Friday, 19 September 2014

Monkey Feet and Union Flag Shorts

My apologies for bringing up politics in my blog but today is a potentially a monumental day in the history of the United Kingdom and Great Britain.

Tonight was part of my personal campaign to get back into proper training and get quality miles mixed back into quantity but in some ironic way I discovered that I only had a pair of my beloved union flag shorts available as the Delightful Mrs S had decided to wash my training shorts for the third consecutive wash!

At the track tonight there was a lovely surprise when I discovered that there was a new running group making a guest appearance for the evening bedecked in very fancy kit with S.L.G.R written in orange against a black cloth, their group is called "So Let's Go Running" or Slogger for short. A rather passionate group of runners and a lovely bunch of people.

These guys had never been in proximity of my Union Flag shorts or Monkey Feet before but it was funny to hear the regular comments of:
  1. "Take longer strides"
  2. "How can you run so fast with such short strides"
  3. "What colour shorts will you be wearing tomorrow?" 
  4. "What happens when you step in dog shit?"
My answers:
  1. "Why, I am in front of you?"
  2. "High cadence equals barefoot equals no forefront foot strike."
  3. "I honestly don't know but I hope I do not have to change them."
  4. "Errrm, I stink of dog shit, what happens to you when you step in dog shit?"
Back to running.....base fitness off slightly, cardiovascular needs work but feeling good...just need to get the long runs in.
 

Friday, 29 August 2014

Monkey Speed Training

This is a story of two halves, one of age and the other of youth.

Yesterday I was toying with the idea of going to the track as I usually do on a Thursday but this time actually engage in the Speed Work Session. These guys normally grunt around the track with creased up faces and chatting of 5km or 10km PBs. I mostly go there for marathon pace training and enjoy the banter.

Prickled into a new training plan I could have easily have sat back on the sofa and found a good reason not to go but this time I couldn't as peer pressure was upon me like a Monkey on my Back in the form of Duncan who had poked his head up over the parapet of family life and said he would give me a lift. So jumping into his car I was pleased to spot that he had brought along his young lad,Ché, who on a normal Sunday visit to Duncan's is frolicking around the house with his brothers full of the joys of Spring fuelled by a belly full of freshly baked banana cake. Tonight it was different as he sat back in his seat, an erudite air about him as he read a book as quiet as a mouse. Ché can best be described by his doting father as a book reading cricket fan.

So to the track, I told the Coach that I was up for the Speed Training but after retrieving his jaw from the track and with an enormous grin on his face told me it was probably a little too much for the particular session but was packed off to do 3 x 1600 metres. The grin turned to frustration when he said "At your 5km pace Jerry", a blank expression passed over my face "But I haven't run a 5km race in 6 years!", the same response was he suggest "A bit faster than your 10km pace.....no wait for it you're going to tell me you haven't raced a 10km....oh go on just run them as fast as you can"

I was happy with that and so leaving the speedsters behind, Duncan, Ché and I ran off, the former chatting happily on the out track and I wheezing and grunting around the track at my pace. I came back from my reps passing the other two ever so often, the both of them now in bare feet, I chose to do the same for a few laps joining them for a couple of laps to cool down.

At the end I was amazed to hear that Ché had run 5 miles with his Dad almost non stop and around 9 years old (My apologies as I never remember Duncan). So I have now named you a Book Reading Cricket Fan Runner but how long will it be until you are a Running Book Reading Cricket Fan
 
Monkey Runners



Wednesday, 27 August 2014

It wasn't pretty

Having realised that I haven't run in socks or running shoes for some 3 months I found it a real struggle to actually find a pair of socks and embarrassingly I could not find my green trail shoes so resorted to a pair of retired shoes who have done some 700 miles in them.

Off I plodded with my head torch wrapped around my hand for a slow ploddy run through the woods to the club. 

CHOICE.
Well there was only one choice, run with a slower group and get my confidence back and enjoy an unpressured run, and I did, all 7 miles of them unscathed and happy that my foot injury has cleared up with minimal niggles. I am not worried about the distance as this was just a step into getting my mojo back and to help shift a few pounds that have started to pile on recently. Next run is on Thursday and some possible speed work for a change!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The tide has turned

Since May my weekly mileage has dropped to zero, first from recovery from the GUCR 2014, then a heat wave where the Brit in me refused to run and until now a secret, a foot injury after sweeping the North Downs Way 100 a few weeks ago.

