Kirsty Reade

Runner, Publisher, Writer

Category: Uncategorized (page 2 of 2)

Taper Torture

This chair is not my friend

This chair is not my friend

I’m currently in the grip of tapering for the SDW100 on Saturday and, as ever, I’m finding it a painful business for several reasons:

  1. After weeks of doing lots of running it feels like the running/sitting/eating equation is now all wrong.
  2. The older I get the more convinced I am that I seize up if I’m not active (I’m 41, not 80, just to be clear).
  3. Running is often what stops me from thinking/worrying too much so this equation is now all wrong too.
  4. I’ve recently become convinced that my hamstring niggle is caused not by running but by working. All week, when I’m pretty much either sat at a desk or in a car, it becomes more and more tight (but eases off when I run in the evenings). At the weekend, when I’m pretty much running, walking the dog or doing stuff all the time, it magically cures itself. Every Monday it’s fine again; by every Tuesday it’s sore again. Ellie Greenwood wrote about this phenomenon (here). So lots of working and little running this week isn’t great but hopefully a 100 mile run will cure it forever.

So I don’t like tapering but I know it’s what I need to do. My coach, Mimi Anderson, is right about everything else and, as I’ve been sticking to my plan to the letter, it’ll be a textbook taper.

Trail Team 2014

I’m immensely proud and thankful for the opportunity to be on the Trail Team 2014 but a couple of things happened recently that made me even more glad to be part of it.

Firstly I was sat by the pool in La Palma, recovering from running Transvulcania the previous day, when an English woman of a certain age started chatting to me, and I mentioned I was there for the race. She replied ‘oh, your husband ran the race’. Sigh. ‘No, I ran the race.’ Cue much incredulity that a small female person runs long trail races and typical talk of ‘I couldn’t even run to the end of the road’ etc. I have had this conversation hundreds of times. It would be great not to keep having it anymore.

Then a female friend from my running club, an amazing woman who is about to dip her toe into ultras despite only starting running about 18 months ago, said ‘I’ve been looking at some websites for ultras and they’re very, well, male-oriented.’. I’d never really thought about it but I suppose they are. But I know tons of women who run ultras and tough trail races, I met some very inspiring ones at the Trail Team day, and this is a sport where women often finish in the top 10 overall. I’d hate to think that women were put off getting into trail running or ultras by getting the very wrong impression that it’s male-dominated.

The Trail Team is a great opportunity to encourage men and women of all ages and abilities to get into the sport, go further, faster, higher, plan adventures and ruin a lot of socks. I can’t wait.

Rocking three finish lines at Transvulcania

Like all good trips this one had a soundtrack. Unfortunately it was provided by a local band at the expo belting out rock covers to make your ears bleed at 11pm the night before the race. We had to be up at 2am to board a bus to the start at 3am. How I was regretting choosing that oh so convenient race hotel now. So with ‘We Will Rock You’ still reverberating round my head I dragged myself out of bed, tried to force down some toast and climbed on the bus.

La Palma is a spectacular island, formed of volcanic rock, with beaches of black sand, interesting looking flora wherever you look and lots of big hills with enough beautiful trails criss-crossing them to make grown runners weep. It’s just a perfect venue for a race and, like many of the European trail races, it’s a huge deal here. While I wasn’t crazy about the late night live band it was great that the expo was a big party, complete with a choreographed running-related mass dance routine in the afternoon. It was more like ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ than a running trade fair.

Read full article at Run247.

When it’s not your day – there’s help at hand

I’m not sure who said it but I read a good running quote the other day which, for me, sort of sums up ultras: ‘first you feel like dying, then you feel reborn’. As much as you try to stop your brain (or sometimes, maddeningly, fellow runners) doing the maths – ‘only’ 40 miles to go! – there’s always that little voice in your head saying ‘if I’m this tired/if my knee hurts this much/if I’ve got blisters already then how bad will things be in another 20 miles?’.

But then somewhere along the way you reach some sort of tipping point and you find reserves you didn’t know you had, and you know that the elation you’re going to feel when you finish is going to far outweigh the sore feet.

Read full article at Run247.

Run Across Scotland

I fancied a bit of a running holiday and Running the Highlands’ Run Across Scotland caught my eye for several reasons. Firstly, it was a coast to coast run crossing the country from east to west and who doesn’t like the idea of that? Secondly, you finish by running across the bridge onto the Isle of Skye which just sounded amazing. Thirdly, but probably most importantly, you got to stay in nice hotels and you had minibus support at regular intervals. It sounded like a running holiday with the emphasis on the holiday bit.

Read full article at Run247.

Chateaux, woodland trails, the Seine and a finish at the Eiffel Tower

L’Eco-Trail de Paris is billed as a unique cross-country race in urban surroundings. I found it hard to imagine how they could pull this off in such a sprawling metropolis so my expectations were low in terms of the terrain. However, I was blown away by the trails. After starting in the grounds of Chateau Meudon, South-West of Paris, you quickly hit beautiful woodland trail and you stayed on this surface for most of the next 14 miles.

Read full post at Run247

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