June running update

June can only be described as a month of two halves. Had I known what was to happen in June I think I would have done things very differently, but that is the beauty of hind sight for you. 

June started off well, a sport of tourism parkrun for my daughter and I. Even though she claims it was hilly. It was run on a racecourse in one of the flattest parts of the country so no hills. In fact it is flatter than a track run according to my strava.

Training started to increase now as Loch Ness marathon starts to get closer. It does mean fitting training in when I can and so that can often be late at night or early mornings. 

Beat the street started in our local town for 6 weeks and this actually made long runs really interesting. It really broke them up as we would run from post to post to tap our beat cards and collect points for our school.

It also made the kids want to get out more and so they would ride their bikes as I would run alongside them. In some ways it made training easier as they kids wanted to be outside and in others it made it harder because pace is very much dictated by them. It was lovely though to spend time together outside, regardless. 

Once again there was more volunteering and helping at parkrun and races, but I wouldn't want it any other way. Even Little Man has started getting involved.

Beat the Street really started to take over as the leaderboard became quite close at the top. Runs were planned with the most beat boxes to tap and so whilst not the best routes it meant training and playing the game could still take place.

Training was going well. J was enjoying the extra walks as we played beat the street with him and getting more runs in together. My first race was approaching, an ultra with my friend Sean. I had helped him with his training and we came up with a plan for the actual race. You can read about how we got on here

After the high of the previous week everything was about to come crashing down around me. I had developed a Grade 2 sore on the back on my foot and was advised not to run as if it burst it could cause a sepsis and infection risk. If it did burst I had to go immediately on to antibiotics. I decided it wasn't worth it and instead planned to rest as advised until it healed.

A grumpy Monday then after I was told I could not run and a very poorly Little Man who was up all night unable to breathe. I think I managed two hours of sleep on Monday and very nearly ended up in hospital with my son. 

Upon waking up Tuesday morning I discovered the kitchen floor was covered in sick from J. He had an appointment booked at the vets anyway as his back legs had been hurting him instead I rushed him to the vets, where he was kept in. He returned Tuesday night but was exhausted from the pain killers and really not very well. Queue another sleepless night. Wednesday J just got worse and he could not cool down. He was visibly in pain and I kept giving him all his pain medication as directed. Up again all night this time trying to cool him down and a call to the vets at 2am. Thursday there was nothing for it but to rush him to the vets, he died on Friday.

 Exhausted from a week of hell, unable to run with injury and grieving the loss of J. I just was not functioning well at all. I no longer had my running outlet and no longer had J to talk to, he was such a good listener. I tried to take my mind of everything with a walk in Malham helping to unmark the Pennine Barrier route. It was nice to be out in the fresh air but the whole time I was thinking how much J would have loved it.

After two weeks of pure hell and no running it was time to lace up my shoes and get back out again. I met my Ultra hubby/long distance training partner and we headed to Endure 24 Leeds. Our plan was simple, keep running.

We were running Endure 24 as a pair. This meant only one of us could be on the course at any moment in time. Laps are 5 miles each through an undulating terrain, which meant you were almost constantly running for 24 hours. We had to guess how long each lap would take us and be ready and waiting in the exchange area to meet each other and hand over for the next to go out and complete a lap.

It was really tough. Absolutely no sleep for the full 24 hours, there simply wasn't time to get back to the car for a sleep and then walk back to the exchange area. We both gave it our absolute everything. With temperatures hitting over 30 at 4pm it was even more tough in the heat. In fact it was so hot I ran just in a crop top and shorts. 

We managed 12 laps each or 60 miles, and out total of 24 laps put us in joint 4th place on laps. There was one more lap for third and whilst I am incredibly proud of our achievement it would have been nice to have finished third, we were so close.

I managed a total of 245km, which is 53km more than May. That is with two weeks of not running and goes to show how much more I have increased my training. I am proud of my achievements through June but I think I will always remember it as the month I said goodbye to my running partner and best friend J.

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