Equinox24 2017- my 140km race highlights :-)

So my race story starts 5 days before, when I woke up with a tickle in my throat. I had three days of feeling rough as. I think the combination of stress with the logistics (taking my mum and kids) combined with the psychological pressure of a new distance (which I never seem to cope well with) just got to me. That and in all honesty having just not been going to bed early enough and resting efficiently enough recently.

So I took three days before the race off work, rested, then felt slightly better so decided to race. I threw a random bunch of stuff together (which I thought was “adequately labelled” ;) ). Looking at a big pile of stuff in the hallway the night before the race- stuff every where, I looked at my mum and said- this is not how Kilian Jornet prepares for a race. Mum said “And does he have children? No.” (more…)

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Grim Reaper experience (the clue is in the name) 70 miles

Curiously, immediately after the race I was feeling unsure about the upcoming race in Sept which this one was part of training for…

However, by the time I got into my bed two hours later, I could not wait to do it all again. I reckon all the springboards, ahem I mean, people I spoke with along the way, have probably also signed up for their next one by now or are thinking about which one to do.

I messaged my friend when I got into bed and said- “why is it that you brain goes arrghhh that hurt like hell! Let’s do another one?” and he replied- “endorphins”.

lake (more…)

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Unconventional Wisdoms: Interview 1/4: Maria Walton

Maria Walton
Maria Walton

In 2009 Maria Walton, a marathon coach from Arizona, was gifted with a copy of “Born to Run” by a friend. Shortly after reading it, Maria sent Micah True (the elusive and reluctant hero of the book) a Facebook message for some advice on ultra-marathons.

He responded almost immediately,

“It’s not my book. If it’s an autograph you are after, you’re asking the wrong guy.”

Maria replied: “No, no, I’m not a fan. I just want some advice on how to run an ultra.”

“Oh,” he wrote back. “You are going to run a little slower, run a bit longer.  And that’s it really. I don’t train, I eat some oatmeal, grab a coffee, get out the door and run.”

Micah, an American ex-boxer who gave away everything he owned, moved to the mysterious Barrancas del Cobre of Mexico to emulate the methods of the Raramuri, and ran ultra distances there carrying no gear, just a plastic water bottle and a $8 timex watch. (more…)

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Interview series: Unconventional Wisdoms

 Alternative lifestyle inspiration

27 marathonsDini 2luis escobar maria

“Click this” Read an email I sent to my other-half.

“Stop sending me click-bait” was his curt reply.

“:-( But I wrote it?” Was my reply.

Adam: “Oh, ok I clicked it”.

It got me thinking, I don’t want to write click-bait.  I want to write informative, life-affirming pieces, like the kind I love to read.  If I am interested in a subject, my patience lasts longer than 800 words.

So, the idea to put together a series of four interviews came to mind.

Two live in Malta, two are Americans, two are men, two are women.  There’s one grandmother, one father, one working/ sailing mother and the other one, well he defies categorisation.

They are four humans who appear to get more out of their days than the average Joe.

I’ve been working long and hard on this series to try and showcase ordinary people who do extra-ordinary things.

They appear to ask more of life than seems normal.  Are they rewarded, or are they simply nuts?  Let’s see. (more…)

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On taking ‘me’ time and not feeling guilty about it…

Between the time they were born and time they were 5, I took one night away from my twins.  This was a night in hospital when they were 2, to recover from a c-section repair operation.  I found the experience really difficult, and missed them so much that I had no desire for time off from them again.

Their father, Adam had had a total of 6 months away from them in their first 3 years, as I took the twins to stay with my mother in the UK for long periods of time.  On top of this, he had had work weekends away.  I had no jealousy or desire to do the same.  I loved being with my kids, and missed them after just a few hours apart, however, from about 4.5 years I had started to feel a bit energetically ‘ground down’ and ‘running on empty’, in terms of what I had to offer them.  Having two first babies at 27 was a full on life-changer, I wasn’t the same Hannah as before they were around.

I booked 16 days away in France for in 6 months time. I started to feel panicky.  I hadn’t planned it to be so long, but a combination of factors meant it ended up being 21 days. I envisioned missing them like I did after a few hours for the entire duration, but on the other hand, the idea of getting up whenever I felt like it, making a cup of tea and seeing to myself first for the first time in 5 years, felt exciting and attractive.  I planned to take long baths, long runs and go out for dinner without worrying what time I would be home.

