Monday, 28 February 2011

Day 5 - 28 miles

Llandewi Brefi - I am the only "runner" in the village!
150 miles done.

And I have no idea how I have actually managed to do them.

After the emotional upheaval of yesterday I was feeling rather flat today. Without Wayne I also had to massage myself in the morning. Wayne had showed me how, and I did the best job I could, but I was a lot stiffer to start than I had been. I also now had an issue with my right quad which was very sore on a small point above my knee. Of course I panicked and phoned Wayne. He managed to reassure me there was no damage, just a alot of miles in my legs and pain was to be expected.

The day was slow, but scenic. Some incredible views in the clear bright sunshine, it really felt like spring.

As with every day so far, the last few miles were tough, but I had a brainwave and started phoning everyone I knew to keep me company. An ultra running friend Caz was particularly good, and kept me chatting for a good few of those miles. I must have looked strange though running or should I say plodding down the road chatting and laughing out loud, to noone!

Today I reached 150 miles, just 85 to go, and I really feel like I can make it.

Day 4 - 27 miles

I started the day today just outside Machynlleth. The weather was a little drizzly, but fairly warm. My legs felt fine, but my mind was shot.

Mandy my support crew manager needed to go home 4 days early, which meant I now had huge logistical problems. With only 1 support crew member helping out the following day as Wayne my masseur had to go back to work, I had a car but no driver, and no way of getting the support car home.

On just 3.5 hours sleep sorting out how the next few days were going to work and run 27 miles was just too much to cope with. I didn't want Mandy to go home, but she was, so I needed to just get on and sort it out. The first thing I did was run the first 5 miles alternately sobbing and phoning people. To cut a long story short, I phoned the right people, who rallied round fantastically well, and support car, and support crew were sorted for the remainder of Run Wales. Knowing that, meant I could relax and get on with run again with a focussed mind.

The run went very well, it was hilly, but not ridiculously so, although there was a lot of walking up hills, there was also a lot of running well down them. At one point I managed a 10.45min mile, which was an encouraging surprise.

1001 uses for frozen peas!
The last 5 miles were a real struggle though. Once I had come down of the high of the middle miles when everything was falling together nicely, it was a question of dragging my carcass round. In the last 2 miles I really felt like I was going mad. Hannah my sister in law (now promoted to sister status), was fantastic, she joined in my madness and did the ministry of funny walks to keep me amused. I finished the day as I started in tears, but this time they were tears of relief. I laid myself out bare today on the road, but I survived another one.

The evening's massage was excrutiating, and as I had punctuatued the day with tears, I shed a few on the massage couch too.

Hannah and I waved goodbye to Wayne and Mandy, and then retired to Eifion's fantastic house with accompanying log fires. I had a very relaxing evening, fell asleep early and slept well.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Day 3 - 29 miles

Today didn't start very well. I didn't sleep for long enough and woke early feeling a sick and exhausted, struggled to hold a conversation. I was still feeling sick and very tired when Wayne and Mandy dropped me off at the start point just south of Trawsfynydd. The first 6 miles were slow and achy, and I was worried. I just had to get my head down and get on with it.

I have a large blister on my little toe and every step for those first few miles was painful.

We then went off the main road and down a side road into the forest. I was running with Mandy, beginning to feel a little better, when we reached a cross roads, and came unstuck. We didn't know which road to take, and asking a passer by didn't help, so when Wayne came back in the car we decided to be sensible and go back to the main road, and just stick with the easy route. What looked like one road on the map, had turned into a mass of little roads with few sign posts in the forest, so the best thing to do, was go back to the main road, and take the easier option for navigation.

The views were fantastic!
Things now started to look up. We negotiated Dolgellau successfully, and Wayne managed to get me some coca cola. And boy did that coke taste, I'd been imagining it for miles! Once Mandy dragged me up over the next not inconsiderable hill we were within reach of Cader Idris pass.

Running was going really well. My blister was manageable, the legs were going well, and Mandy's peanut butter sandwiches were hitting the spot, so I cracked on. The pass was breathtaking, the sun had come out and the mountains looked truly beautiful. I had a great time over the pass, and the traffic was very obliging and gave me plenty of room. I think most people were so surprised to see anyone running that road, that they assumed I was a mad woman and gave me a wide berth. (Probably not far off the truth)

Down the other side towards Machynlleth my quads were beginning to complain about all the downhill, and although I was still feeling like I was coping emotionally, my legs were completely shot. As I knew Machynlleth was within reach I was focussed on reaching the town, everything else was irrelevant, it was a battle for survival. By 26.2 miles, a marathon for the day in 5 hrs 11, my legs had quite frankly had it. I was shuffling along and all I could do was make sure I stayed upright. Thankfully the last few miles were on a very wide pavement and I was able to concentrate on getting as many miles done as possible.

