Three weeks to go until the Winter Wolf Run.
10th October 2015. Two mile walk/jog up and down Crook Peak with a 4kg weighted backpack, my husband, our Labrador, a suggestion of sunshine and fantabulous views across the River Severn to Wales in one direction and Glastonbury Tor in the other. We jumped on hillocks, scrambled up rocky outcrops and leaped balletically over tree roots. And I got Simon to take this picture of my trainers in action:
11th October 2015. Easy slow 2.5 mile walk up to and around the woods with husband and dog. It’s mild and dry; the leaves are crispy underfoot, it’s peaceful, it’s beautiful, it feels almost enchanted. In fact the forest spirits are so enamoured of my presence that they send a bramble runner to lasso my leg oh please don’t go – we’ll eat you up – we love you so…
12th October 2015. RUNNER’S HIGH!! It’s my absolute favourite weather right now, freezing cold with crystal clear skies. The woods were mostly dark with stunning shards of light piercing through the canopy, but every so often I’d hit a glorious but blinding patch of sunlight. With no pedestrians in evidence the grouse, pheasants and squirrels were out and about enjoying the quiet, and at one point a buzzard silently glided a few feet over my head. I sprinted some sections, walked others, stopped to do some balance work on fallen logs, jumped on and off tree stumps, leaped over boggy sections, ducked under low branches, swerved to avoid those pesky brambles, barged through nettles, and covered about four and a half miles in an hour and ten minutes. For the first time I feel like I could have happily gone further, but am anxious to avoid causing accidental damage to myself at this stage. I’ll see how I go next week.
15th October 2015. The cyclical chocolate craving hormones were roaring their terrible roars and gnashing their terrible teeth at me today so I stared into their yellow eyes (without blinking once) and took myself for a thirty minute walk jog walk jog across the fields. My legs felt heavy and I really had to focus on not stomping through a heel strike but it was still good to recognise how far I’ve come since last month. Yay me!
For my non-running training I’ve continued with the squats, hang time and toe spacing and have added in the following:
- Neutral feet. Every time I’m standing in one position for any length of time (washing up, cleaning my teeth, ironing, filing at work) I’m checking that my feet are straight – that’s with the lines from the outer ankle to the pinky toe on each foot parallel to each other. Then I check that the backs of my knees are sufficiently rotated inwards so as to lift my foot arches off the ground. Click here for Katy Bowman’s explanations of how and why. My last pair of trainers were chosen with expert help to “cure” pronation (where the feet collapse inwards when you run, creating an ugly rolling motion that knackers your knees and hips). I don’t want to rely on shoe support that weaken my feet still further over time, I want strong feet that support themselves, my knees and my hips every time I move.
- Cold showers. I’ve been periodically finishing off my hot showers with a quick cold blast for years to support my lymphatic system. But, I’m cranking it up so as to be ready for the swimming-across-a-lake-in-November-and-what-the-hell-was-I-thinking section of the wolf-run. Two minutes of the shower set to its coldest setting. Every day. Hardcore no?
- Caffeine curfew. I love coffee. But I always tried not to drink it after 2pm because it disturbs my sleep. As of this week I’ve set myself a new curfew of midday so as to allow plenty of quality sleep for bodily repair during this training. And as a result Not only am I struggling to stay awake after 9pm but I am sleeping like the proverbial log! Time to give it up for a bit? Mmmm no.
Quotes all from the fabulous “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak.