I’m presently injured, my knee has not responded well following the Kielder Ultra in early April. I’m running, but in the loosest sense of the word. So my focus has switched to drills, strength and mobility work until I can get to a point where my ITB stops tugging at my kneecap and the soreness subsides. I’m also taking the opportunity of the reduced mileage to try to transition back down to a more minimal platform. The backup from the guys down at the Accelerate Performance Centre over the last couple of weeks has been invaluable, and hopefully I’ll be back on track fairly soon.

Winning the 50k at Kielder a couple of weeks ago was a huge boost and it’s good to know that the training I’ve put in since January has had the desired effect. The key has been to stop grabbing at every scrap thrown my way and instead focus on people and advice that is relevant, continual and unconditional. And then to be fucking relentless. In turn, a stronger sense of self and identity has emerged, a renewed confidence in what I’m doing and ultimately, who I am. That sounds a little more profound than I mean it to be. But dodgy knee aside, things are heading in the right direction and for once I have a very clear idea of how to continue that trend. I’m OK. In fact by winning at Kielder it feels as if the quest to reach former levels of fitness is finally over (whether I’ve actually reached them or not) and now the new plan is to be better than I have ever been. It’s all relative, but for now it feels good to be out of that shadow. The pressure is off. I feel calm.

There are a few changes going on at the moment, represented acutely by another shuffle round with the appearance of this blog. The last one for a good while. But if the appearance of a blog is a reflection of the person sat typing away at it behind a keyboard then the bright colours and straightforward format that now reside at will hopefully give an indication as to where I am. Moreover, I will be blogging a bit more frequently from now on. My blogs will generally be brief. They will be based around photographs and accounts of adventures and human connections made through being outdoors.

If my knee improves there will be racing in May, either at the Bollington Three Peaks fell race or possibly at the Dukeries Ultra. If my knee improves. Either way I will be running for the first time in over a year unassociated with Ashmei. I’ve felt for a while that we were headed in different directions and it was time for me to move on, and so I have respectfully stepped down. I’ve had a good thirteen months with the company and I’m grateful for their support over that period. Beyond that there is a tentative plan to get over to Chamonix in early June, a trail half marathon in July, and then back to Chamonix for the main event at the end of August; the OCC. Man, I cannot wait for the OCC. If my knee improves.

Until then the work will continue and the colours will stay bright.

Kielder Ultra 50k swag. Highly recommend – a really well organised race this & very friendly people.


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