Significantly, I have found that the recent increase in my anti-depressants prescription has taken the edge off my "need" to run which I regret enormously. The passion, the fire in my belly gone plus the increase in weight and thoughtless people feeling the need to comment on it continually has caused me to try and take back some control.

So what to do? Play along with the depression and alleviate the symptoms or sit back and hope my brain chemistry fixes itself? I have chosen the former and decided that I just need to go do it and take on a new challenge, a focus for the time being and be positive.

So in true Jerry fashion I have decided to run the Thames Meander Winter Marathon on 1/11/2014, just 10 weeks away. I have the muscles, the underlying fitness still(?) and a need so here goes..............wish me luck

 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

A Sweeper's Tale

Arriving at 6.00am at Detling last Sunday I entered the village hall to be met by a row of alert but tired Marshals who greeted me as if I was their long lost family member (Centurion Marshals are an incredible breed) I announced I was the Sweeper for the last 21 mile section and heard there were still a few out on the course so settled down for a cup of coffee and a chin wag until the runners came through.

"Good luck with those it is very slippery out there!"  was the last farewell I got whilst a Marshall grinned as I trotted off in my Monkey Feet.

The sun was up and the sky clear but we had all been told to wait for the remnants of Hurricane Bertha to hit the South-East of England directly over the path of the North Downs Way! I had come prepared with my kamleika smock and woolly hat in my backpack along with a first aid kit, Buff and spare cash.

Within 20 minutes of running the rain started, easy at first and then a little harder, then the wind until it was just another rainy Sunday in England. This section of the North Downs Way is tough and even after 5 miles I was amazed to think that some of the runners had ascended and descended the blasted hills which had me gasping, sliding and swearing as I went which was actually not that bad in my Monkey Feet as I could feel the ground and balance well in the awkward terrain.

At about 9.00am the full force of the remnants of Hurricane Bertha hit the North Downs and I was loving it with the windy gusts nearly knocking me off my feet crossing open fields, branches whipping my face, mud splashing over me such that the smock was on very soon and later the woolly hat. You know me, I was loving it, the Monkey Feet  holding up well in the conditions underfoot which were not totally happy on exposed wet chalk but is any other trail shoe?

I finally came across some tired or wounded runners and slowly walked in to the checkpoint with them to hand them over to the Aid Station staff but then discovered that they had missed the cut off big style such that I would have to go self-sufficient for the last 10 miles as the next Aid Station was to close soon. I cared not a jot, took extra water and went about my Sweeping knowing the last runner was now about 1 hour ahead.

I love these solo runs, the fun of helping others reach their goals, my independence for about 5 hours of my silly life, meeting a few old faces at the Aid Stations and my love of the North Downs.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Monkey Mapping

The plan was to meet Peter at Newlands Corner on the North Downs Way(NDW) at 7.00pm last Friday, leave his car there and we drive to Farnham (the start of the NDW) mark the first 15 miles of the 100 mile course get in his car and get him to drive me back to Farnham to collect my car to go home....simple!
In fact it was not, after meeting Peter at Newlands Corner, the heavens opened and so carnage unfolded on the roads ahead with early Friday evening drivers stuck in queues created by crashed cars or sheer weight of traffic leaving us to arrive at the start of the North Downs Way in Farnham some 50 minutes behind schedule....not good when it transpired poor old Peter had left his waterproof in his car and I had a 1:50,000 scale map of the NDW which, whilst useful, is rubbish on a route finding as the scale was just to small to see detail.

With big hugs from the Centurion Crew we went on our way happily marking our way following the paths and roads easily but then the rain really hit us, the wind picking up and the signage becoming difficult to spot  in the gloom some with missing fingers to confirm our direction which during the day is quite easy but at night in bad weather very difficult.

Then the mistake happened, a bad judgement call by me taking us down a hill and to a double T-Junction that in the gloom made me fit the road to the map sending us both in the wrong direction. Now the rain really hit us and after about 4 exploratory runs, a phone call to my wife to get a fix on our location on Google Maps my map finally turned to mush, the cover falling off. We had been out for 2.5 hours and covered only 6 miles (marking is very time consuming) we decided to make the call to go back to my car via road.

