For me my ability to run reflects quite accurately the state of my overall holistic health, and right now I'm back and thouroghly enjoying it. So another strange bad year trying to deal with an obscure [although actually quite common, if untreated] medical issue that has been causing some fairly significant problems for me. It's been the same for 3 years now, but this year I have managed to get onto a treatment regime that is slightly controversial in some ways, but at least proven to work. Odd thing this, how some treatments get barriers put up to them despite a fair amount of evidence, but such is life.
Anyway, within a couple of weeks of starting the treatment my ability to run improved dramatically. Not just my ability to run, but my ability to recover. One of the side effects of the condition has been severe fatigue, and when I have managed to run, It's only been for 7-10 days before the chronic fatigue set in and I had to pack it in. But now I'm back to be able to run pretty regularly and starting to get to significant distances again. Within weeks I had ticked off a long run of 16miles, which from a pretty much standing start I'm well happy with and with that the thoughts, now positive, have turned to longer events again.
So I have entered the short 28mile ultra at the start of december from Kinlochleven to Tyndrum, my entry is in for the Devil O' The Highlands in august, and I'm just waiting for the Highland Fling (April) to open to enter it as well. Thats a pretty complete year if I can pull it off, but I am becoming more and more drawn to the WHW Race. It's slightly obsessional (but that is good for me tbh), and I've obviously never done anything like it before, but I am contemplating entering. Well, when I say entering, more seeking a place on the reserve list. I need to complete something like the Fling to qualify, my longest event to date being the D33, so it would be a bit ambitious to expect an entry this year, but perhaps I might be able to get a reserve place list, and if I was ready and a slot came up it would be a possibility. We shall see......
But I have managed to get out on the WHW, and plan to try and get out there once a month. I did from Glencoe down to near Forest Lodge and back a week or two ago and the whole atmosphere of the place is special. I can see why people running there so much. It really pulls at your heart. The plan this weekend was to run from Glencoe to Fort William, but torrential rain meant that discretion was the better part of valour. Hopefully I will reschedule for the 19th Nov or alternatively go Glencoe -> Tyndrum/ Crainlarich (19/25mi). The other place I've discovered is the Rob Roy Way. I started looking at it for the Glen Ogle 33, and ran the way from Strathyre to the top of Glen Ogle and back via Balquidder. Going from Lochearnhead down to Callendar was an enjoyable 15mi in the rain with a significant climb at Kingshouse. Well recommended as an alternative to the WHW.
With winter encoaching some new gear was in order. A (black) OMM waterproof top and (black) Ron Hill waterproof running trousers. Both are unbelievably good. I never thought I could run 15miles in waterproof trousers, but these are great and combined with the excellently breathable OMM top is a great combination. OK it's only a high viz combo in the snow, but somewhat smarter looking than being dressed like a giant highlighter!
So it's time to keep the mileage going, and up from the 25-35mi/week I've been doing to a bit higher. That will probably include running Aberdeen to Stonehaven (12mi) once or twice a week and a 20mi loop on the Deeside Way once a fortnight. If I can fit those in midweek, that will be a significant contribution to my mileage. Oh - and some back to backs as well.
On ward upwards and lets hope I can keep the demons at bay!