Trailblazing: DOH!

Today is the culmination of, what I can only describe as, my three week running nightmare. It all began towards the end of April; after 5 weeks of intensive half marathon training and with a string of 9 10 hour night shifts on the horizon I ran the full race distance (22K’s) – the furthest I’d ever run. What then followed was 9 days and nights of 18 mile cycles with a bit of running in between. Suffice to say, by the time I got to the beginning of May I was ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff*****.


It surprised me how long it took me to recover from this over-exertion. Night shifts are part of my life, cycling 18 miles+ daily is part of my life, running and sleep deprivation are part of my life – so why was this so hard. Well, turns out I wasn’t eating enough of the right things – I was eating healthily – very healthily, but my non-dairy veggie diet lacked protein – sure it was there, but there just wasn’t enough of it – lesson learned: Eat more.


My running for the first week of May was sluggish and painful, it became apparent that I’d simply over-done it, I got a bit of running in but was only able to manage a pitiful 11 miles when I should have been running 30 odd. To compound the issue further, Sunday 5th was the ‘Oxfordshire Classic’ a 60 mile cycle I’d agreed to do in January (and forgotten about when I entered my June race). 5 hours of  cycling was a long way to cycle but the exercise was surprisingly manageable (surely a testament to my endurance fitness).


Coombe Hill Monument
Coombe Hill Monument (Photo credit: Bods)


5 Days later, one 6K recovery run (positive results) and a happy gym & swim session and I’m standing 500 yards from Wendover train station with a fully loaded CamelBak about begin my longest run yet (and quite possibly the toughest) – a 15 mile trail run along the Chilterns. The start was optimistic  a rigorous ascent to the top of Coombe Hill and after a brief look at a spectacular (if overcast) landscape below and I was off into the woods and heading for the next town. And then,


And then….


And then……..


Massive internal compass malfunction – I got lost. very, very lost – the result was a 9 mile loop which took me in a 6 mile arc in the wrong direction before I got my bearings and was able to, at the least, get back to the start – abandon the long run and get a lift back to base camp – not my most impressive moment.

Doh! What happens when you go left instead of straight
Doh! What happens when you go left instead of straight


Still. Back on nights. I have 29 days until my race and it’s time for some no holds barred intensive training. This week I will be running the 6 miles home from work – and when I’m not doing that, I’ll be at the gym.


2 thoughts on “Trailblazing: DOH!

  1. Been there, done that! At least you found your way back. And you got a pretty long run in anyway! Interesting to read what happened when you didn’t get enough protein – I was feeling sluggish too, and started adding more protein to my recovery drink, and decreasing distance. It took several weeks but I’ve come right again. Happy training!

    1. Thanks for your comment. I started experimenting with SIS nutritional supplements and found that getting the extra protein that way, worked for me. With my first marathon next year, I’ll interpret these last three weeks as a warning shot so that it doesn’t happen again – especially as I get into 3+ hour training run territory.

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