I’ve been slowly putting myself together again after the toll taken by the Lakeland 100. Almost five weeks after the event I’m still struggling to feel comfortable in my running again at any distance. My regular Serpentine RC 5k race last Friday was my slowest for a year at 23.05 – and almost two minutes slower than the one I did the week before the Lakeland. The BBC 10k race a day previously took me 49.42, about five minutes slower than I’d have expected. And the marathon distance in yesterday’s Enigma ultra on a flat course round the lake at Milton Keynes took me about four and a half hours – more than 45 minutes slower than my time on the hilly marathon around Lake Windermere in May.
The good news, though, is that my left foot seems to be okay(ish) and my neck, for which I have my first physio appointment next week, is only tolerably painful. I’ve clocked up a further 65 miles in the above-mentioned events and the Sandwell Six Towns Marathon (in which I navigated the 1.75 miles of the Netherton canal tunnel without a torch), so I’m now up to 1,145 for the year. I’ve got 336 miles lined up in the 15 days from 8-23 September, including the 156-mile Trans-Britain stage race and the four marathons in four days Great Barrow Challenge. If I complete that little lot without mishap, the 2,012-mile target might just start to look achievable for the first time since I took it on. But that’s a very big ‘if’ . . .