Reality Check

Well, it feels like a post that continues to be becoming more present on there, but where have I been?

The last two months have been tough.

In fact, it’s hard to quantify how hard they have been mentally.

Shortly after the Pyllon XP2 in the Lake District, I attended the London Bike Show with work and the show really ran me down. I didn’t exercise during 4 days in London and then took 10 days of training after the show, due to fatigue. Follow this by tooth ache and waking up with a headache that lasted 18 hours, sapping my energy to the point I couldn’t stand up and you start to get a picture for how April went. I spent 3 days eating double meals in an attempt to regain strength, as despite missing only one meal I visibly lost weight and physically, it drained my fitness stores even more.

It should be noted I put my training plan on hold with Pyllon during this period to reduce mental stress.

May. The comeback.

I felt fresh as a daisy going in, smashed PBs at the marathon relay and figured I was going to be back on the training bandwagon with relative ease. How I was wrong. Perhaps entering with this mindset set me up to fail, I couldn’t have predicted how my body would react. Whereas at my peak I was able to run 45-60 miles a week, with very little aches and pains, a 5 mile run left my legs in tatters the next day. Despite back to back interval sessions, I was able to take a 5th at Maverick Race x Tribe Run Free Chilterns Short Course at the end of May, effectively my 3rd intense session in 3 days. It was a hot day, my legs were shot on the first climb, I made mistakes but, I enjoyed it. So much so, I hung around afterwards and took some shots.

Right, I’m on track to get back in the game and move things on. A week working at the UCI Downhill World Cup is a week of long hours, however, for the past 5+ years I’ve always managed to get a few runs in and a summit of Ben Nevis as the sun rises. Outside of the weather being pretty atrocious this year, I didn’t have it in me. I’m finding my body is wanting to sleep a lot more than it ever has, hay fever is having a much greater effect on me than it has for years. In general, I haven’t got that get up and go morning energy I’m used to.

It’s fucking frustrating.

Mentally it’s beat me up a few times, made me want to quit more times than I care to recall, questioned my ability as a runner and blown a small hurdle up into a mountain. It’s a mountain that can and will be scaled, in reality, it’s more a track hurdle, which I can’t jump over as my hamstrings are so tight, I lack the mobility to straighten my my legs.

More over in the past two months, I had to withdraw from my goal race for the year, Ultra Trail Snowdonia (the 50 mile course, I’m not totally nuts) and I have some pretty sweet kit sent to me from Ultimate Direction, inov-8, Salomon and On Running that hasn’t had the time on the trail I would have hoped to put it through, before giving you my thoughts. Hence the lack of product content….. I’m not going to give it a handful of runs and declare ‘X’ about it!

I promise you’ll start to se the first new reviews coming out very soon.

Where do I stand now?

Well, I’m at home. My long run is scheduled in my head for this afternoon/evening. I’m going to shooting a video on a couple of Premax products I’ve been using for a little over a year and my mind is very much searching for answers. I love to run. I love to ride. I love to move and push myself. I had high hopes for this year, building off my success (relative to me) in 2018, what I learnt about myself and the break throughs I made in training and racing. Breaking out of that cycle has made me look at life in general, look at where balances can be made, look beyond just running and work.

I’ve been stoked weekly by the Pyllon XP2 Facebook page, with the community constantly providing inspiration and support for one another, people such as Julia Davis smashing the CR at Centurion Running’s South Down’s Way 50 and taking 5th overall and a whole host of stand out performances this year by friends and well known faces….. I can’t remember any of the top of my head right now, you know who you are haha!

For me, I want to get moving, back training and enjoy the process.

No formal races, no plans in the diary.

Run for the love.


(P.S. I shot the cover photo at the OCR World Champs last year – thought it was quite fitting)