The plan was to run to Machynlleth, then see how many more I could do before my legs gave in completely. In the end I managed 29.2, and I was very happy with that. A banana milkshake and a massage and I feel better. Stairs are definitely a problem now, and my blister is still sore, but I'm ok.

I have just had a lovely meal with friends of my parents in Machynlleth, who very kindly helped out with accomodation too.

I am now very tired, and hopefully will sleep a little better tonight.

I hope that tomorrow will be as good a day as today, but all I can do is get up, and just get going. This morning I thought it was impossible, by the end of the day everything was possible again. No doubt tomorrow will be another roller coaster. Knowing I have another 5 days to do, is more than I can cope with thinking about at the moment. So for now it's about getting back up the 3 flights of stairs to my bedroom! 3 days done 5 to go.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Day Two - 33 miles

A very hilly day but a much better one than yesterday.

Stu and I before braving Pen y Pass.
The day started well even though it was raining and very misty. The wind was less strong, another good thing. I started running with Stuart from Rhos on Sea, who was very good company and got me up the Llanberis Pass and down the other side. We then did a lovely road, which was well off the beaten track but quite beautiful. Not having phone coverage all morning was an issue but we coped.

I have a couple of blisters which needed regular attention, but were not too bad once I'd got going. I ate better today, and made sure I ate early. Yesterday I used 4500 on the run, which added to my 2000 for daily living takes me to 6500 required. I did not eat 6500, but I ate alot today and felt better for it.

The last section of the day was alongside Trawsfynydd, and it was tough, even with Helen's excellent company. No matter what I ate, it wasn't giving me any more energy, but I pushed on and finished the day only 0.5 miles short of the target point, which meant I'd made up what I lost yesterday.

Wayne and I at Blaenau Ffestiniog Mountain Railway.
I felt much better today emotionally and physically. I felt in control of the route I was taking, and I knew where I was going. I was slow on the hills, and probably took an hour longer than yesterday, but I did it, and I feel good.

The massage tonight was slightly more painful, but Rhys and Gwyneth have really looked after us well. The food and a hot shower was fantastic!

I will be in the Telegraph Saturday Review next Saturday, a photographer will be meeting me on the run this week to snap a slow motion photo! Watch out for it!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Day One - 33 miles done

The daily routine of taping my feet.
What a day.

We started in Holyhead dashing round trying to find somewhere to have breakfast, which we eventually managed. Then a 30 min car drive to the start point in Amlwch, Bull Bay. The wind on leaving the car was fierce and cold! That was to be a problem all day.

First checkpoint reached with few issues except a huge hill and strong headwind. It was then 6 miles to the next one, which went quickly. And thank god Wayne my sports masseur saw me in time as I headed off in the wrong direction.

Checkpoint 3-4 was a really tough section as I came down into Llanfair I added an extra 2 miles at this point. But ho hum, nothing that could be done. I met Helen, Richard and their kids at this point. Mandy was in and out with me all day, and that really helped.

After the Menai Bridge the roads were big and confusing and our navigation went from bad to worse. I was getting very hungry but also feeling a bit sick. There were no sign posts anywhere and it was a case of the support crew car driving to the next junction and just waiting for me.

The last few miles were a blur of rubbish navigation on my part, driving head wind, sore feet and nausea, but I managed, I finished. My Garmin gave up but I think I managed about 32.5 miles.

A lovely cold shower (!) later, and a really good massage, and I'm eating lasagne and chips with Wayne and Mandy in Pete's Eats. All done, and I'm still walking fine.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

And I'm off! With a little help from Asda.

A small selection of what I am taking with me. The food and drinks alone will take up most of the boot of the support car. The drinks have all been kindly donated by Asda, Gorseinon. More than enough to keep me going.

I am feeling quite calm. Whilst out with my walking group last night, taking it easy at the back, I was walking at a 16 minute mile. If I walked the whole of the Wales run at that speed I will still only be on the move for 8 or so hours a day. That thought was very reassuring.

