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Team KP @ Locarno Tri 2008

Team KP @ Locarno Triathlon: Age 3-5
It's Easy to be Fit: It's Hard to be HARD!
Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:44 am KP nut
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After the Eqiuonox I gave myself a couple of weeks off to get over the various niggles that developed during the event. Plus I had a cortico-steroid injection into the hip bursitis which sorted that out very effectively.

Then I launched the next phase of the ONER build-up: A progressive build to the CTS 45 miles Ultra which took place on the ONER route itself on 6th December. It started out intended to be a bench mark/recce run but soon raised its status as a major event in its own right. There were various reasons for this: one was that I didn't (and don't) think the ONER is realistically achievable. However success at a 45 mile route on similar terrain 4 months out from the race would be a massive confidence boost. So I began to see it as a 'must do' as part of the ONER build up. Secondly, training for a training run is not exactly inspiring! And finally because it would be my longest ultra so a new PB. (The Equinox doesn't count!)

I stayed pretty much on target until I got into the peak phase - 3 big weeks in a row with long, hilly, off road B2B runs each weekend: 18/12; 20/15; 25/15

During the second weekend I was meant to be doing the '20 miler' but had no energy or motivation. I felt ok so set off but sacked it after 8 miles. Then later that day I became ill and was off work for the next 2 weeks. Barely able to wander up the lane with the dog, let alone do any meaningful training. Week 3 saw me recovered but still coughing constantly and still weak so didn't run, instead, just slowly increased how far I was walking. And that took me up to race week. So my first post illness run was 5 days before the race. I DNSed which was probably sensible but I know from reading other threads that 'hard' runners carry on regardless. For every sensible DNS there is some nutter running with a chest infection and triggering pneumonia!! (But it was worth it because I finished.... Rolling Eyes ) Or some other nutter finishing an ironman with a busted arm or carrying a broken bike 20 miles into transition.

So here is the thing: I'm not 'hard'. I have a degree of mental toughness, but I can't run while puking, or while coughing hard enough to crack ribs. Don't want to. When ill, knackered and in pain I like daytime telly and Lemsips, not 20 milers in the snow. (Call me crazy but....)

And I am beginning to think that to succeed at challenges as tough as the ONER you need to be HARD. Not just fit with some mental toughness but properly HARD. Can that sort of toughness be trained? Not sure. Do I want it that much anyway?? Also not sure......

So where does that leave me: well I am healthy and more or less injury free. Not a bad place to start. I've decided to stop planning too far ahead: I have a training plan that sketches out a structure to build from now to the ONER. Whether the plan is a) achievable and b) enough for the ONER anyway, I have no idea. And I'm not going to worry about it either. One week at a time and let's see where I end up.....

REPLIES: Thanks for replies. The Equinox is fab. Can highly recommend it!
"It always seems impossible, until it's done" (Nelson Mandela)

My Outlaw Race Report:

Out with a Bang or with a Whimper.....?????
Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:06 pm KP nut
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The Equinox24 is a 24 hour run on a 10k loop in the grounds of Belvoir Castle.

2014 had been a bit of an endurance write off for me. I did the Equinox 24 last year after a pretty good season’s training and ran 110K – a distance PB of about 26 miles. Not bad!! That was meant to be the baseline from which I launched my campaign for an 80 mile hilly ultra in April 2014. But training was rubbish all through the winter – no energy, no ability to recover. My ‘long runs’ got progressively shorter and slower. Till by February I was exhausted and my ultra ambitions for the Spring were in pieces. Sad

I withdrew my entry and turned my attention to the Equinox Mark Two. 2 marathons in the build-up (1 in June and 1 in July) were both dreadful. Felt cr@p all the way round them, ran over an hour slower for both than I considered realistic and took 3-4 weeks after each one to feel vaguely normal again. These were meant to be training runs! They felt more like peak efforts which left me exhausted.Crying or Very sad

I eventually went to my GP who said my iron levels were low. I started taking iron and various other supplements, I improved my diet and by mid-August I was feeling good again. To make up for lost time, I ran hard for 3 weeks while on holiday in August covering 110 miles on very rough, hilly terrain. But straight after the holiday I developed hip bursitis and the pain in my hip persisted right up to race day. I was in 2 minds whether to run or not, but in the end decided I would give it a go to try and salvage something from what had been a dismal season.

