Montane Spine Challenger Race

VICKY’S ULTRARUNNING ADVENTURES: Let’s make a start – Running Fitness Article

VICKY’S ULTRARUNNING ADVENTURES: Let’s make a start It’s been a while since I blogged. That’s pretty much because I have gone from one injury to another, and barely able to run. And let’s face it, nobody wants to read about somebody whining about their injuries all the time – because I am a pretty whiny injured person – I’m not really a ‘look on the bright side’ practical problem-solving injured runner when it’s been month after month.  So no moaning…

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Planting the seed – Spine Challanger (2) – Running Fitness Article

Planting the seed – Spine Challanger (2) So how did this crazy journey begin? Like pretty much every ultra-running fan in the UK I have been glued to a computer/ipad/phone screen dot-watching the Spine and Spine Challenger competitors every January.  Who were these seriously hard-core athletes that battled the grimmest of British winter weather for hundreds of miles? Each year, I was blown away by the super human efforts.  Not once did I ever think “Hmm, that looks like a good…

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VICKY’S ULTRARUNNING ADVENTURES: A year to get ready… – Running Fitness Article

VICKY’S ULTRARUNNING ADVENTURES: A year to get ready… So the entry was sent. Then entry was accepted.PANIC!!!Not long after I sent my entry I had an inexplicable coccyx injury. Not only could I not run, I couldn’t even sit down! Blood tests showed issues with possible unusual muscular breakdown and it looked like my training was going to be delayed further than expected.  I was already suffering from a foot injury sustained 6 months earlier at the Lakeland 100.  It…

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Another spanner in the works – Montane Spine Challenger (4) – Running Fitness Article

Another spanner in the works – Montane Spine Challenger (4) Early in October I was carrying out some parenting duties, being the delightfully helpful school mum that I am (insert cheesy grin), when I felt a pain in my hip. After my duties were finished and as the day went on the more the pain grew. By the following day I could barely walk around without pain. Within a week I knew it wasn’t something I could fix with rest so…

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VICKY’S ULTRARUNNING ADVENTURES: Race day – Montane Spine Challenger – Running Fitness Article

VICKY’S ULTRARUNNING ADVENTURES: Race day – Montane Spine Challenger It’s been a very long time since I last felt properly sick with nerves before a race. I could barely eat (there’s a shocker!!).  I managed a banana, half a lukewarm cup of tea and half a piece of flapjack. I briefly chatted to Lizzie, and was filmed again by Summit Fever Media. They had interviewed me on Friday afternoon for their race coverage. But that was as sociable as I…

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VICKY’S ULTRARUNNING ADVENTURES: Montane Spine Challenger – Running Fitness Article

VICKY’S ULTRARUNNING ADVENTURES: Montane Spine Challenger Content warning – there’s a lot of swearing!For those not accustomed to racing through the night, being alone in the darkness brings with it a whole new set of challenges.  I’ve only raced a handful through the night before (except for track 24 hour races which are completely different).  Once was the West Highland Way Race where you set off at 1am and have maybe 3-4 hours of darkness to run in, but you are surrounded…

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VICKY’S ULTRARUNNING ADVENTURES: Montane Spine Challenger – Running Fitness Article

VICKY’S ULTRARUNNING ADVENTURES: Montane Spine Challenger It was still dark as I rejoined the Pennine Way.  I headed up the hill, met the gate where the path headed onto Heptonstall Moor.  I tried to go through the gate. It wasn’t for moving. The sign to pull the leaver up.  I did.  I pulled that bloody leaver in every direction but the ruddy thing would not open. Stupid bloody useless excuse for a gate.  There was nothing else for it.  No amount…

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Montane Spine Challenger – Start with the step you don’t want to take (9) – Running Fitness Article

Montane Spine Challenger – Start with the step you don’t want to take (9) “Start with the step you don’t want to take, he said. Move with a purpose that you won’t forget. Meet yourself, when you leave those other dreams behind.” As I left Gargrave I was feeling better than I did when I arrived.  I was confident that my feet would hold out for some time with all that Sudocrem on.  It wasn’t ideal but we’d made the…

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VICKY’S ULTRARUNNING ADVENTURES: Montane Spine Challenger – Running Fitness Article

VICKY’S ULTRARUNNING ADVENTURES: Montane Spine Challenger The rain was lashing down, but along the sheltered road I at least had a break from the wind. My feet, in my final dry pair of socks, remained dry along the road but the moment I was back on the trail a few minutes later they were soaked again. The grassy track along the bottom of the valley was waterlogged.  I knew the navigation was fairly straight forward along here but I decided to keep…

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VICKY’S ULTRARUNNING ADVENTURES: Montane Spine Challenger – Running Fitness Article

VICKY’S ULTRARUNNING ADVENTURES: Montane Spine Challenger I arrived down at the road after a longer than anticipated diversion down (although definitely shorted that the normal route).  I thought Horton would be just around the corner, it is on the map, but like everything else during my race, it was taking a long time. Arriving at the Pen y Ghent Café I was feeling exhausted and pretty much in pieces.  I knew the medics were waiting to assess me as all…

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Every setback leaves behind a path to make your comeback – Running Fitness Article

Every setback leaves behind a path to make your comeback So I mentioned in my blog post Another Spanner in the Works that I injured my hip in a non-running incident. Because of the injury I found running for any length of time (above 20 minutes or so) painful and would have to take a walk break. During the final 3 months before the race much of my training was done by walking in the local hills or run/walking in the…

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VICKY’S ULTRARUNNING ADVENTURES: The price of ultrarunning/ the price of safety – Spine Challenger – Running Fitness Article

In the lead-up to the Spine Challenger race, well pretty much for the whole year really, there was a lot of discussion on the race forum and other online groups about gear for the race.  Like in other group discussions, if you ask a question the responses will be split between those who are genuinely being helpful, those who are simply taking the mick and those who just have nothing positive or helpful to say to anyone about anything.  I…

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