Sunday, 21 August 2016

Hitting The Wall

After a few quiet months and a bit of a health concern (I felt great but my digestive system didn’t –  all tested and sorted with no problems) I’m back again!

I’m going to Greenland at the end of October to run the Polar Circle Marathon followed by the half marathon as well. No point in going all that way and not doing both!

Since my last marathon in May – my retirement ordinary road marathon – I’ve kept a high level of general fitness. Gym work has been brilliant, some good cycling and excellent if short running. Our holiday to Kefalonia saw me taking on some remote mountain circuits in the heat of the day – a real test of endurance even though maximum run time was around 2 hours.

Funnily enough training in extreme heat is good preparation for running in extreme cold. You get the same problem of heart rate going through the roof and having to control it to a manageable level. Obviously in the heat your heart is working like blazes to try to keep you cool, whereas in the cold it’s working overtime to keep your core temperature up. The effect is similar – heart working very hard, brain not working as well as usual, so good decision making under duress is really tested.

But marathon distance is what I don’t have. And not much time left so I’m shocking myself into action. A couple of longish runs round home – tough hilly 18plus milers. And then on Friday I’m taking the train to Carlisle armed with my rucksack, some food and drink, a bivvy bag for a sleep stop, head torch, map, compass. I shall then run, jog, walk, rest until I get to Newcastle – along Hadrian’s Wall. About 72 miles.

Time on my feet – get them used to it again! And also beginning to get my kit assembled which is very exciting. Ice studs in shoes, new action cam to buy so that I can video Greenland and Mongolia, serious down jacket for Mongolia along with down mittens. Greenland should be okay – even above the arctic circle, but at -40 in Mongolia the cold is a bit serious. Great excuse for some beautiful kit though.

I’m also testing my tracker again on Hadrian’s. So you will be able to check my progress live on google maps, although not very exciting running from Carlisle to Newcastle I know. But I hope it will be more exciting to track me in Greenland and Mongolia. A little tip – If I stop in Greenland or Mongolia for at least half an hour – I’ve been eaten by a bear or wolves. And if I then appear to start moving very quickly – well that confirms it as they will have eaten my tracker!

Such excitement will probably be absent on Hadrian’s Wall – although if I arrive in Newcastle on Saturday evening who knows what may happen?!

I will arrive in Carlisle late morning Friday 26th August and eat before I start as I may well not eat again for a while. When I have started, tracking will commence and you can see me on a detailed map by clicking the following link:

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