Sunday, 30 July 2017

Head in the clouds

The first two days this week hurt.  I had DOMS from running down Ben Ledi on Sunday which led my coach to saying that in the remaining 55 days my legs are going to get "battered.  I've run out of time to put in the big running miles but I'll be doing a lot of hill walking to prepare my legs for the ascending and descending in the Canyon.  From experience I know you can't hammer down the hills if you want to finish the race, especially one over 7 days.  If you've run a marathon before you know how your legs feel the next day.  Add to that carrying 12kg on your back, 35 degrees of heat, freeze dried food, sleeping under canvas, no morning showers and you'll begin to understand how I will need to manage my legs (and my head) during the race.
It looks like we may have established the cause of the hamstring problem which is linked to my hip.  So more intense treatment is required including shockwave treatment to try and reset the muscles that are misbehaving.  I also had a wonderful Thai massage from Mark Russell (yogi Mark). It was like having yoga "done to you" and I managed some positions I would never have got into myself.  It was quite relaxing and really strenches off my tired muscles - you should try it out.
Running is out for me at the moment until we get the hammy/hip sorted but it gives me the opportunity to climb some hills.  This weekend I headed out with ultra ironchick Dawn Williamson to be shown a different route up Ben Lomond (974 metres).  I power walked up but before getting to the top I was in cloud base - again!  Such a shame as the scenery is stunning, so I'm told!  The rain came on heavily so the walk down was more about staying upright and not jarring my hammy.  It doesn't surprise me that mountain rescue get regular call outs; on the way down I passed 3 people walking with umbrellas up.  Seen as I almost got blown off the top I couldn't see them lasting too long.  Others were going up in tee-shirts and jeans not realising the weather at the bottom of the hill was pleasant compared to being in the clouds at the top.
When I got up this morning the sky was blue so I headed out early to repeat the climb but on my own.  The conditions were worse and with cloud base much lower.  At stage I got lost and doubled back till I recognised where I was.  If you know Ben Lomond I know you'll think that's daft because you just stick to the path, but when you've been walking in clouds for 20 minutes and didn't recognise where you are then your mind plays tricks.  The last section before the summit is a bit tricky especially as visibility was limited and the wind had got up.  I felt like I was "bonking" so played safe and took some shelter and got some jelly babies and a pork pie into me - that sorted me. The summit was the same as the day before so I wasted no time in taking the tourist route down.  The path can be tricky especially with my right foot so I used my poles to support my descent and only went over on my ankle a few times.  But it only takes I misplaced step to end the journey.
Next week I've got more shockwave treatment lined up and hopefully I'll be fit for a 6 hour climb, with a real climber, on Saturday.  These legs are going to be battered into shape.  I just hope to summit one mountain and get a view - Summer in Scotland!

1 comment:

  1. I hope your ham string problem is fixed soon. You sound like a pretty adventurous guy. Hope you achieve great things in life.