By Road

This was probably not one of my best decisions when we got directions from a lone female driver how to get back to Farnham by road which took us along a notoriously dark and dangerous road famous for its ghosts called the Hog's Back. Here we ran on the road and on the verge as cars drove past at 60 mph to return to the car unharmed.

Not my best entry as a runner having failed my promise to complete my job, going out with inadequate equipment (map case) and taking my older head torch which is good for a trail run but not for the job of marking.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Marking Marshal Monkey

On arrival at home this evening I was presented with a parcel sitting on the stair, not your normal parcel but that perfectly sized one, not too big and not too small.

I actually knew what was going to be inside, my Marking Kit for the first 14.7 miles of the North Downs Way 100 this weekend containing:

  1. Arrow Cards
  2. Plastic ties
  3. 500 metres of red/white chevron tape
 and the lovely surprise of a much sought after Centurion Crew shirt which are really well made technical tops.

Last week I put a call out to my clubs and I have found a volunteer to come along with me to mark the course involving the shuttling of our cars to be able to have one at the start and the end of the route.....this is going to be fun

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Barefoot Running Experiment

Thursday evening is my usual run at the track but this week I wanted to do an experimental one with no Monkey Feet or shoes but longer than my usual 1 mile.

What I often wonder is how exactly my foot strikes the ground when in bare feet or in my Vibrams so decided to place four strips on each sole; 
  1. Two parallel strips across the balls of the foot
  2.  One strip along the outer edge of the sole
  3. One short strip hold the back part of #2 to the heel
Leaving the speed trainers to their warm up I went on a 5km run around the track in my taped feet to see how the wear developed to show how my feet landed. Now this was just a unscientific experiment but I was surprised by the wear on the tape, the inner ball of the foot taking the brunt of the impact followed by long and middle toe, the main weight bearing metatarsals but looking at the long tape the strike patter only covers the forward section.

As for the heel, yes they are being struck as I would expect but not as a heel strike but as a flat placement or "scuff"

I am feeling pretty pleased with the run being the furthest I have run with no shoes, a total of 5km, but note there is a slight pain in an old injury site showing that Monkey Feet (VFF's) do protect you somewhat even if we think they don't.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Another DNF

Reports like this can always be a venting for despair, feelings of failure and the "Why oh whys?" 

Today I have no excuses apart from that I had a terrible event and I knew it from the beginning as  I traipsed out in 30 C degree heat on a 100km self-navigating trail run at noon having previously had a bout of stomach cramps.

Let me take you back 3 hours into the morning of Saturday; after dropping my daughter off at her workplace I ventured home, grabbed my backpack and dry kit to take a 45 minute drive to Tonbridge Wells but as the journey started I began to realise that the traffic was heavier than normal for a Saturday and then reports of 2 accidents on the motorway so I diverted off to go an alternative "country lane" drive to then get stuck in more traffic about 3 miles from the start. By now the temperature was in the high 20's and I was sweating profusely and slowly getting more and more fed up as I had now missed my 11.00am start time with a window of 60 minutes to get going.

Hot and flustered I finally found the start, signed my waiver and ran out. Due to my mood and now very hot body I decided that before I started that I would drop down to the lesser distance (now 42km) and just enjoy the day with little or no pressure. Along with my normal safety kit I added an extra 750ml of water and because of my decision to drop down the miles my MONKEY FEET.

The ground beneath me was great, the instructions intricate and therefore not really designed for runners and I have learnt the hard way never to follow the well trodden paths as a lot of people go wrong and you too get lost proved when a runner passed me 3 times in the first few miles and he started earlier than me!

Crossing open fields I was really suffering in the heat and was just generally unhappy as I was just not dealing with the weather at all so arriving at the first checkpoint announced that I was quitting knowing that I would become ill if I continued.

This later proved to be the right decisions with reports of people dropping down a distance, other runners DNF'ing after nearly blacking out...I believe thas was not a challenge for runners that day as their body temperatures would have become dangerously high. Fair play to anyone that got through this event with such minimal support...just not for me, no excuses.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Wealden Waters pre-Race

As usual before a race or event there is a flurry of activity, my kit laid out on the floor in the dining room the mandatory kit piled ready for packing. It is not for me to challenge event rules but this year we are required to take full body waterproofs and a fleece but with weather at its height of 31 C with no threat of rain I am really thinking of ditching the trousers, not that they weigh much but just are bulky in the backpack but I suppose rules are rules.

