wee £10 in my pocket got my food. I was really happy I had that!

I think I managed approx 25 miles, again mainly in the rain. If it rains this year on race day at least I will be more prepared for it. But, my seal skin socks soaked through as did my seal skin gloves. My Mountain Equipment jacket was good but my tops below soaked with sweat and remained wet, my Montane featherlite showerproof trousers soaked through too but did keep the wind out helping me stay warm. If anyone has come across waterproof gear that works on the Scottish Hills will you please let me know.

After visiting the docs I was prescribed with a steroid nasal spray and another course of antibiotics. The doc told me not to expect miracles and it might take yet another week or more to clear up.
With this in mind I had a couple of days rest then decided to run home from work on Sunday.

It is just over 17 miles, but along the cycle path which is mostly flat and tarmac. I used my HR monitor to try and keep an even pace which worked well for pretty much most of the run, till I called Bryan to let him know I was in Irvine and had left my house key in the car at work. Oh right he says, I'm in Greenock!! My HR shot up to 203!! I could see me again sitting like Liptons orphan in wet clothes on the doorstep. Just run slow he says, so I did. With 5 miles to go I was feeling a bit tired but after getting into Kilmarnock I was feeling a huge buzz knowing I was almost home (even if I did had to sit on the doorstep) it felt like I was bouncing down the roads. Thankfully Bryan had arrived home only minutes before me.

I have only been running every other day until I feel 100% but have done Interval & Tempo sessions again with the HR monitor. Not great, so I know there is a lot of room for improvement which I am looking forward to seeing over the next few weeks/months.

Tomorrow I am heading up to Glencoe to run to Fort William. I am very lucky that Bryan has offered to back me up carrying the food and meeting me at KLL & Lundavra. He needs to train for his part in the race too. I'll have the company of Stan, Munro and hopefully Silke. AND it is to be dry!! yes

It is the D33 this weekend to. Excited that this is the new ultra season underway. If your taking part, have a great run.

Karen & Munro

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Down but not out

After over 4 weeks of sneezing and snorting I have had to give into the dreaded cold. Went out to work last night not feeling great, but after 9 hours chittering with a runny sore nose I had had enough. Not a good sleep this morning, constantly wakening up struggling to breath it was inevitable that I couldn't face another night of the same.

I phoned into work and signed of work. So much for my 0 Bradford score. Trouble is being sick means I'm stuck with a duvet and a box of Lemsip. My loose training plan is on the back boiler and the dog's not going to get walked.

I had been plodding along quite happily putting in the miles. February being the shortest month (even with it's extra day) has been my highest mileage month ever. My legs are feeling good on it too as I have been taking my rest days as total rest. I decided this week to cancel my gym subscription barely a year after joining. I never went more than twice per week and for the past few months twice per month.

After reading Andy Dubois blog and other info on strength/core training I have came to realise I don't need to be in a gym. I have even managed to set my Garmin workouts now, all very techy for me. I have interval sessions, tempo sessions, timed sessions, heart rate sessions all waiting on me getting over my man flu. Something new and different to keep the training exciting and me motivated. I'm turning into a data geek.
On Monday I did my 27 miles Rowerdennan to Beinglas and back with Tim, he had his heart rate monitor on and we ran at a good steady pace. I have decided I have had enough of the loch side though.
The following day I used my heart rate monitor to try keep myself at 75% of my max on my back to back long run. This was kind of hard considering I had picked the hilliest road route I know. I enjoyed the run and my legs felt fine only struggling slightly on a part of the route that was miserable grey and running into a headwind and drizzle. I think that says more about what was happening in my head than to my legs though. After turning I ran the 3 easiest miles to the end. Heart rate avg 75% over my 15 miles.

Now for a few days rest. I'm not going to fret over my training or lack of it, I'm going to finally kick this cold into touch. I feel if I go on as I am I'll still be sniffling in another 4 weeks and that is the last thing  I want.

So back under the duvet for me and I'll finish listening to the pod casts. Always good to be motivated.


Monday, 20 February 2012

Hoka's & stuff

Well the Hoka's are now well & truly part of my kit. After creeping through poo corner at the mucky farm yesterday they look & smell like 'real trainers'.
Last week on my LSR from Milngavie to the road at the end of the cycle track & back (had Munro) I wore my gortex asics & immediately regretted it. Now being so accustomed to my bouncy comfort I felt like I was banging the ground. OOOhh this is not good was my initial thought but after a couple of miles I had got used to the feel of them again. Must admit I now prefer the Hoka's .. feel like a turn coat. I was actually looking at buying another pair of the Lahar's in the sale, only £50 but think I'll just be keeping my money for the Mafate WP. Maybe next month or wait till the new models come out in March, then buy the old one in the sale!

So far my training hasn't been great but neither atrocious. I have managed to almost stick to the loose plan I made myself except for a few days when I was bad with the cold. Stopped me in my tracks. As always went back out running too soon, then drove 50mins home after a long run shivering in soaking wet clothes because I didn't want to waste time getting changed!! right back to where I started and probably deserved it for being so daft.

