November 2015 I set myself a goal: run at least a mile every day. By 14th November, I developed a bit of a niggle in my left knee. I gave it a rest. A few days late I went for an ill-advised 11 mile run and the niggle turned into a buggered knee and a two-month hiatus from any real running.
Dedham Vale is just to the North of Colchester, right on the border between Essex and Suffolk. It also happens to be an area of outstanding national beauty and as every – when you see that signifier on the map it’s worth a look. Rolling hills, winding lanes barely a car-width wide, farms, fields and streams as far as the eye can see.
My mum passed away just days before my first ultra.
I fought with myself over whether I should still run it. There will be plenty of races in the future. You should be with your dad and brother, helping each other get through this.
But then, I remembered the last time I spoke to mum. I knew I had to go for it.
Today was my last long run ahead of the Chiltern Challenge 50k in two weeks.
The original plan was to follow the North Downs Way from its start in Farnham to Dorking – however the trail isn’t marked as well as I’d anticipated and I lost it somewhere after Newland’s Corner and Dorking.
We kicked off the Bank Holiday Weekend with a long run through The Sands in Surrey, with a stop over at what’s left of Waverley Abbey, the church and monastic buildings of the first Cistercian abbey in England, founded in 1128. 70 monks and 120 lay brothers lived there until the 14th century. You can find out more about Waverley Abbey on the English Heritage website.
Feeling good this morning, so I decided to go for a longer run than planned.
Here’s the run on Strava – it also gave me the chance to play around with the camera remote app on my new Apple Watch.