I maybe having one of my "mad moments" but I am seriously thinking of taking this event on in my Monkey Feet with my trusty Injinji socks as protection from dirt and blisters but 100km on trail could be a little risky but it would be a brilliant achievement

Monday, 14 July 2014

The Wealden Waters 2014

This one has come up a little quicker than I would have wanted but it will be a challenge of my resolve and a desperate need to accomplish something again this year.

The Wealden Waters is a Long Distance Walker's Association (LDWA) challenge in which runners are invited to join in but starting after the walkers, the challenge is thus:

OBJECT: To complete a distance of either 100 or 40km on foot, within a time limit of 26 or 10 hours respectively, in the High Weald area of Kent and Sussex, using only a route description and OS maps. 

 I will of course be taking on the 100km challenge (actually 100.8 km!)

I received a message from my newly found trail buddy Alzbeta whom I met on the Pony Express ultra in May 2014 who lives in Kent and from the sound of it a very experienced long distance eventer and one tough cookie. In the message she announced the route description for The Wealden Waters were up and I was excited to see the following famous Kent and Sussex footpaths:
  • High Weald Landscape Trail
  • Sussex Border Path
  • Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk
  • Vanguard Way
  • Wealdway
Each of these trails, paths or walks are monsters with many downland "undulations" add to this stiles, kissing gates, bridleways and the Ashdown Forest and we have an absolute monster of an event to test ourselves.

I am actually beginning to look forward to this as there is a minimum kit list which requires a full backpack which I always enjoy.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Running distances put into perspective

I was described today as "Obsessed" by my good running friend Bhundu when we were discussing some of my sometimes perceived weird ideas and adventures. This was all taken in good heart as it was given, this while I mentioned that I had missed the all important "Running around half the Earth's equator since I started". 

His family laughed wholeheartedly when I mentioned that on Friday evening, whilst I was nursing a cold glass of cider, that I had calculated the number of times I had run around the Equator of all the planets in the Solar System in an Excel workbook and included data bars to visually show the different sizes of the planets justly proving how intricate I can be.

I was really pleased to note that I have in fact run around Mercury and was well onto reaching 1.5 equators very soon, next target is the Red Planet, Mars and now just over half way for Venus and Earth. As for the Gas Giants, I have no hope on Earth (see what I did there) to get around them.....but just a bit of fun that I am about to do my second circumnavigation of the Moon having run 1.90 times around it.

Those figures just how small we really are.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Ninja Monkey

Mad, hectic day on Thursday with an early start to the office armed only my trusty OMM backpack containing my laptop and a stuff sack containing a a running shirt, shorts with my Monkey Feet strapped to the outside.

A full on day at work, a visit to the hospital to visit my father and then a ssllloooowwwww train journey to my home station leaving me just 13 minutes to get to the track which would have been a 30 minute walk but at 27C I decided to take a rare ride in a taxi to the track. 

at the track I quickly changed and had planned to plod out about 4-5 miles at a gentle pace that I normally do on track nights, such that a few of the other runners see me as a "slow" runner and often comment on it.

Tonight the speedsters were going to do 8 x 200 metres but I was asked to "make the numbers up" to make 5 teams of 3 which I didn't really want to do and have a feeling that as I had plodded out a slow 8 minute mile was chosen as the  "Slow" guy in a team of three that had a Fast, medium and slow pace runner in each. 

I was the third runner in my relay team and when the baton was passed to me I zoomed off after the guy in front of me, one of the faster guys, and overtook him at pace and beating him by about 10 metres....his language quite ripe when he told me he was shocked at my turn of speed. This was mentioned a few times but my answer was "Yes, I can run fast, I just choose not to"

Nice feeling sometimes to turn someones perceptions on their head

Monday, 30 June 2014

Manic Monkey

For the first time in a very, very long time my underlying mood has lifted beyond all recognition, I am mischievous, joking and laughing naturally at jokes, life and feeling generally well.The pessimist in me knows that it can not last long but the optimist asking me to enjoy it while I can and for as long as I can.

