Without any races to date in 2018, I haven’t really put any updates out there on what I’ve been up to.. so, more for myself really, I wanted to write down what’s been going on and what it’s all building up to.
January - 631.9km
The highlight for January was travelling to Thailand to visit Harry Jones (Harry Runs on YouTube and Instagram), Sage Canaday and Sandi Nypaver who are all elite athletes so it was great to hang out with them for a long weekend and get into their mindset of how they operate. Four days of plant-based eating, running on the trails around Chaing Mai, wall to wall sunshine all combined with a passionate running community... it was an unforgettable experience!
If you are ever in Thailand then a visit to Chaing Mai is well worth it. The scenery, wildlife and a local population that are so incredibly friendly all make towards a brilliant trip.
I also returned to the Forest of Dean to train with the England Athletics marathon team. The project was set up to raise the standards in England marathoning and to try and get more athletes to The Commonwealth Games in 2022. That would be dreamland obviously, for now I’m just going to train and learn as much as I can and these camps provide a great opportunity to do just that. Getting to train with the current best marathoners in the country is a bit surreal, but makes me realise just how far I've come in the past year.
It was also cool to be included in the Pro Direct Campaign OWN YOUR RUN. See the video here!
Managed to get out for some trail running in the Surrey Hills as well. Always such a laugh!
Five things I learnt in January
- Elite athletes go through exactly the same ordeals, struggles and difficulties as everyone else, they just seem to have a stronger mindset to deal with things positively.
- I’m trying to get myself onto a more plant-based diet, high in fruit and vegetables.
- Chillangos makes the best Mexican food!
- Long term, my future will be in trail running, but for now I just want to get some quick road PB’s while I can (while I'm still young enough basically!)
- Meeting your heroes.. is actually amazing!
February - 466.8km
New York! We’ve been away so much recently, but every trip has had running as the primary reason for going. Travelling to New York was literally because I found some cheap flights and couldn’t turn them down (£250 return on Norwegian if you’re wondering!).
But joking aside, it had been a full on build up, I was averaging about 150km per week for the two months prior, so some chilled runs, sightseeing, veggie food and spending some quality time with Sarah was the order of the day.
Injury! During my first run back, I instantly knew something wasn’t quite right. I had some bad hip pain and my adductors were giving me a lot of bother. I had two 30k days, maybe not the most sensible thing to do, then I was nearly unable to walk. I gave my physio a call to get to the bottom of what it was. The message was to use crutches and wait for an MRI, with the most likely outcome being a stress fracture in my femoral neck. A week went by while I waited for an appointment with a specialist sports doctor, who then referred me to get the scan.
That's the bit that hurts!
The MRI results were back later the same day and the result was better than expected, no stress fracture, but osteitis pubis and a labral tear.
This could be fixed with rest, cross training and mainly a lot of strength work. I’ve never hit the gym so hard, but after 12 days of hammering the cross trainer, weights, rowing machine and anything that could improve my leg strength I felt it was time to try and run again.
Like most things with health the bill was incredible.
- 1st Physio consultation £95
- Sports Doctor £250 (30 min consultation!!!)
- MRI £445
- 2nd Physio £90
Giving a grand total of £880. Mind-blowing really. Luckily for me I had a heath plan thing through work that paid for most of it, but that's now maxed out.. so better not get injured again.
Hoka! They actually contacted me in early February about testing some of their shoes, in return for promoting them on social media. I always want to be 100% honest and upfront, so said no, as I hadn’t actually ran in the shoes for some time and wanted to use them without the worry of having to later promote them. So I bought two pairs of shoes (Bondi 5 and Clayton 2) from Wiggle and Run and Become and have to say I’ve been really surprised at just how forgiving and comfortable they are to run in. The Bondi’s are like running with big sponges on your feet, they are slow and unresponsive, but save your legs on those long recovery runs. The Claytons are light, quick and nimble and I’ve really enjoyed getting up to speed in them. It’s still early days and I’m not going to switch from my Adidas shoes just yet, but so far, so good!
Five things I learnt in February
- Running is so hard. You will and everyone will get injuries. You lose fitness, take steps backwards and it’s really hard to deal with. But the quickest way to recover is to get yourself together, work out a plan and stick to it.
- Hoka’s are light, quick, stable and really help your form. Been pleasantly surprised so far!
- Health insurance can be a life saver.
- American’s make great vegan food, I wish London was the same.
- You can't compromise with strength training, it just has to be done!
What’s coming up in March
18th - Fulham 10k
24th - VO2 Max testing
Thanks for reading.. till the next one, enjoy your running!!