Updated: Nov 8, 2020
Pretty bloody tired. That's how I'm feeling. I've had a tough few weeks for one reason or another. I'll detail what transpired below but before I do, I'll recap some of what has happened this year so far. This poem seems like a good way to start - Jill Pollock, an old friend, posted it on her social media and I love it.
I work as a veterinary anaesthetist. I am a European Specialist in Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia which means that after my veterinary degree at Cambridge I went back to a university (Edinburgh) in 2012 to do further training in anaesthesia before sitting my specialist exams in 2016. I now work in a private referral hospital and do various bit of related work on committees, post-graduate courses and occasionally give lectures in my spare (!) time. I moved jobs in June, leaving a practice I absolutely loved for a new challenge in a growing veterinary hospital. I'd forgotten just how exhausting it is changing jobs. Most days from July onwards I've been getting home barely able to remember my name and address. In this climate I feel lucky to have a job even if it often is all-consuming.
Winchester looking gorgeous, as usual.
From a running point-of-view in February I competed at Seville Marathon (3.01) off a shortish build up with perhaps one 20+ mile run. The plan was to run Manchester marathon hard in April and then use London Marathon as a training run before racing my A race, the Anglo Celtic Plate 100km for Northern Ireland (my first NI vest). Then Covid hit - Manchester, London and the ACP 100km were all postponed to September/October. Due to the date rearrangement Manchester and London were no longer options so the ACP 100km looked like my only race. Six weeks before the ACP race (September 26th) it was cancelled. After a chat with Tom Craggs, my coach, we re-grouped and decided to use the training to have a crack at a marathon. Wrexham seemed like a great choice (see my previous training post). We started doing some more marathon specific training and I was feeling good. Wrexham then got postponed to October 18th so we decided Goodwood might be a good alternative (similar date). I'll explain what happened next below but needless to say I didn't race. I hoped I could still make Wrexham on the new date. Then Wrexham was cancelled.
Goose was 9 this week!
On Monday, Tom Craggs and I made the not-so-difficult to decision to stop, rest for a week, and then think about a new season and some new goals.
Let's start where I left off....I'd just finished a weekend on call and was 2 weeks away from Goodwood marathon on September 26th.
Monday 14th September - Off work. I normally work 4 long days Monday to Thursday (8am - 6.30pm) with one weeknight on call (available from 6.30pm to 8am the next morning) and one weekend in four (Friday 6pm to Monday 8am). This week I had Monday off due to some rota jiggling. I had a lie in til 8ish, walked my dog, Goose, and then went for a 50 minute run. In the afternoon I ran to PT with Tom Smith and then ran home again. In the evening I did my first circuit session with Winchester and District AC, run by Andy Parkinson. Quite a big day of training overall so it was lovely to finish the day on the sofa and watch the le Tour highlights in the evening.
Tuesday 15th - My husband, Tom, had a bit of a stomach bug on Sunday. In the early hours I woke up feeling nauseous and before long I had acute vomiting and diarrhoea. By 6am I had blacked out, lost my vision for 5 minutes and my hearing was muffled. Tom carried me back to bed (quite difficult as I was covered in cold sweat, making me slippery) and rang 111. They sent paramedics out to check me out. After some basic tests they asked me to stand and I promptly blacked out again. At that point I got taken to hospital in an ambulance without Tom (thanks Covid). Some IV fluids and anti-sickness injections later I was able to start to keep some fluids down and I had started to produce urine too. Discharged in the early evening. Spent the rest of the day sipping flat coke while my abdomen got more distended and I felt more nauseous. Cystitis from an empty bladder all day that is now starting to fill. Set an alarm during the night to get up and take anti-nausea medications.
Wednesday 16th - Still nauseous but slightly better. Poor husband has been on clean-up duty. Our bedding is off to be professionally cleaned. I feel like I've lost the small amount of dignity I once had. Concentrating on drinking flat coke, orange juice and black tea. Tea fixes almost everything. Managed to walk 400m with my dog in the evening. Totally exhausted after. Sent a text to my coach, Tom Craggs, to tell him I think Goodwood is off. I feel so bad I haven't thought about running at all.
Thursday 17th - Starting to eat toast and some stewed apple. Informed by husband that I need to eat the BRAT diet (banana, rice, stewed apple and toast). Can't face a banana. Even the sounds of the fridge door makes me feel sick. Feel well enough to walk my dog though which is definite progress.
Friday 18th - Feeling much better. Managed two dog walks although my lovely dog seems frustrated I'm walking so slowly! Am up to three bland meals now. Slow progress but progress nonetheless.
Saturday 19th - Almost back to normal - feeling brighter and hungry today. Am driving my husband crazy. Now that I'm feeling better I want to do jobs in the house. I think he liked me better when I was sick. Run for 30 minutes very slowly. A bit dizzy at the start but definitely more normal by the end.
