“Slow running” doesn’t mean running slowly, although that often happens! To me it means running with the minimum of kit and gadgets and enjoying – and feeling part of – the environment. It sometimes means incorporating an adventure into running, and most importantly it means running for its own sake.
Alpine running is a name given to moving fast in a mountain environment. It’s a blend of climbing, running and skiing: whichever is applicable to the terrain. It’s normally done “fast and light”, taking minimal equipment, to aid the speediness.
Given that I like climbing, skiing and running but will never be able to invest the time to become a really skilled Alpinist on technical accents, I think I’ve found a niche! I’m going to tell my friends that I’ve become an alpine runner. They will tell me that I’m doing “not-trail, not-running”, and that I’m going “not particularly fast and not particularly light “. I’ll say I’m still learning.
A lot of preparation has gone into getting myself ready for the CCC tomorrow. The CCC is the little sister of the ultra-tour du mont-blanc (UTMB) – a mere 101km and 6100m of climbing. (The 6100 of downhill will be the difficult bit of course.) This is more than enough for me. I feel fit, strong and have no idea how fast I will go. I hope I’ll finish it of course.
They say that success in running ultras can be boiled down to winning the “ultra-eating” competition. One can expect to burn about 700 calories an hour. The body can absorb up to 300 calories an hour if one eats as much carbohydrate as possible. Competitors frequently suffer from nausea or vomiting, and this can lead to exhaustion if they cannot hold food down.
(In the Spring, I was a diabetic tiger. In the Summer I was a diabetic snail – running slow and steady with my house on my back)
With the cliffs above me blocking the way higher, I eyed up the only way onwards: a waist high stream a few metres across. The water was flowing fast before tumbling down a series of waterfalls dropping into the village I’d left half an hour before. Having scrambled up three hundred metres of imposingly steep grass and rocks I could verify that contrary to what my map told me, there was definitely no path and definitely no bridge. There was also no-way I could risk crossing the torrent without the possibility of plunging to a premature death far below. I cursed at yet another misadventure and turned round to retrace my steps. I slipped, and desperately hung on to my walking poles, digging them into the ground with my life flashing before my eyes. I averted my slide and broke one of my poles in the process. Walking up the 1700m to the next col had just got even harder.
I’m training for a 100km ultra marathon around mont blanc. I’m learning a lot about running, training, physiology and diabetes. Today though was all about the joy of running and being in the mountains.
It started with a four mile run in London at 5am. I hadn’t factored in just how heavy my bag was, and I had to really push it to make my train. The doors closed as I arrived on there platform, so I panicked, waving to the driver hoping that I wasn’t going to miss my second plane in a week! Luckily he let me on.
Not all tigers were created equal. Some are diabetic. Some don’t like lazing around and like running long distances instead. So how does this tiger train for the breaking the Guinness World Record for the fastest ever marathon in an animal costume?
I have decided to run the London Marathon (in about a month’s time) dressed in a Tiger costume. It covers my whole body – feet, hands, head and face! It’s going to be hot.
I asked the Guinness Book of Records if there was a Onesie category (I wanted to run as a type-onesie) but there isn’t, so they suggested the animal.
The record is currently held by a cow in 2:51:18. It’s going to be really hard to go faster than this but the London Marathon is all about having fun and pushing personal limits so I’m really excited about trying. When I signed up for the marathon straight after diagnosis, I wasn’t even sure whether I’d be able to do it with diabetes. I’ve come a long way since then, and hopefully wearing a stupid costume will raise awareness that people with type 1 can do everything a “healthy” person can.