I don't intend on walking it all. I want to run as much as I can, but knowing what my worst case scenario is, makes the whole thing seem so much more manageable.

Forward motion by any means possible that's the key!

Now I need to go and finish packing, I leave in less than 4 hours, and I still have wet clothes to wash, iron and pack!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

2 days to go.

By this time tomorrow I will be on my way to North Wales. A scary thought.

I am busy packing the gargantuan amount of stuff I need for the trip, and trying desperately to answer all my work emails before the off. Not an easy task when it's punctuated with requests from my son to bake and ice cakes!

In comparison running an entire country might feel like a break!

Monday, 21 February 2011

3 days to go - Follow me!

You can now follow my epic and some would say mad run across Wales in 3 different ways! click the link and "like"!/Platform51
Or by watching this page.
I'm not getting a huge amount of sleep at the moment, I am too excited and nervous. It may also be due to the fact that I haven't run this little since the week after the London marathon, so my legs feel a bit odd, rested! I still have a lot to do though, so the nervous energy is quite handy! I have been receiving daily emails and texts from people wanting to join me on the run, so hopefully they will all make it, and be happy to plod along with me for a bit.
The charity totals have also topped £2000, which is fantastic. I only need to raise another £400+ for each charity to reach the total of £3000 for the both. So, if you'd like to donate, please follow the links on this page and make a difference to the women and children of Wales. For some women your donation could make the difference of whether they feed their children that night or not, so please give generously to these very deserving causes.
Every so often I will be engrossed in doing something and then I remember again, "I'm running a whole country", and my heart leaps into my mouth in panic. So I keep stuffing my heart back into the right place, but frankly it's leaping all over the place at the moment. I'm ready to go!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Knowing what you want

"Know what you want, why you want it, and how much you want it." Charlie Spedding.

I want to succeed at this, because I want to prove to myself that I am a runner, and it's hard to quantify how much I want it, but I am prepared to put up with a lot of pain and discomfort to get it done.

I know it seems odd to say after 13 marathons that I need to prove I am a runner, but I'm sure a lot of other runners out there will know what I mean when I say, fast is good, but it's never quite fast enough. Going a long way is good, but again it's never quite long enough. That is what I love about running, there is always another goal. I think so many of us are comparing ourselves with runners who are just that little bit faster, or that little bit stronger. It took me 5 years of running not to feel like a beginner.

In the past I have been in situations where my running has been compared not very favourably with those around me, and it is that sense of inadequacy that drives me on. Rationally I realise that I am a good runner, and I realise that I have already completed races other runners can only aspire too, but deep down it's just not enough.

I don't like to admit it, but I think a large part of why I am running across Wales is to show other people that I am just as good as them. Of course rationally that makes no sense because comparing yourself with others is utterly pointless. But I've always felt not quite good enough. I've always felt that I need to do better to really be good enough.

This feeling of not being good enough sounds as if I am ridden with neuroses. I'm not. I'm bloody lucky!

I am so lucky that I want to do this mad thing. I am so lucky that I get to experience this mad run. I am so lucky that I am driven to push myself to extremes. I get to have an experience so few people have, and I know why I'm doing it, and I accept it about myself.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Come and say "Hi!" in Swansea

On Tuesday 1st March at approximately 3pm I will be running down Swansea High Street and stopping at the 'Up & Running' specialist running shop for a cuppa. This will be Day 6 of my run across the length of Wales.

If anyone would like to join me for a couple of miles afterwards to finish on Fabian Way that would be fantastic!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Will I make it? The route.

I have spent the morning with Mandy my "Support Crew Manager" (posh title), in order to transfer all the routes onto the map.

Mandy had already done quite a lot, but we managed to pretty much finish, bar a day and a half. Actually looking at the route on paper, and thinking about where I would meet the support crew and how hilly each day was, really made it very real for me. A little too real to be honest. I am fearful that I may not make it. I know it will be painful, that's for sure.

I have, I think sensibly, altered the route to avoid some very very big hills (mountains), as well. One of the days is now not quite 30, and another a little over, so I think my starting and finishing points each day will vary from what I have actually planned. I can't believe how much I still have to do. I know I've said this before, but each time I sit down to do something for the week away, I remember 5 other things I also need to do. And unfortunately this Sunday I am working all day in Cardiff. Not only that, I am being assessed as a UK Athletics Coach Education Tutor, so I can't wing it. Still at least it will give me something else to think about.

