Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Mud glorious mud!

I don't know how else to describe last weekend other than to say that the mud on Saturday was joined by snow on the Sunday.

We were back at the beautiful Ranscombe Nature Reserve which is very pretty in Spring-Autumn but I've always avoided it in the Winter months until now and even then I didn't really want to go because I knew how ghastly conditions would get underfoot. Heavy rain on top of chalk and clay over loose flints is a really bad combination for someone who has a tendency to trip over her own shadow!

At the race briefing on Saturday Traviss asked me how far I was going and I stoically replied "ultra" and he announced that I would earn a purple hoody (my favourite colour) for  completing 2000 miles at their events. Ha, that changed as the day wore on.

Did I fall over? Yes, twice on lap 5 on Day 1 at which point I made the sensible decision to drop down to marathon distance so I walked the last lap in the amiable company of Kat whose dad is in the latter stages of dementia so we had a good old chin-wag as we slipped around in the mud like Bambi on ice. On Day 2 there was snow/rain and even deeper mud and no, I didn't go over marathon distance.

I'll let the photos, courtesy of a valiant fellow runner, do the talking as they give a reasonable idea of conditions underfoot.  It was a struggle from start to finish.

Base station

This puddle was useful for cleaning my trail shoes after I'd finished

This is the section where I fell - my legs literally went from under me and I landed on my right hip and shoulder. Ouch but no blood!

Ooooh look, another puddle to wade through!

The Darnley Mausoleum

The slope at the top of this photo was the most treacherous bit to negotiate. I found it very scary going down  it.

This quagmire was approached from the bottom of the photo and what you can't see is how steep the descent was - oh my goodness that was slippery!

A nice flurry of snow joins the mud on Day 2

Walking poles were even more important on day 2 when the snow came!

Please remind me never to enter a Winter event at Ranscombe again!!!


IanB said...

Those conditions look dreadful, well done you for starting and an extra well done for the distance you ran! I was out this morning round some woods locally and the mud was very,very wet and unavoidable, so that combined with a heavy cold made a miserable run, but! at least I was out. huge respect once again for your efforts, you are quite an inspiration !

Julie M said...

You are such an inspiration to me! I have been reading your blog for about five years and have really enjoyed it. I don’t usually comment on any blog but I wanted to share that my grandma passed away from Alzheimer’s last summer. She had it and another great grandma of mine passed away from it before I found your blog via another knitting blog, and your story has really touched me over the past few years. About a month ago I found out my dad might have it too, but the diagnosis is pending. It was his mom that passed away last year. A few weeks ago I started wondering if I could run too, and so far I can only run a few minutes at a time but that is better than not at all a few weeks ago. So thank you for your inspiration and example. I am going to run for my family and to hopefully stay healthy, and I hope this terrible disease can be cured.

Susie Hewer said...

Thanks Ian, it was not one of my favourite weekends! Well done you for getting out there when you didn't feel like it. Are you familiar with the rules about a cold? - if it's just in your head it's OK to run but if it's chesty then please don't. Take care.

Susie Hewer said...

Dear Julie,

I'm so sorry to hear that your life has been touched by dementia and thank you so much for leaving a comment. It's such a cruel disease and it's so important that we invest in research. I really hope that your dad gets his results quickly as it must be very worrying for you all, especially with a family history. I love that you're using this as a positive and starting to run, well done you!

I only started running at the age of 45 when my friend died from cancer and I wanted to do something in her memory so I entered the Race4Life, a 5k event. When I announced my intentions everybody, including me, laughed their heads off but I persevered and then when I was caring for my mum it became a very important part of my life as Mike would take care of her whilst I went out for an hour each day. Oh and when I started running it wasn't even proper running, more like a shuffle - I went to the local gym, got on the treadmill and started running for as long as I could. It felt like about 10 minutes but it was actually 2 minutes and then I was completely out of breath! So what I did was run for 2 minutes/walk briskly for 8 minutes for a total of 30 minutes and each week I'd increase the running part until I could run for the full 30 minutes. Small steps will get you there - there are lots of couch-to-5k type schedules on the web if you search around.

Good luck and please feel free to contact me privately via a comment (which I won't publish) if you need a chat. Susie xxx