The fact that every day (except the time of that operation) they had been the first thought on my mind in the morning.  What were they going to eat that day, do, what other things did I need to do for them, etc.  I felt bound-down structuring my day around their routine, everyday.  Oh course this probably sounds selfish, I felt selfish to the point I wouldn’t admit these feelings to myself.  There was slight resentment when Adam went on his latest work trip to Sicily.  Although I didn’t admit it, it was time for me to take a break.  Of course, many mothers with many more children than me don’t have the opportunity for such a break (I was lucky that this chance came about through a combination of factors) but many parents don’t have access to many things, such as nutritious food, it doesn’t mean it is not desirable for the welfare of everyone involved.  Many people have to be involuntarily apart from their children, like I was for the operation, and that’s a different matter and feeling altogether, but ‘mummy burnout’ is now something I recognise, which I didn’t before this break. (more…)

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Funny goings on I could not help but notice…

I’m not saying this stuff didn’t exist in my early running days, but when I returned to my life after 4 years of having my head down in Peppa-Pig land and being a place for my children to stick the stickers off their bananas, I re-surfaced and noticed a few weird things about running.

 

  1. Everyone’s wearing compression everything? Calf-sleeves, arm-sleeves, I’ve got some but not even entirely sure I completely know why?

    Seriously under-geared for the 2014 Hellfire half-marathon. I even argued as I didn’t have anywhere to carry my brick of a mobile phone :/
  2. Food? When I trained for New York marathon, I never ate anything.  I took a gel during the event at mile 19 and regretted it immediately. Why am I seeing people taking gels, jelly beans, chocolate-covered-coffee-beans on less than 20k runs?  Should I be doing this too?  Is it necessary, or just a nifty excuse to snack? Also valid ;)
  3. The range of SHOES!  Barefoot, to all different kinda drops, to hokas… Back then I swear it was just, er, trainers?  Even I’m running in sandals mostly, what’s that all about?
  4. Buffs and head-gear stuff.  Now, buffs are awesome.  But they are leaving me with the naggin’ wonder of how I ever lived without them?
  5. Hydration gear!  Back in the early 00’s I was stashing plastic bottles in strategic places and looping back on runs to try and find the correct bush.  I didn’t even know there were other options!
  6. Garmins.  I was very reluctant to buy any gear  (especially after I asked a friend his running plans for the week and he told me he didn’t know, as the Garmin site was down). I wanted to be a low-tech runner, but last week I got me a Garmin, succumbing after the millionth person recommended one to me.  After an embarrassing couple of days where I couldn’t even work out how to plug the thing in to charge, I decided that, charged, the thing is more demanding than a child.  It bleeps at me all hours of the day and night and is constantly asking me questions I don’t know how to answer.  I also have literally no idea how to even get to the stage that the manual starts instructions from.  I am going to wear it tonight anyway, as everyone else has got one :)

    more gear more fear
    More gear more fear

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Prosecco half-marathon, anyone?

I’ve not been writing for a while.ft

I’ve been reading, running and generally getting busy…  Also I updated the blog theme, and lost a lot of features… So I am slowly trying to figure that out.

I plan to be back at it in autumn, I’m away all summer and my twins have basically finished school now, so am busy packing and finding babysitters for my plants, in between running, and running around after them.

In the meantime I thought I would share the below report link, as it made me LOL.

(more…)

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I ran all the 30k in my Luna sandals and felt great! Gozo 21k trail next weekend!

annie mummy shay night run
Looking somewhat knackered :)

Call it backwards, but I ran a 30k race at 2am this morning  in preparation for Gozo Half marathon next weekend…..

I was not properly trained for this.  If you read this here you will have seen that two months ago I was finding walking pretty tricky.

I have long been interested in ultra-running, but was putting it off til I felt ready.   I decided about 6.5 weeks ago to enter Gozo 55k next year, as ‘ready’ may never come.  Then I decided it would be a good idea to try the 21k version of that race this year, to see the course.

As this race is at the tail end of school Easter holidays, when no childcare means running is harder to fit in, I decided I would do the Puttinu’s care 30k night walk* as training, and run as much of it as I can.

Previous to this morning, I had ran only 15k (since having my kids 4 years ago and running in Luna sandals) . (more…)

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I don’t know if I’m going to run all the 30k tonight…

image running motivationI don’t know if I’m going to run all the 30k tonight… And I don’t really care.  I’m going to try.  It won’t be a miracle that I finish, it’ll be a miracle that I get up at 1am to join the start on time.

Around 2 months ago I’d never have even thought this possible, and maybe it still isn’t, but I am going to try and see what happens.

Here is the main inspiration I am going to try to play in my head, (along with some superb new, carefully selected Hard House). (more…)

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