The Equinox 24 is a fab event. Very family friendly. Solo runners can camp right by the course so I had my own personal ‘Aid Station’ with MrKP my tireless Aid Station Helper – making me noodles, soup, tea, coffee etc. The kids met other kids and just played all weekend. There was also a bouncy castle and climbing wall. The 10k loop goes past a junction 100m or so from the camping field 3 times so it’s really easy for kids to support.

The race started at noon on Saturday. For the first 2 laps my hip was a bit uncomfortable but nothing significant. However on lap 3 it became much more painful. I spent that whole lap having a raging argument with myself Bonk

On the one hand: This is my last race of the season and the last chance to salvage something from the season, I can recover afterwards, the level of pain is manageable.

And on the other hand: I am doing more damage. It’s not worth it. Besides if it is this sore after just 2 laps, then going further than last year is completely unrealistic so why do more damage running 5,6 or 7 laps only to end up falling far short of my hopes/targets anyway?

I finally resolved to pull out at the end of lap 3. I know myself well enough to know that only a distance PB would be a ‘good ‘ result. Anything else would be a huge disappointment. And why aggravate an existing injury for a blah/forgettable performance? I explained all this to MrKP when I saw him near the end of lap 3 and he pointed out that I had no way of knowing what was realistic or not at this stage. I would only know that 12 laps (1 more than last year) was unrealistic once I could no longer run. And yes that might happen at lap 5,6,7 etc but I was certainly not at a ‘can’t run anymore’ stage yet. Nowhere near. I realised he was right and so I carried on. And on and and on....

From that moment on I was going for 12. Nothing less would do. The fact that I was aggravating an injury actually became really motivating. I needed to make that decision worthwhile.

The sun set around 7pm and it started to rain. The rain persisted till about 9pm then it dried up a bit. Wet feet resulted in a large blister on the right foot so I started favouring that foot – which then put too much strain on my left foot which ended up swollen and bruised. But I guess when you run for such long distances pretty much everything hurts by the end. The night passed in a bit of a blur. Time gets weirdly distorted in these events. The first 6 daylight hours took quite a long time then the night seemed to pass in no time at all.

I met MartinP again which was great.( Doing the event ‘on a whim, for a giggle’!! Rolling Eyes) Plus loads of other people whose positivity and energy made such a difference to my own state of mind. I am ashamed now to realise that I was given a lot more support by my fellow runners than I gave out. I was in a bit of a world of my own for most of the event, just focusing on keeping on putting one foot in front of the other when everything hurt so much. Next year I will make a real effort to be friendlier Razz

I was really looking forward to the ‘Sunrise Lap’ – so much so that I think I built it up in my head too much. It was very misty so really the murky gloom just got gradually lighter and the view was not really very new. At the same time I was utterly, utterly exhausted, everything hurt and I was still running. The only change was that now I was running in daylight which wasn’t really much of an improvement in my situation! That was lap 11 and although I had been looking forward to daybreak I actually I found it the toughest lap of all because I knew I had no option but to go out and run lap 12. Quitting at lap 8 or 9 – well maybe. But falling 1 lap short of my goal was unthinkable. I was trying very hard throughout the event not to look too far ahead, but instead just to go from km marker to km marker and lap to lap. But on lap 11 that resolve faltered and the weight of lap 12 was bearing down on me all the way round. I had a bit of a pathetic, tearful wobble halfway round and could hear my inner toddler wailing ‘I don’t wanna do another lap. It’s not FAIR’.

Conversely lap 12 was fine! (This is SUCH a mental game). In fact I was feeling pretty positive and strong on lap 12. I met Pookey who was on her way to 100miles (HUGE respect Worship ) And there were plenty of others who were clearly in a world of pain but were still moving forward who I could have used for inspiration to keep going after the 12th lap. So I thought I might go for it as I still had plenty of time left before the event ended officially. But the instant I crossed the line after 12 laps I knew I was done. My brain said ‘Enough Already’ and everything stopped working within minutes. I found it hard even to walk back to the tent from the start-finish line. I was absolutely wrecked.

