Trialling and trailing it

It’s over! It’s in the bag. It’s in the can. It’s a wrap. It’s a done deal.

It’s been a privilege.

I’m talking about me delivering my first fell running, ultra running, moving on a bit of road and off road and over hills coaching weekend. What a learning curve that was. First of all people came, even though I advertised late in the day. There’s my first learning. Get the message out sooner than 4 weeks!

This was something about confidence on my behalf. It was hard to retain belief in my “cv” and my offer. Whilst being very keen and positive and hoping for a new venture to work out well, at times I found myself unable to stop measuring this offer against people I respect in the running and coaching world like the Cavills and Ronnie Staton for example.

To help with this imposter syndrome, I emailed someone I respect very highly both as a person and in terms of what they have achieved in the world of off road running professionally and personally. First thank you of this blog then, to Mr Jon Steele, who took time out of his Northern Traverse training to send the most supportive email and offer me the chance to advertise on his Hardmoors site. So much gratitude to you Mr S.

I find that when I look at forums about off road and ultra running there is a great deal on there about people’s struggles with navigation. It became a mission to deliver sessions on this and second gratitude goes to Rich Wood. Rich and I have been on many expeditions together over the last 17 years or so and we previously worked together for 5 ish, teaching navigation and many other skills to 13- 19 year olds and learning a lot ourselves. He’s someone you would want in your corner or in the back of a land rover brewing tea. Rich staked out the orienteering course for us and laminated maps and generally had my back. I salute you!

Saturday was spent with intros and setting the scene and then we ran. At the foot of Brough Law we did some drills on the pasture. Plyometric stuff and looking at technique and use of arms and form and enjoying the sun. Then technique on steep terrain and ascent and descent. We were so lucky with the weather.

Goal setting and interference or blocks to acheiving goals followed and then the navigation. Lovely sunset on the course and a welcome at the base of the hill from the ultra Druid himself! A wound up and wined up farmer seemed to have been a bit spooked by the drumming and drove out to ask us what we were doing.

His gamekeeper mate later came to check us out and was suitably amused at his friend’s worried reaction and very friendly towards us, fascinated by our drumming cloaked hero! Three of us slept on the floor of the village hall.

The course needed stripping so awoken by the rain drumming on the roof I decided to head out at five thirty to pick up the markers in the mist and dreich.

There’s something lovely for me about running twice in one day and as the weather cleared over breakfast I could look forward to our run out to Linhope Spout and the fartlek training on the way back down the valley!

Before that was the arrival of Lynn and Wilf. Lynn delivered a beautiful stretch, body visualisation exercise and yoga for runners session. I may have nodded off in the journey! Those early starts and also a sense of relief that I wasn’t doing all of the delivery today. Wilf was to deliver his killer abs session later with the particular highlight being mountain climbers in press up position with us all singing happy birthday to Jeannie.

In between yoga and the Abdominator, Wilf got into beasting mode by giving me percentage increase efforts on the fartleks, using the lampposts as we descended into the valley from Hartside. This one’s 70% (my fave). This one’s 90%!! Nearly vomited on that one.

So much gratitude to my family for their support and input. Pride and love and wind at my back.

Birthday cake and more singing and a bit more on goals back at the village hall. Writing letters to our future running selves and then it was over, bar the pack down. Final gratitudes to Doug and Karen and Alastair and Jeannie. I wish you all well on your running journeys and hope to see you again. One of the lovely things about being around other runners is getting inspiration for yourself. Reading Alastair’s now realised plans for a sub eighteen minute park run I realised how I neglected my own speed work. I made an immediate start with Wilf in Ingram Valley. It hurt a lot.

The only setback was arriving home to no hot water and a bust boiler. Cue bathing campsite style! It’s since been fixed with the poor SSE guy ringing me, but I’d got fed up waiting in on such a sunny day and was running with a rucksack full of rocks back to the house. I think he appreciated my need for hot water when the sweaty mess landed next to his van outside our house.

I love the practice of gratitude when I’m running and the other day coming back from the beach in glorious sunshine, I was channelling my gratitude to all the aforementioned people in this blog, the supporters, the family, the friends and of course the participants and everyone who has wished me well on this venture. I’m going to be running some mini versions of this weekends content over the weeks to come so come along, it would be great to see you. From mountain goat to hill hater, you are all very welcome.

07968 973711

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