Why run so far?

On my longest training run so far I had the distant and quiet thoughts of quitting. Dropping out of the WHWrace, for surely I could not succeed, or I would hurt myself trying. I cannot shut off these voices, they are natural for survival and as I get closer to the event, and deeper into the event itself, the negative voices telling me to stop will grow louder.

I need a clear motivation that is greater than the voices telling me to stop. My chances of success rely on this. I need to know why I am doing this race. What bigger reason to keep going despite pain, discomfort and fear. There are reassurances I can utter to myself like ‘it is only pain’ or ‘you are privileged to feel this pain,’ and I will not be alone in the latter stages of the race which will be an immense comfort, but these alone are not enough. I need to fully understand why I am running.

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Lessons from Mile 53

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Running to Tyndrum*

The night before the race I was feeling extremely excited, happy and impatient. It had been a long time since I last worked this hard for something and anticipated pushing my limits. It is a great feeling to attempt to achieve something that you have no idea if you can possibly succeed at.

Max, however, was having a evening full of self doubt, apprehension and fear of disappointment. Still injured he was unsure he would finish the race. I asked him to run with me until Rowerdennen (Mile 27) and then see how his ankle felt. At least he would have run a marathon.

Three miles in, Max became impatient with my 11 min mile pace and with a kiss good bye he ran off into the wilderness. I would not see him again for another 12 hours and 20 minutes.

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The way forward


We ended the West Highland Way on a high, literally, we climbed Ben Nevis, and having finished the WHW during March we couldn’t resist the challenge of
a new month, a new Way. Two days ago we left Fort William after one not so restful rest day and two sleeps in the most wonderful BnB (Seafield House) to begin the Great Glen Way. A coast to coast 79 mile walk to Inverness.  Continue reading

Kinlochleven 

 The day before we reached Kinlochleven we walked 31km from Tyndrum to Kingshouse across Rannoch Moor. The weather was perfect and the day I think was the most beautiful day I have ever seen. The rain did come in though as we reached Glen Coe mountain and the Kingshouse. The Kingshouse has been there over 200 years and is the absolute middle of no where. We camped by a river and ate tea in the public bar at Kingshouse which is devoted to years of climbing tradition in the area. Continue reading

Waking up on the Way

 It is only a few days in to our trip, but I already feel more myself than I have felt in months.

The daily routine is still changing; when we camp, I wake up around 5:30, cold and half num, starting the stove for porridge and hot chocolate and pack up for a day of walking. When we stay in hostels, I wake up slowly and heavy, spend time cleaning and preparing for a hearty scottish breakfast. So far I prefer the former; I wake up sharp and ready to tackle the days miles.

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Leaving Glasgow

 We arrived in Glasgow by train a week ago now. We then left Glasgow, and the comfort of my Aunt and Uncles home, last Tuesday to walk the West Highland Way. Before we had even begun the trip it felt it was getting the better of us. On arrival into Glasgow we found out Max’s bag was broken beyond repair. Thankfully, helpful family members got us to Cotswold where we got a 65 litre Ayuacha bag. I also got a 3 season Vango sleeping bag as Mum freaked me out by informing me it had recently hit -5 in Scotland. Continue reading

Hoka Highland Fling  Training Camp – Kit Review!

 We have arrived in Tyndrum (as has the rain) in time for a training camp for the upcoming race. However, Max has tendinitis and we are both pretty much in no state to run 33 miles back the way we just spent the last two days walking. So instead we are having a rest day, which includes yoga for runners, a massage and copious amount of fish and chips from the Good Food Cafe. I am also getting to trial a pair of Injinji trail Mid-weight mini crew socks and a small fit Ultimate Direction Ultra vest when I go out for a run later.  Continue reading

Packing for the Way!

Max submitted his PhD thesis, we signed a contract to rent back in Cambridge again and we have finished work! Today is the day before we head up to my Aunt and Uncle’s house in Glasgow, so I am attempting to pack for our roughly planned 4 week trip walking around the Scottish Highlands.

We have tried to save money by borrowing as much as possible, we have credited everyone below for helping us, thank you guys! Continue reading

Boundary Run

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The Hare and Hounds Boundary Run is a marathon skirting the edges of Cambridge city marked out with flour arrows along the way. It was my second marathon, but this time I was not competing, I was training. The point was to run in a race atmosphere, but keep my head – run my run, and pace myself for a 5 hour marathon time. This was in preparation for running 33 miles in 3 weeks time as part of a training weekend for the Hoka Highland Fling race (a 53 mile ultra marathon along the West Highland Way).

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