Today I had a load of marking to do with a deadline something that normally bothers me but I was fine, it had to be done. I also had planned a run in Shoreham, Kent to confirm a 10km route I had devised for a race in September and in the mood I was it was unbearable so halfway through my work I ducked out of the door with my Monkey Feet in my hand, some shorts and a t-shirt, even my Garmin GPS was having an airing to do some measuring and I was off with full permission of the Delightful Mrs S who was pleased to see me leave.

Arriving at Shoreham I leapt into the woods and bounced along the trails looking out for the local wildlife as is a regular sight to see Roe deer bouncing around the trees but my primary task was to visualise kilometre markers, marshalling points and taping requirements. I was in a world of races and running. I do love this mood, just going for it, leaping mud puddles, cavorting down grassed hills to a woodland trail, hauling my fat arse up a particularly difficult hill, viewing a hillside over the valley bedecked in poppies, cows staring suspiciously as I passed.

Today I loved my running, today I ran about a mile totally barefoot on pavement, today I dodged raindrops and managed to obtain version 1 of a 10km race.  

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Drunken Monkey

The annual ritual of the Summer Solstice is celebrated by both of my running clubs, one with a 13 mile (21km) run on the North Downs, the other a gentle 5 mile run with two beer stops and a garden party. Due to domestic pressures I had to choose the latter as time was tight such that I could not get to the start on time to meet my old training partners George and Michael for a much missed catch up.

So ducking out of the door at 7.32pm I ran out to the club via the local woods with Rob who I had collected on the way. At the club we were split into various groups and sent on our way; tonight it was humid and the sweat soon ran off me but in the distance my first can of John Smith's awaited me, soon to be consumed amongst the 150 strong pack equally sharing a can or partaking in a soft drink. The whistle blown we regrouped to our respective packs and ran off with the promise of more about 2 miles up the road. I laugh now as I did then but I was asked to run the pack through the woods to the next beer stop but I know for sure I lost quite a few as I darted off to the next can of bitter which was taken at speed due to time constraints.

By now, the lack of food and two cans of bitter were working their wonders as I finished the delightfully chatty run at Mike's house for the annual awards ceremony where red and white wine, Pimms and the remainders of the beer flowed such that by 10.30pm I was feeling pretty well mullered for a Tuesday evening.

What to do whilst drunk

Do as I do and run 3 miles home cross country.....at least this year I took the easy route and didn't get lost in the woods! Running with quite a few drinks in the belly is best described as "Interesting" but the run in my Monkey Feet felt comfortable and found my mind drifting matters internal.

Matters aside, I was really interested to hear a view point from another runner tonight about me which was " I never see you without a head torch wrapped around your hand Jerry" It is pretty much true, I do.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

1000 Monkey Miles

Slowly but surely the miles have been ticking up and up to finally hit the 1,000 mile mark.

Yes, tonight I celebrated the first 1,000 miles in my Monkey Feet and since I started using them haven't looked back. My running style has changed for the better, my feet wider, stronger, tougher and my calves like carved mahogany.

I have had my fair share of injuries with them ranging from bruised toes, knocked ankles and sore soles. Whilst I have had a few bumps and bruises so have my Monkey Feet with repairs to the toes and a small spilt in the uppers but compared to their more mainstream cushioned cousins have lasted twice the distance with half the wear and tear so in all, very impressive.

These shoes will have to have a few repairs to the toes in the coming days but let's see how many miles we can get out of my old friends.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Monkey Whisperer

As a lot of my Dear Readers will know my wife, the Delightful Mrs S, is not the greatest lover of my running expeditions. She is often heard moaning at me for mentioning my escapades, the stories of some of my fellow long distance runners or the fact my latest niggle is giving me some jip. This, I am afraid, is what goes with the territory of my beloved sport and one has to tread carefully both on the trail and around the Delightful Mrs S.

Let us look at the few days following the GUCR 2014, my feet still sore with a couple of blood blisters on the soles, 3 blackened nails and a small split in the sole, they were not pretty. Add to this a swollen knee and general lethargy that I come to expect but can deal with. Mrs S, whilst kind, took no real notice and let me get on with it, crutches and all, secretly I am grateful of this.

