Change of Direction

Well it's been a too long since I had anything to say and yet a lot has happened in the past few weeks. There has been a lot of ups and downs since my trip to the Lake District a few short weeks ago and here is a brief update on that.

The trip itself was a fabulous experience that really brought me out of my comfort zone both running / hiking about  the 'biggest hills' in England. The two day trip was to be used as a recce for the Bob Graham Round attempt in June and it didn't disappoint. On day one I only managed to summit 9 out of the 15 mountains we set out to do due to some navigational errors caused mainly by the fact as we had limited visibility for around 4 hours it really brought home how much of a mental, physical and logistical challenge it is in order to attempt this amazing run. I will be putting together a complete report on this shortly.

Although I think I passed the mental and physical challenge on that day I still had a nagging pull in my glute and right calf that had not gone away since just before the Moonlight challenge despite a couple of visits to the Osteopath. It turned out a week or so after getting back from the Lakes that I had piriformis syndrome in my right glute. This meant that effectively I had a overuse injury in a small muscle around the sciatic nerve which in turn puts pressure on this. Then in turn my calf was being put under pressure as my running gait was not my natural style.

So I decided to drop the volume of running and perform specific stretches to relieve this because to be quite frank there was no way I could run / hike the whole way through the Bob Graham Round with this. Just as things were getting back on track some 5 days later I had to run through the financial cost for the remaining recces and June challenge as I had to consider travel, accommodation, food and  running gear due to the fact my shoes were pretty much falling apart. I was then horrified to find out that I had been landed with a a string of bills to pay including my car as it had failed MOT and needed road tax and insurance.

It was laid bare in front of me that there was no way I could justify the financial outlay for Bob Graham Round challenge and pay my car, family holiday etc. After some deep thinking on the subject I called up my friend who is another runner on this challenge and broke the news that I simply could not afford all of the trips up north over the course of the next 10 weeks and that my involvement in the BGR attempt might be limited to at most a support member (although since then it's probably not achievable). Coupled with this was the fact that I had not got consistent volume of running over the past 6 weeks before the trip was a concern on my mind as well.

I am naturally disappointed about this situation as I don't the fact I am having to pull out but in true style I sucked things up and have kept positive about this. So in the last few days I have been busy putting together a new schedule of races / challenges that are within easy reach of home and fit within my running budget.

I hope to update soon on what those races will be and thankfully I have gotten over the piriformis injury. I am approaching  the training with a gradual build up of volume / quality and trying to keep injury free. It's just now a case of getting out there and seeing what is possible. Was it destiny not to attempt the BGR, absolutely not in my opinion. The mountains and challenge will be there in years to come but whoever said that running was a cheap and simple sport is oversimplifying it when it comes to ultras.


  1. Sorry to hear that Richard. As you say the mountains aren't going anywhere so another year or two.... The logistics, cost and time spent getting up to the Lake District is a reason why I haven't even considered the BGR. I simply dint have the time to commit to that sort of challenge which is why I look much closer to home. We have some amazing trails down South too so should make full use of them! I believe you said you were busy on 13th August but if not then check out he North Downs Way 100 by Centurion Running. I've entered and can't wait!

  2. Richard: Very sorry to hear this news. Piriformis takes time to heal, as you know, so stay patient and good things will come your way again!


  3. injuries really suck. Hope you get well soon.


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