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All haste and no speed – how to go from hero to zero in an ultra marathon

Henry David Thoreau said “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”

My new friend Harry and I had been splashing through half frozen puddles on a (suspiciously) small path through a hilltop bog, visualising our glorious podium finish after the 44 mile run through the Brecon Beacons. We were feeling strong and had opened up a big lead on the field with the group behind us out of sight. But as we crested the ridge, I realised that we were WAY off track.

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I did it.

Just finished the ultra.

It was emotional!

I couldn’t believe it when I found myself in third place with ten miles to go.

Over the last six miles, the enormity of what I’ve gone through over the past five months hit me. I’ve been so busy learning how to adapt to type one and learning how to exercise with it that I haven’t really stopped to think.

But here I was doing my first ultra so soon afterwards and I was in contention for a podium finish. I was hit by such an immense feeling of pride at what I’d achieved that I found tears streaming down my face. The tears didn’t stop for miles and all the way I was thinking about all the people who had helped me get here.

So thank you everyone! Life is good.

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Getting my medal. Nice surprise!

Gower Trail Run – surprise podium finish

I started my running training less than eight weeks ago. Less than seven weeks ago, I found myself hobbling down the street near Canary Wharf (still miles from home) and hailing a cab because I could no longer run.

For the first time in my life I have approached running seriously. I’ve seen a physio (Raphael from Pure Sports medicine, who is brilliant) and consequently spent two to three hours a week doing all the stretching and strength training he has prescribed. I’ve also been running like Forest Gump – treading that fine line between training enough to have a chance of finishing the ultra, but not so much as to injure myself. After that first scare with the cab, diligently doing my stretching has left me feeling incredibly strong and resilient when I run.

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