The telephone call

On Saturday the telephone rang and I picked it up
"Oh hi Jerry, Clare here, how are you?" [Clare is Mrs S's best friend]
"OK thanks, I am....." I was interrupted politely
"How are your feet, I was told you had really painful soles after you big race and your knee was swollen...."
"They are fine..." I was interrupted again.
"I was told you were on crutches, why do you do this to yourself?"
I got a word in edge ways.
"Mrs S must have been speaking to you about me, tell me more"
"Well she did mention something about your nails..."
 "Did she?"
A third voice entered the conversation coming from the sofa
"JEREMY!"
"What else did she say....?"
"She said that you hurt your........."
"JEREMY, GIVE ME THE PHONE NOW"
Handing over the phone to the Delightfully Exasperated Mrs S she strode off saying in a rather theatrical whisper "What did you say I said?........" 

It did make me smile to think that after all these years of stonewalling my running she secretly chats about it to her friend.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Beware of Poo-Flinging Monkeys

Training is back on the cards with 3 runs in the last 7 days to primarily see whether my legs and feet were recovered enough to carry on with a few long runs. The runs have not been long ones but Sunday just gone was a lovely one.

 Sunday

Meeting Duncan at about 8.30 am the two of us high-tailed it to Shoreham, Kent for a woodland trail run in our Monkey Feet. On the slopes of the valley this area is very tough, whilst not too technical, it does have it challenges from heavily rutted paths, muddy sections and chalky ascents that have your lungs burning. The temperature was about 21 C, which for few of my Equatorial readers is cold but us Brits like the Devil's Kitchen warming up to make scrambled eggs.

This run was about route planning for a future 10km race which I have been given the mysterious job title of "Course Consultant" and Duncan as a sub-contractor for his insight and amazing "second eyes".

So Sunday was 2 pairs of Monkey Feet, 1 pack of yapping terriers, 1 jumping stag, 2 beautiful views , 1 lovely lady rider and a bundle of laughs.

Tuesday

This was Club Night and still being careful I jumped in with  an easier group with the promise of a trail run in the woods and local nature reserve, a set piece route but nonetheless a  welcome one.

In my Monkey Feet I was finding certain sections quite hard as the Council has this habit of filling woodland trail holes with sub-base 1 which fine for the road is tough in minimalist shoes when not compressed. So with a few grumbles I padded over some sections and took on the hills knowing the fitness wouldn't return if I shied away.

The last mile arrived and we came to the lower section of the woods which as always remained waterlogged and muddy. The newer runners erring to the dry, rooted path, I to the centre of the track with mud flying left, right and centre... I loved it.

At Home

I was banished to the bathroom, it appears that the last trail was not only mud:

Some Monkey had been flinging Poo

I stank

Saturday, 7 June 2014

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

...or why I hate running technology.

Don't get me wrong Dear Reader, I am a lover of technology, the freedom it provides and the perceived improvements to our lives but I only believe it has a place when it doesn't cause more problems than it was supposed to prevent in the first place.

Take my recent attempt on the Grand Union Canal Race, Gemma, Sam and I agreed that we should use the "Find a Friend" app on the ubiquitous iPhone everyone seems to have these days that would allow them to track me on my journey and at first worked brilliantly as they popped up at agreed locations at the right time with time to spare. The only problem is battery life and I seemed to be chewing through it such that we agreed to switch them off and then on again at agreed times to get a signal. It seemed to work, even if the support team had to run out to late night shopping emporiums to purchase chargers!

Tonight I was scanning through my iPhone when I noticed a VERY long video which was 12 minutes long! I have reduced this to just 48 seconds and loaded it to youTube to show its exciting content.... the rear view of my run, viewed through the netted containment of my race vest. This video no doubt chewing up my battery life but at the same time showing my ever consistent pace during the first 10 hours

 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Battered and Bruised I Return

Battered and bruised I return empty handed from the GUCR but with no remorse. This year's race was a tough one with it raining continually for about 20 hours and the conditions under foot not ideal.

My main Race Report will come over the next few days whilst I catch up on a few things in my work and private life but just to report that I dis make it to just past the 100 mile mark when I realised that my feet were just not going to get me there.

I sit here now with a swollen knee, a few blackened toenails and 3 large blisters, one of which is blooded but spiritually absolutely fine actually smiling at what I accomplished.

Full report soon, I promise.