Apologies for the absence of posts this year, but there has been little positive to post about as predicted. It’s been a pretty torid year injury wise since Barcelona and I don’t like to dwell on negative so I’d avoided posting. Nevertheless on reflection I think it needs to be recorded. Last year was always a tough act to follow.
Back in May against my better judgement and off pretty much no training due to injury, I decided to run GUCR. This was a big mistake psychologically as I knew I wasn’t fit and knew I couldn’t expect to do well, which meant that I basically just participated.
I never usually start a race unless I can give it one hundred per cent, but a combination of missing my running, the pre-race atmosphere of GUCR and the need to test my troublesome heel over serious distance all conspired to pursuade me to throw caution to the wind. It ended up of course being all about damage limitation, although my heel held up so there was a positive.
As I reflected on the year to date and what might lay in store ahead, I decided to be sensible and withdraw from the Slam, forgoing the KACR to protect LLCR and Spartathlon. I then banked a solid 5 weeks of 100 plus mile weeks starting mid July and felt far more confident going into LLCR. I had no heel pain except for an occasional vague sensation, as though a nerve was trying to settle down.
Fast forward to LLCR and sadly my woes this year continued as I was forced to abort at CP 2 due to what I think may be a hamstring pull/tear.
I was very dissappointed as I thought I’d finally overcome a torrid year of injury to date. I was running well and feeling increasingly positive, but alas it didn’t last when I felt a sharp pain in my hamstring behind my knee about a mile or so out from CP 2 (24 miles ish) I tried some intermittent brief runs but knew it looked increasingly likely I’d have to stop as I’d only do more damage.
As I said I’d already decided not to start KACR to protect LLCR and Sparta, which I believe was the right decision. That helped me overcome the long delibilitating heel injury I picked up after Barcelona last December., so I could focus on regaining fitness with a solid block of training, so I’d felt optomistic, albeit cautious lining up in Liverpool.
I love running the LLCR and it has set me up nicely for Sparta in previous years but after this latest set back, I do wonder if I should have started. Not a great year, but 2016 was fantastic, so I guess I was due a year of contrast, at least in terms of racing.
However, it had still been a great weekend out as I obviously stayed around as a volunteer to support and keep Gill company for a change. It was great to see so many friends out there. I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing this great race from the other side and it helped me to appreciate even more the fantastic support, selflessness and warmth of the organisers, volunteers, supporters and runners of course.
Huge respect to everyone that finished or not, congrats to all slammers and of course overall joint race winners Paul Beechey and Paul Ali and Ladies winner Georgina Harrison for great performances. Thanks to everyone I shared some time with over the weekend. It was both heartwarming and humbling. Huge thanks of course to Wayne Simpson, Keith Godden and Dick Kearn for their immense efforts in staging these races.
Now it’s about doing everything I can to be fit for Spartathlon. The tide will turn I’m sure.
Thanks for all your support!