I have started dreaming about Run Wales, although in my dreams I don't ever seem to be actually running!

I am also going to be in The Telegraph, not sure exactly when, but definitely in the Saturday Review. An old school friend is a freelance journalist who writes for some of the national newspapers, so she pitched the idea of an article about "normal" women doing ultras, and the Telegraph went for it. Not sure I really count as "normal" anymore! It's a great opportunity to get some publicity for the run, for the WRN and for the charities though - so I'm very excited about that. Plus it will be lovely to have a catch up with my friend, we've only exchanged Christmas cards for the last few years.

8 days to go and counting.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

I'm now counting the days, and panicking!

Just 10 days until I leave for North Wales, and I had a major panic last night about my support crew situation. Yes I know I should have sorted all that out weeks ago, but I was busy running!

I now have a sports masseur available every day of the run except the last day. As I won't be needing to run again after Thurs 3rd of March, I thought I would leave having a massage that day, as my guess is it would be agony, and I reckon I will have had enough agony for one week.

I have also managed to rope in another friend Helen, to be an extra support crew member for the Tuesday and Wednesday. She is very encouraging, and very chatty, so I was so glad when she said she'd be able to do it, as she will be brilliant at it!

I have been having some real moments of panic this week. Every so often I will just think of what I am about to do (run across an entire country - arghhh), and my heart leaps into my mouth, and I wonder what on earth possessed me to sign up for this. Then I remember how well my training has gone, and I shove the panic away again for a bit until it surfaces the next time. I know this panicky feeling is perfectly normal, and that it's also normal to feel quite exhausted and like a dreadful runner as your event approaches. I remember my first half marathon. I went out for a run with a friend a couple of days before the race for an easy but hilly 3 miles, and was sent off into a massive panicky spin because I was breathless on the hills, and my legs felt like lead, and I had no idea how I was going to finish the last mile, let alone 13 of them! Now I have done a few races, I know it happens every time. So I will trust my body, and just do what needs doing until Feb 24th arrives.

I am meeting up with Mandy, my support crew who will be with me for the whole week, on Tuesday, in order to finalise the route. It'll be a case of spreading out the maps on the floor and pencilling in where I am going, should be fun! I also need to start writing some lists - I am a prodigious list writer and don't feel ready until I have several lists under my belt. I am convinced it is my list writing mentality that makes me a better ultra runner. I'm not a natural risk taker, and like to know exactly what I am in for, before I do something. Writing lists, and feeling prepared gives me the confidence to attempt things that might seem unachievable. I am a Theorist learner. That means I sit back, listen to everyone else's ideas first, do all possible research, then when I have formulated a plan, carry it out precisely. I have a friend who is an Activist, jumps straight in with both feet, up for anything, incredibly outgoing and friendly, but not a distance runner - good job really!

So, next week just 4 days running, and only 30 miles to do - and probably some more panicking to organise!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

2 weeks to go - dealing with fear.

This week so far I have run a grand total of 19 miles. Today I am not running at all, which feels most strange. However my body really needed the rest. My legs are beginning to feel a lot better, all the niggles and sore bits are slowly disappearing, although I still have no speed.

It is 2 weeks today until I start my 225 mile run across Wales. I suspect it will be a little more than 225 miles as I planned the route online, and cut a few corners whilst plotting it. I have spent the extra time I have had this week getting as much sorted for the week away as I can. I have been in contact with all my overnight stops and checked that they are all ok. A good job I did too as the hotel in Llandeilo was booked for the wrong night! I have also ordered some hoodies for the support crew and myself which Manhattan Marketing, Llanelli very kindly gave me at cost price.

I don't feel too nervous yet. I tend not to feel nervous about big events until very close to the day. I am pretty good at filing away difficult thoughts until I need them. Possibly not a very healthy way of dealing with fear but it works for me. I'll need the terror and the adrenaline during the week, I don't need it now, so I'm tucking it away in a dark corner to bring out later. I think the quote below says it all:

"Bravery is not the absence of fear, it's the ability to operate in spite of it."

I don't know who said it, but feeling the fear and doing it anyway is the way to go. The emotional highs and lows of ultra events are utterly addictive. You have to find reserves that you never knew you had. Facing the unknown and coming through triumphant - what a kick!

