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The Deserving Game

Day 1 had gone like a dream. I felt super fresh, super easy, didn’t break a sweat and was so happy to finish in one piece and set myself up for Day 2. I knew the strength I was going to need on Day 3 was going to be huge so my plan was to keep a lid on every bit of effort on Day 1 and Day 2 to fully utilise my hill strength on Day 3. Well that was the plan.

The Lighthouse

It marks not only the end of the 8 day 400km adventure, the most north westerly point of the United Kingdom, but is also a symbol. A symbol of safety, but also warning, a symbol of hope, but also of danger and risk ahead. I have thought of this lighthouse many times in training. How I will feel when I reach it. Seeing myself there, no doubt feeling the enormous satisfaction of finishing such a route, but also huge relieve that Im there, I made it, that all the work, sacrifices, time and money were worth the investment. But the lighthouse to me also symbolises many other things. I often call my husband my lighthouse (he loves that!!). He is the one person who gets it. Who understands this life we lead with three feral kids, in the mountains. Facing the weather, the challenges, the obstacles together. But its really him who we turn to when we question our path, are scared or not sure what or how to do something next. My kids are part of that lighthouse too. Drawing me back home, to sanity and rest when it all gets too much. Making me laugh, making me cry, showing such tenacity and gumption themselves. Its no doubt without my family I just dont think I would be as motivated to get up and get out every day. In someways it seems crazy that the busier life has got the more training, the longer races I have undertaken, but in other ways it all makes perfect sense. This sort of running requires total focus and planning, you just cant wing it, you have to follow the light and trust in the path. Sometimes that line is a bit wonky or requires re-navigation but thats all part of the journey, part of the process that makes life challenging and motivating.

The Inner Voice

My skis are balancing over the edge. I just need to push over the ridge and make the first turn. But, Im frozen with fear. Make the push, Make the push. I push over and slide onto the hill. I freeze again. ‘Make the first turn’ ‘Just make the first turn’ my amazing ski instructor is shouting below me. ‘Come on Eddie’ I urge myself. ‘You can do this.’ This hill is the steepest, roughest, off piste I have ever skied. But I KNOW I can do it, I just need to make the turn. Im still frozen.  Im frustrated with myself. Why cant I move. My mind is racing. My heart is pounding. Stop. Wait. You just need to believe…..

Pilgrims Challenge 2018

My whole focus of 2018 is The Cape Wrath Ultra in May. A mere 8 day 450km race over rough and unmarked trails. The fear of it eats into me everyday. I think of the mental fortitude its going to take to wake up on day 3, day 4 with a sore body, a tired mind and have to go out again, all day. I know its going to be both the best of times and the worst of times.

This weekend I made a whistle stop tour over to England to run in the Pilgrims Challenge a 33 mile trail run on the North Downs Way, a restful night on a sports hall floor and then get up and run back again.

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The Druids Challenge

This year my husband competed the Dragons Back Challenge. A 5 day race over 315 kilometres and most importantly 15500 metres of ascent over some of the most challenging terrain Wales can offer! I stuck a training on the plan on the fridge each week and watched him stick to it religiously. As the race approached various parcels starting being delivered of ‘essential’ kit, he quietly went about gathering everything he needed and off he went to Wales, nervous, but ready. Roll on a week later and I picked up a completely broken, shell of a man, who couldnt string a sentence together, was 10kg lighter and couldnt sleep for a week  as he kept waking up thinking he needed to keep running! Most normal people would be really concerned with the terrible state of their husband, but not me! I was jealous! I wanted some of that action! He had pushed himself to the absolute limit, beaten a lot more accomplished runners, handled the stresses and strains with such mental fortitude and was such a credit to the Sutton Clan! I know the race has changed him forever.

Recovery Rules!

I rather foolishly thought that I would be able to race again this weekend and won’t lie actually felt guilty at deciding to pull out. I was really keen to do it as its my local race, I know all the trails like the back of my hand and thought it would be great for ‘business’ if I could come out with a good result.

Running for my family – Lakeland 50 report

I definitely find the easiest part of ultra running is the actual training rather than the racing!  Though a lot of it is in my household is like Groundhog Day. Get up, feed kids, run, feed kids, run, strength work, feed kids, clean up after kids, run, laundry, be a taxi for the kids, – you get the gist.

Facing the Reality

So here we are 12 weeks down the line post the birth of our sweetest little girl. We wont go into the gory details, but the birth was, as is my forte, pretty horrendous (why do I keep doing this?!). The consultant sat by my bed after Evie had been safely delivered and made me promise not to have any more babies….though we didn’t plan to have anymore I am kind of sad that there is a finality of this new born stage, every day my little baby gets a bit bigger and thats it then, no more newborns in our house.

Pregnancy, running, the truth and all

Are you still running? Has been the question most people have asked me throughout this pregnancy. I have felt the pressure to keep fit and to stay in shape, mainly because I want to get back racing as soon as possible, but after pushing myself to run for 36 weeks I am looking back now wondering if it was my most sensible decision. We will see!

When The Going Gets Tough

Paul Navesey, Rick Ashton and I have something we laugh about called the 5km opt out…whatever race we are doing, the longer and the harder it is possibly the earlier the 5km opt out comes in. We run for about 3 miles then decide this is way too much effort and we convince ourselves that we will just ‘jog it in’ due to a sudden injury, leg falling off, nasty case of sudden ebola. Of course we don’t, but the doubts hit pretty early, even for super sonic runners like Rick and Paul.