Sunday 20th - Meet Minna my friend for a bimble-y run on the Ridgeway. Feels so nice to be outside. And to speak to someone else except Tom or the dog or my mum and dad. Decide with Tom Craggs that perhaps the postponed Wrexham is a good Plan D as I'm unlikely to be ok for Goodwood next weekend. Change my Goodwood entry to a Half with the plan to do it as a training run before Wrexham on October 18th.
Monday 21st - Luckily I have a week of working from home as I have lots of lectures to prepare for the coming months.
45 mins easy in the evening with some strides - ran with Dani, a colleague from my previous job. Had to ask him to slow down. Feeling not so speedy or fresh.
Did a zoom circuits session with Winchester AC afterwards.
Tuesday 22nd - Struggling to sleep well. Lots of mental energy but still feeling sluggish. And still nauseous. Ran for 70 minutes with Minna at Dorney Lake. After a warm up we did 20 minutes at marathon pace (felt harder than it should) and then 20 minutes with the first 10 at marathon pace and the second 10 at threshold. Legs felt a bit hollow but definitely on the road to recovery.
Wednesday 23rd - Easy double with 40 minutes morning and evening.
Thursday 24th - Went to the Team Vosser session at Winchester AC. So good to see everyone. The session was 15 x 80 seconds on grass. Normally I progress throughout a session - I warm up, move easier and the pace gets faster. Today I felt flat and struggled to hold on in the last reps.
Love sunrises, hate the dying light in autumn.
Friday 25th - Hello DOMS! Have a look at my diary and realise that bad DOMS coincides with the days prior to my period every month. Bingo! Make a mental note to mention it to Tom Craggs and Tom Smith - running coach and PT respectively. Easy double run today, super slow. My recovery runs today are the slowest they've ever been. Tom Smith is on holiday so no PT today. Wrexham marathon now cancelled. Plan E (seriously?!) could be Dorney Lake next weekend for a marathon.
Saturday 26th - Mile reps at 10 mile pace with Minna in Didcot, round the Parkrun course. Anyone else seriously pining for Parkrun!?! Grind out some decent reps, albeit all slower than my half marathon pace 3 weeks ago. Still have DOMS and still approx 1kg lighter than I normally am. Have long chat to long-suffering husband about how I'm feeling. Tomorrow I have a place for Goodwood and the plan was to run at marathon pace but I'm really stiff, sore and tired. Tell Tom Craggs I'm considering Dorney next weekend as a last ditch attempt to race and that I'll do 70 minutes steady pace instead.
Minna moves to Shropshire next week. I'm excited for her but also really gutted. She's pretty fantastic, an excellent running companion and friend and I love hanging out with her and her husband, Mason and their dog Nairo.
The wonderful Minna and Nairo
Sunday 27th - Go to Goodwood to support Claire McErlean and Sarah Gurney (check out their interviews on the blog) and to run 70 minutes steady on my way to my in-laws in Kent. Sarah smashed her PB to run an incredible 2.53 for the marathon in horrendous conditions. Tamsin Anderson also ran 78 minutes for a half marathon. Mind-blowing and so inspiring. Claire had a really tough day but still ran a 20 mile PB. She deserves all the gin in the world. I really wanted to hug her today. But BLOODY COVID!!!!
Monday 28th - Back at work. How did I manage to do this job and run all my mileage only 2 weeks ago? Shattered by lunchtime! Chat to Tom Craggs and we both agree that what I really need is a break - mentally and physically. Dorney is off and I am relieved. Home by 7pm but have some online teaching to do at 8pm for an hour. Really glad I'm having a rest week as I don't even know where I would have fitted in a run today. Before bed find out that our family holiday in Cornwall is cancelled due to Covid. Have a bit of a cry. I've seen my family once since Christmas.
Tuesday 29th - A bit better today but not able to run round the hospital at my normal pace. It's my wedding anniversary. Dinner is a bit of a disaster - we have no rice for the curry and one potato - so I resort to half a frozen pizza and some cake. Mental note that I can't recover if I keep eating crap, should have had the curry instead. The cake is amazing though - Katie Wolfhagen made it. Check her out on Instagram.
Wednesday 30th - An emergency after work today means an 11pm finish and then I'm called multiple times overnight for further advice. Not much sleep. Every time I answer the phone my confused husband thinks I'm talking to him. Thankful again for a week off running. Husband rescues the day with bangers and mash with leeks, peas, onions and gravy when I get home.
Thursday 1st October - Make it through today in a bit of a daze. Home for some sofa time in front of Mrs America on BBC iPlayer- it's absolutely incredible. No desire at all to run. Just want to sleep!
Friday 2nd - Off work today. A long dog walk this morning followed by a night away tonight in a hotel for our anniversary. Can't wait!