There is still so much to do. I need to make sure my support crew have the same route as me, and that we all have hard copies we can carry with us - no good having the route online! I have also yet to finalise a sports masseur for the last 4 days as Wayne will need to go back to work on the Monday. I have someone in mind, but need to sort out the final arrangements - the thought of being without a massage is a bit scary!

Last week everyone I met suggested I was mad ...... I don't feel mad! Running a country just seemed the logical next step after 3 marathons in 3 days. As crazy as that sounds, when you know you can run 80 miles in 3 days and survive, you want to know if you can run 225 in 7 and live to tell the tale. Only a few more days and I get to find out!

I will be blogging throughout my journey across Wales, so keep on reading, and enjoy the emotional rollercoaster with me!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Calling all runners!

I need your company!

I have now finalised the route (or as final as it's going to get), and I need as many people as possible to come out and run with me.

If you feel that you would be able to join me running or cycling for a few miles then email me and I will send you the details of where I will be and when.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Curry Evening at the Mumbai

Helen and Hannah from Platform 51, Lowri Morgan, the bear, myself and Helen from SWA.
The curry evening was a great success. With everyone's help we raised £706 for Platform 51 and Swansea Women's Aid, which is phenomenal!

Over 60 people attended, and everyone was incredibly generous. We had 20 raffle prizes donated which meant that we sold over 350 raffle tickets, which in itself raised a huge sum. Thankyou to all those people who donated raffle prizes, especially Elaine who made some gorgeous beaded necklaces and who I forgot to thank on the night. Even the waiters bought raffle tickets..... and one was lucky enough to win himself a lovely silvery necklace!

Lowri Morgan very kindly popped in for a few minutes on her way to Cardiff, and had a photo taken with the charity representatives. Lowri will be running for 12 hours, resting for 4 hours and repeating 3 times over the next week, as training for her Yukon 350 mile ultra, so for her to spare us a few minutes in her arduous schedule, really was something!

I was very touched by the reaction of the charity representatives, Helen from Swansea Women's Aid, and Helen and Hannah from Platform 51. It wasn't until I actually met them that I realised this money will make a difference to people's lives. Until now it had just been another number to target. Platform 51 have in fact decided to make the money that is raised into an emergency fund for their users, which they have called Finola's Fund!

I was so pleased that everyone had a good time last night, but was quite exhausted by the end of it. This morning I still felt shattered and didn't feel at all like running. I decided to keep it short and do just 4 miles. It's been a long time since I ran anything that short. It went very quickly, and I managed to run a fast last mile (9.25mm - fast for me), chasing 2 other runners on the cycle track.

I am now looking forward to catching up with myself after the last few months of putting things off in order to run. The meal last night really lifted my spirits after a difficult week running last week, even if I didn't actually get to eat that much. I hope that as the days go on, my legs will become less stiff and my body will recover ready to run the country.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Contract Services (SWales) Ltd

Run Wales has received an incredibly generous donation of £100 from Contract Services Ltd to help with support crew costs.

Donations to both charities are steadily coming in, and the charity evening this evening looks like it will raise quite a bit, with nearly 60 people attending.

Please consider making a donation using either of the links of the left hand side of this page, and make a difference to the lives of the most vulnerable women and children in Wales.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Swansea Building Society

Today I received a cheque for £250 from the Swansea Building Society. This is fantastic news, and helps bring the total raised so far to £891 for the 2 charities.

On Monday at the curry evening at the Mumbai Indian restaurant, I hope we can raise some more much needed funds for 2 very deserving charities.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Reaching the limit

Today's run was supposed to be 25 miles, but I decided pretty early on to cut it down to 20. Over the last week my legs have been getting tighter and tighter, and niggles have just not been going away. So first thing I arranged a massage with Wayne for the afternoon, and decided I'd try to just get 20 done and see how the legs were.

At about 17 miles my left calf tightened up, and didn't go away. I managed to finish the 20 miles, but I was worried I'd done some real damage.

The massage with Wayne was probably the quietest massage I've ever had! It was so painful, I couldn't talk at all. There was quite a lot of swearing going on in my head though! Usually I might have 2-3 niggly points that need a bit of work, today it was everything. It was hard to find a muscle that wasn't sore. Wayne had to work very hard. There is no lasting damage, it is just clear that after months of hard running my body has reached it's training limit.

Wayne advised me to drop tomorrow's 30 miles. I will run 10 very easy miles with the club, with the proviso that if my body isn't working I will stop.