Have twice been out doing my interval and tempo runs and as soon as I work out how to work the heart rate monitor with any kind of success I'm sure these sessions will be good for me. Presently it's, oh crap haven't started it, aww naw didny hear it, oh man it's supposed to be six sets and it's finished at two etc etc etc. I even put the band on and went out my run without the watch.
Wait, that was the National Xcountry on Saturday. Had to run it without a watch, thought I doing ok and a bit faster than the year before but nope, 7 secs slower. Oh well I'm sure having a nifty time piece on my wrist wouldn't have made the slightest difference although it would have been interesting to see my heart rate. Thought I was going to burst a lung more than once.

Sunday I went up the WHW to meet a few folks who were doing a planned run. It was my weekend off and I wanted to make the most of it. The weather was lovely if a bit nippy to start with. I ran with Caroline as she was starting earlier and her pace suits me. Well 'used to suit me' if anyone has been following Carolines blog you will see she has been putting in the training. I was struggling to keep in touch on the downhill and flatter sections. Very good training for me as the pace was well quicker than I would have ran on my own. I had planned 25 miles with Caroline John and everyone else looking to cover 35. It worked well and folks ran in small groups and pairs to the pace that suited them. I gladly turned back at the picnic table on the Bogle Glen. 6 miles would see me back to the Drovers. Cow poo corner was terrible with the cows and baby cows blocking the path. Well over my ankles in soft squidgy coo poo. Lovely!! and it didn't smell too sweet either.

Photo's by John Kynaston

Today thankfully is a rest day, my legs are tired heavy and sore. I have 10 miles planned for tomorrow. Here's hoping for a massive improvement overnight. I have three rest days in this weeks plan hopefully allowing my legs to be good for 27 miles come next Monday. Rowardennan to Beinglas and I'm already looking forward it.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Training.. I admit to being lost

How long have I been doing this? really you would think I would have at least half a clue about where I was going or what it was about.

I found myself AGAIN trying to make a training plan after my marathon plan ended up in the bin. This fast stuff just doesn't suit me, I wasn't enjoying it and I think I am just a plodder, always was, always will be.

How weird it was that I had 'LSR with a shorter Long run back to back' written down and then it was all blank. What do I do the rest of the time? What are the distances, what sort of speed? do I go to the gym or do I cycle? As always I looked for motivation and help through blogs and postings and web based training plans.

I don't want to run lots of wasted miles, which for me is easy as I just tend to fill my training with slow runs with Munro. Looking back that didn't work for me last year so I feel there is no point in doing it again. There has to be a change. I only run because I really enjoy it. I'll never be a front runner so if I'm not enjoying what I'm doing what is the point in doing it? Maybe the miles aren't wasted, they are just not getting me fitter or faster and I need to focus them.

I did find this web site with a 100mile race training plan. Ok I thought, fill in the diary as it suits my shifts, get the back to backs on my days off, shorter runs on back shift, mid length runs on early shift and 2 days rest every week. Just fitting the runs round my shifts felt like a burden removed. Why didn't I think of that before!

I'm on my way .. great. Then I get the report from my fitness test. All is good and I'm healthy... but not 'Ultra race fit'. I guess I wouldn't be this early on into training anyway but it gives me a good indication of where I am (6% down on fitness required). Attached to my report is a PLAN. This plan isn't like my plan, it has figures, speeds, heart rates, VO2's. Ohh this looks interesting.

Tweaking plans, I'm getting good at it. So out go 2 of my plodding sessions and in goes a little bit of HR/VO2/time/speed. It is a 12 week plan to get my basic fitness to an acceptable level to run an Ultra. Unfortunately the report also points out that my diet is a problem. They are going to send me out a diet plan and I really hope I can stick to it. Just love my junk food.
Time will tell. I have managed 2 weeks of my initial plan. Starting off with the WHW weekend. This really got my deflated mood up. I so enjoyed it, more than Bryan who managed 10 miles. He says he just doesn't get it. He'll be sticking to the treadmill for the foreseeable future!

Being on holiday helps of course. I managed my first back to back last week when up at Peterhead. Cycle track one day (boring) then through lots of woods the next (getting lost) 29 miles over 2 days. This week Tim & I drove to Bridge of Orchy. Run to Glencoe and back. What a glorious day it was. Freezing cold barely a wind and managed to keep the feet dry.

Yesterday, the first in a long time I ran from home leaving Munro. Went out on the roads for 11 miles and actually enjoyed it. Surprising thing was my legs felt fine. I expected to be more tired but found I was running comfortably.
Rest day today which I was really looking forward to and I'm very much enjoying, then the Vets X country tomorrow in Kilmarnock which is handy as I'm starting back nightshift tonight but will at least get a decent sleep.
The real test is next week.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Fitness check

Been a while since I typed my rambles. Not that I've nothing to ramble about because I have. I just seem to have ran out of steam lately.

