I know what I’m doing!


Non-runners just don’t get it. I think that’s the bottom line.

I try not to go on too much about running when I’m with non-runners. But when you rock up to work on Monday walking like one of your elderly clients, and wearing pink fluffy slippers (because you can) people tend to notice.

“So are you going to take a break for a while now?” was a common question on Monday, after the 105. My response “I’ll probably walk or go for an easy jog tomorrow morning” was apparently not acceptable. “You need to rest!” Actually, no. I know what I’m doing!

Yes, I had a 3 week total break from running after my first marathon last year. I was on holidays in Ireland at the time and to be honest didn’t really think about running much at all! (Except one morning in Dublin, Thursday after the marathon, one of my new friends from the hostel was going out for a run and asked a few of us if we wanted to join. I was mildly tempted but declined) When I got back home it took quite a while to get into a rhythm again.

This year, I have been out on Tuesday after every marathon/ultra. It’s been easy pace, sometimes walk/running, but I really think it helps my recovery. If I can run, I will. I won’t smash myself, I won’t try to break any Strava course records, but I will run.

Tuesday’s run was OK – my main issue was a blister on one toe that was padded and strapped to the point where I’m surprised I managed to get my sock and shoe on! But I ran. It wasn’t fast, but I ran.

Thursday was a little faster and I’d taken the taping off my blister. All good. A little hamstring soreness which is probably still a hangover from City-Bay. After what I put my body through on the weekend, I really can’t complain.

After a gentle trail run on Friday morning I got a little bit of speed up at parkrun on Saturday morning, average pace 4:46 mins/km and no niggles. I did not run on Sunday. That felt WEIRD!

Now for the eating side of things. According to Garmin Connect my Heysen run burned 6705 calories. To put that into perspective that’s almost 4 times my recommended calorie intake for a normal day. Now realistically I don’t think it would be possible for me to eat that many calories in a day. Even the constant snacking on top of a decent breakfast is not even going to come close. I think I’m still trying to make up for it now… can’t stop eating!

And yet people still feel the need to tell me I need to eat more! Trying to follow a mostly plant-based diet means I won’t tend to go for the kind of quick and easy food options that are often on offer. Stop it please people – I know what I’m doing!

After doing a mega long run it’s normal to burn more calories than you could possibly eat. After an ultra, I think it is quite normal to finish a few kg lighter (if you’re racing that is, and not enjoying the buffet too much!) I am definitely trying to regain what I lost at Heysen but there’s no need to be silly about it. I’ll eat the same food as normal, just a bit more of it (in the case of this week, a LOT more!). I’m not going to go out and start eating McDonald’s now.

In the sense of wanting to become the best runner I can be, I am a sponge. I am happy to listen to any advice from other runners that might help me improve. I won’t necessarily take it all on board but I WILL listen.

I AM willing to listen to dietary advice from fellow runners. And dietitians. (Unless that advice is to start eating meat or other animal products – in which case I will listen and ignore!) But I won’t take dietary advice from people who are neither of the above.

So it seems that everyone has an opinion of what’s best for me in terms of training and diet. Does anyone else find this?

Oh and don’t get me started on (well-intentioned) people who are trying to find me a man!  Admittedly my recent track record is not good but I think I’ll just concentrate on living my life the way I want to, and let whatever happens, happen! ☺


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