Pretty amazing though that with just 1 run to go I have reached my limit. The schedule that I wrote myself has obviously hit exactly the right level.

The plan from now until the 24th Feb is to maintain the fitness I've gained by active recovery, the right amount of running, and tapering well. I've got to stay injury free!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

The closer it gets - the harder it is.

I only have 2 more hard training days left, and yet again I don't know how I will run them.

All week I have been feeling tired and not myself. The strain is beginning to show. Everyone has been very supportive, and there's nothing major wrong, I'm just having a whinge.

So whilst I'm whinging........... my legs are stiff and sore and tired. My left knee is stiff and bothersome, my right ankle throbs and energy levels are at an all time low. Wayne had a good look at both knee and ankle. He never makes any comment unless the limb is actually falling off, and he didn't say anything, so I'm good to run.

Thankfully, my feet are much better. Today they were extremely well behaved only murmuring at me a couple of times during the 10 miler, rather than screaming as they have been doing since last week. I think I have finally worn in the shoes I will wear for Run Wales. I shall wear them for my 25 miler tomorrow, then put them away until Anglesey to make sure they last the challenge. Imagine buying a pair of running shoes then having to throw them out after just 3 weeks wear!

I have decided the only way to cope with running 55 miles in the next 2 days after months of hard training is to revel in the experience. It might seem perverse, but when it's really a struggle, telling myself this is a unique experience, one that 99% of the population never have, helps. It's almost like an out of body feeling. As if you are floating inside your own body somewhere like a little mini scientist, noting down the discomfort and difficulties faced by various parts of the body, and nodding wisely at how well everything is functioning. Of course now I really do sound mad!!

To give you a flavour of my emotional wellbeing at the moment. I turned up to a running club session this morning, barely able to talk I was so tired. After 3 miles, with good company I sounded half way normal. Whilst driving home after my run, a car pulled out in front of me, and I let out a torrent of expletives - gave myself a bit of a giggle though, it was like a verbal sneeze, a bit explosive and highly unladylike.

Just 2 more days - then I can regroup for the final assault.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Training your brain to run long.

Today's run was 15 miles. The plan today, was to "feel the fear, and do it anyway". In practice this meant, making the 15 miles mentally tough, and doing it anyway. Last week Lowri and I discussed advice she had been given by a sports psychologist to make her training mentally very demanding, to prepare her for the difficulties she will face completing her arctic ultra marathon. For example, running a hilly long run, then returning home and sitting down for 30 minutes inside, then heading out to do the whole thing again. To be able to do that, you've got to be really hard mentally and emotionally.

My run today consisted of 3 x 5 mile laps, including several steep hills. I started from the house, and actually went inside after the first lap for a couple of minutes. On the second lap I just passed the front door, but didn't go inside. It was easier than I expected, but still a challenge mentally. I couldn't quite bring myself to go in and sit down for half an hour in between laps, but knowing I could stop at 5 and 10 miles, was still difficult.

My legs had nothing in them today, and felt like jelly on each uphill. I kept telling myself that they would recover on every downhill, so to keep going and wait for the recovery. I did stop a couple of times, but got going again.

These last few days of hard training are dragging by. If I can only make sure I stay injury free, then I'll be winning that battle at least. Another 65 miles to go this week, 10 of them tomorrow.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


I am really struggling today.

I feel really down.

Standing in the bank starving hungry - and I mean so hungry it hurts - a man behind me told me I'd pushed in, and he was there first. I was ready for a fight. Running along the cycle track this morning, 2 dogs were playing and chasing each other. One ran into my feet and very nearly tripped me up, and I cried. I actually cried - I am losing it!

It's not the physical aches and pains (although they are a struggle too). It's the ability to hold a pleasant conversation with people you don't know that well. It's trying to get everything done, whether you're hungry, tired or both. It's pretending you're cheerful and sociable, when you feel irritable and grumpy and you'd be quite happy to just lie down and sleep.

I've just had an Innocent veg pot, 2 rolls with butter, a packet of baked crisps and a bowl of fruit....... and I'm still hungry.

Ultra running isn't easy. I want to do this, I want to run across Wales, I want to know what it's like to push yourself to your limit, and beyond. But it isn't easy.

My body is still working ok, it's sore and stiff, but still working. My brain is struggling.

This is what it is like to run 100+ miles a week .......... hard.