So in summary: Great event, great people, great atmosphere. And despite an absolute shocker of a season suddenly I have pulled out my best ever performance – 120K – a new distance PB.
Definitely the hardest race I have ever done. But it was worth it. Airborne
It has also been great to learn that assuming you can tell in advance what a realistic' achievement might be is a sure-fire route to limiting your potential. As Henry Ford said "Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't - you are probably right!"

Roll on Equinox 24 2015 when I guess I’ll be going for 13 laps .....

Thanks Magpie for reading. Blogland is deserted these days Sad
But I like keeping a record of all my events in 1 place so I'll keep posting the ramblings anyway!
"It always seems impossible, until it's done" (Nelson Mandela)

My Outlaw Race Report:

Head Case???
Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:48 pm KP nut
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Well the good news is I’ve come away on holiday and training has been going really well. And the bad news is I’ve come away on holiday and the training has been going really well………. Shocked

Why is that bad news! Well because basically for months before the holiday I had been struggling with fatigue and a load of other symptoms and this suggests that a big chunk of the problems I have had are in my head. Not sure how else to explain the sudden form and the simultaneous sudden disappearance of headaches, night sweats and insomnia. The weird thing is that the symptoms have been entirely physical. I am not aware of any feelings of stress etc. But I guess stress is a strange beast. But then again my iron levels have been low and I started taking supplements 3 weeks before the holiday so maybe I have suddenly reached a heathier level which just so happened to coincide with the holiday….. Hmmmm Confused

Anyway enough of tedious naval gazing. How’s the RUNNING! Laughing
I have been away for 2 weeks and covered 49 miles in week 1, and 29 miles in week 2. All on the ONER route. That included a 15 mile night run with Curry of this Parish. We had considered running 30 but there was the possibility of a bail out at Lulworth Cove – the ‘halfway point’. After about 12 miles I was knackered and also quite weirded out by being on the cliffs at night. Lots of critters about only visible because their creepy green eyes shone in the torchlight. I was trying to summon up enough courage to tell him I wanted to bail out as several more hours of relentless hills in the dark felt a bridge too far. I was mightily happy when he turned to me and said ‘shall we call it a day at Lulworth’. YESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!! I thought while calmly saying something along the lines of ‘ok then’. Wink

So a few days left to go and am planning a daytime 30 miler instead with the walking poles which will be my last big effort before the Equinox 24.

SOOOOOZ and magpie: Thanks for reading and on-going support!
"It always seems impossible, until it's done" (Nelson Mandela)

My Outlaw Race Report:

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Thought For The Month 2014
August: All the effort in the world won't matter if you are not inspired"

July: "If the road is easy you're likely going the wrong way"

June: "You will get what you want, when you stop making excuses on why you don’t have it.”

May: “It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.” Winston Churchill
Thought for the Month 2013...
March: Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.
Thought For The Month 2011
January: She who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.

February: My own prescription for health is less paperwork and more running barefoot through the grass.

March: Experience has taught me this, that we undo ourselves by impatience. Misfortunes have their life and their limits, their sickness and their health.

April: Aim for the moon. Even if you miss you will land among the stars.

May: Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless!
Thought For The Month 2010
January: "How you live your days is, of course, how you live your life"

February: "Millions of people long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy afternoon".

March: "A diamond is just a lump of coal that stuck to its job"

April: "If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster"

May: "Bite off more than you can chew, then chew it!"

June: "Those who say it can't be done, should not interrupt the person doing it".

July: "The mountains are in your mind".

August: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

September: "Pain is temporary. Pride lasts forever."

October: "It's not the WHAT of what you do, but the HOW of how you do it."

November: "There's no such thing as bad weather. Just inadequate clothing".

December: "When I get older, losing my hair. Many years from now.
Will you still be sending me a Valentine?
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
Give me your answer, fill in form
Mine forever more????
Will you stillneed me. Will you still feed me
When I'm 64".

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