After completing the Marcothon for a 2nd year I took a few days off. Seized up and struggled to get going again. My few runs have been short and not of high quality.
My marathon training is 'oot the windae' but on a plus note I'm really enjoying my Hoka's. They are most definitely not for the trails (says so on the gumph) but hey ho I've not told them and they are doing just fine. My only wee issue was on the ice, I felt I had no 'feel' of the ground, can't quite explain it but it freaked me when I couldn't feel how slippy the road was. I made a very conscious effort to run on the ice to get an idea of what grip I had or didn't have and how it felt. After a wee bit I settled down and managed to relax a tad.

Anyway back to the title. For my birthday Bryan (the long suffering other half) bought me a Gold Health & Fitness Test at the above locus. I was almost lost for words (but not quite). This kind of testing is usually for the great and brilliant, not the back marker sweeper hauder upper (me). Bryan though does not conform to such views and reckons if he can afford it, my lack of ability speed and brilliance should not stop me knowing how the hell it all works. Or in my case doesn't.

Well they tested away, blood, urine, height, weight, VO2 max, lactate profiling ECG got to go back for my Echo cardiogram though (evening only) I suddenly felt on the wrong side of 40 when the fat gripping callipers came out.. oh christ.. bingo wings tested, back flab tested and worse of all my wee dough ring round my tummy. Don't worry he says, most of it's skin... hehe yeah course it is!!

After almost coming a cropper on the treadmill he shows me some of the results, very interesting. I'm 63% fitter than jo public but 19% below where I should be for running the WHW. Most of the analysing has still to be done and will be sent out to me. I'm looking forward to reading it. He gave me real good pointers for my training and a better idea of what sort of runs I should be aiming to do and also how to work with my heart rate monitor.

I was feeling at bit lost with my training, not really doing anything useful and wondering constantly what I should be doing to get my speed up for a marathon, how do I work that in with keeping the miles up for the ultras etc. I now have a clearer view of where I'm at and where I'm going. Well tomorrow that'll be that Carrick hills, think that is a good enough place to start.

Next it will be the food, I've to send in an honest weeks worth of food and drink.. I'm really not sure that will be possible. Everyone lies about that don't they? is it just me? oh I will try. Nutrition was the main reason I failed so miserably at the WHW so it is pretty important for me to find out what triggers the puking.

On that happy note I'm off to plan my food for the WHW weekend. Really looking forward to it.

Karen & Munro

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Hoka one one Bondi B

I set my target on doing a road marathon in 2012. I noticed all my newer shoes were trail of one kind or another. So Santa got a wee letter requesting a pair of the above (stupid long name for a pair of shoes).

I had never actually seen or touched a real live pair, pictures only. Was slightly wary to say the least. I noticed the colours were naff also, but I was only really interested in the cushioning. I had read a few reviews and noticed everyone was raving about the shoe. I had also noticed they claim to be very neutral with a barefoot feel and only a 4mm drop.

I have a pretty neutral gait but don't like the thought of running in shoes with no cushioning. Something to do with what I'm used to and in my case old joints that hurt. I see folk running in what appears no more than a pair of rubber socks and think no wonder they are bloody limping.

So my thinking was, plenty cushioning but in flow with the latest ideas.
Xmas morning I get my much awaited new shoes (£131 not cheap) grey and yellow (not pretty) and they appear to have a sizing issue so had to get an 8.5

My initial thoughts were they were light but felt like polystyrene. I quickly put them on, squeezing down on the outside of the heel, the sole gives way, same squeezing down on the inside of the heel, this seems to give a feeling of squidgy and soft when walking. The fit was good though, I had been a bit worried about ordering such a large shoe.

My first run was along the cycle track, flat tarmac. It did feel a bit strange, like I was bouncing but it also felt very soft and comfortable. I actually felt like I was running fast but my watch was not saying the same. I seemed to be putting more effort than normal into my run. I finished my run feeling ok but slightly wondering about the effort level and back pain.

I seemed to have developed lower back pain and noticed I was not running in my usual way but for whatever reason I was pushing my pelvis forward. After the first few runs in my lovely new shoes the back pain stayed and was joined by some annoying knee pains.

I then wore them on a run up the windfarm. Mostly soft trail with the occasional stony/ rubble area. Again I was bouncing over the trail feeling nice and comfy. My only problem was when running over the stony area, I was very aware I was running in a higher platform shoe, worried I was going to go over my ankle and when I did it bleeding well hurt, to the bouncy ouch ouch jump walk for 30 meters kind of hurt.
I was wondering about these shoes for the WHW (well the trail shoe) but now really not that sure as the heel platform is just as high and we all know about ankle turning on The Way and I don't think an ickle bit of stickier moulded rubber on the trail version will stop the twists although the upside would definitely be that you would not feel every stone under your foot and with 30, 50 or 70 odd miles in your legs that would be good.

I am going to stick with my Bondi B's for the time being and try for some longer miles. I think they will take a bit of getting used to but I'm enjoying the comfort of the cushioning. I'll be keeping a watchful eye on the back pain etc but as I had been running every day for over a month by Xmas it is possible the back pains had nothing to do with the shoes. (Here's hoping)