No Race Tomorrow

It has been quiet on here for a while, I know. Life with a baby tends to be very busy, and returning to work in May certainly didn’t help.

The last update on my running has been in December when I was partway through a couch-to-5k programme and had just signed up for a 58k ultra. That ultra is happening tomorrow, and I have bad news: I won’t be running it. Not due to a lack of fitness though, but due to a nasty flu that knocked me out on Tuesday and has been persistent ever since. To say I’m gutted, is an understatement. I am super disappointed. For months, I have been looking forward to my return to racing. I even had this cute picture in my head, of me heading towards the finish line, and James and Runa waiting there for me and cheering me on.

How It’s Going

Enough with the pity-party though. I’ll give a brief update on my training instead. Overall, things have been going well. After finishing the couch-to-5k, I slowly progressed my distance. When Runa was 6 months old, I was able to shift my runs to mid-day and take her with me in the buggy. Let me tell you, running with a buggy (especially uphill) is HARD! I took my bike on some long rides along country lanes as I had planned to ease the load on my knees.

While I was increasing the distance I was running, I had to be conservative. After the long break in pregnancy and post partum, I didn’t want to get an overuse injury. Every time I felt a niggle in my knees, I cross-trained instead. Together with reduced recovery compared to pre-baby-life and a busy schedule with Runa, I had to accept that I would be doing a relatively low volume training for ultra marathons.

As I was heading towards my return to work in May, I quickly realised that new challenges lay ahead. When would I do my running? With a commute of 1 hour per journey, I would be out of the house for 10 hours every day. The evening hours would be spend with Runa, and once she’d be in bed, I’d probably be exhausted. I contemplated taking a break from running for a while, but ultimately came up with another plan: I’d get up at 5am every day to do my training in the morning, while I was still fresh. Getting into that routine was hard, but worth it. I even managed some long runs on the weekend at 5am, leaving the rest of the day as family time.

A Treat For Myself

To reward myself for the hard work, and also to regain my confidence in the mountains, I treated myself. I booked a Skyrunning Course with Girls on Hills in Glencoe for the first weekend in May. Before having Runa, I had done some skyrunning, but was lacking the confidence to go by myself again.

And what a treat it was! 2 epic days of running ridges and scaling mountains with likeminded women in beautiful Glen Coe. I loved every second of it, and I felt re-assured that my fitness had come a long way. That was the confidence boost I needed, as I had slowly begun to doubt my ability to run a 58k ultra in June. Rather than scared, I got excited for the upcoming race. I hadn’t been in the mountains for over a year, and being back reminded me of how much I had missed it!

The Final Weeks

With new found enthusiasm, I headed into the final four weeks of my training… only to be out of action immediately. Runa had just started nursery, and sure enough she brought home a cold within a week. Once recovered, I re-adjusted the training plan a little and continued. I would still be fit enough to make it, or so I thought. When Runa brought home the next cold one week before the race, I didn’t think too much of it initially. Only when she turned out to be pretty sick for several days, I considered what it would mean for me to catch it.

And of course, I caught it. On Tuesday morning, I woke up with a headache, fever and sore throat. I have covered a little since, but not nearly to a level that I could run. Making it through mile 1 would be a miracle. So, I’ll do the responsible thing and sit this one out.

Future Plans

I’m not too sure about my plans for the rest of the year. I don’t have the capacity to train for longer races at the moment, so the 70k and 55mile races I had thought about won’t be happening this year. I’ll try to find another 50-60k race, but nothing too far from home. We will see.

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