It has taken me a long time to sit down and write this blog, I have struggled to come up with anything that was positive about my training and how I was feeling so thought it best not to write anything.
Having dusted myself down, sorted myself out I’m now able to look on the positive side of life – there is always a positive side if you look for it.
I was due to run across America in September with the aim of trying to set a new Guinness World Record. All was going well, my distances were on target, my weekly mileage was increasing gradually and I was extremely focused. The thought of doing all my long runs during the summer was very appealing, no need for a summer holiday to get a tan!
In May myself, HWMBO and a film production company called Scrumptious Productions headed out to America to recce my route for the run. We kicked off in LA with a meeting with the British Consulate who have been fantastic and are really on-board with what we are trying to achieve through the run.
For the next two weeks we drove the route, sitting in the car for over 10 hours each day. Sometimes the route was as per my original plan, other times we discovered that google had us going off into the hills, completely off-road, on private land and no vehicle could access the area so it was back to the road and find another route.
Guinness have very strict rules as to where I can run. I’m not allowed on private land (unless I receive permission) and of course can’t drive on roads that are illegal, like the Interstates, this means that I have to run on all the little roads adding many additional miles – all part of the challenge!
Each day the camera guys would find a few nice spots and get me out to do some running, not always easy having sat in the car for so long but a great way to stretch my legs and enjoy the views some of which were amazing.
Along the way we met some interesting people including a lovely farmer in Colorado who proudly showed us his Marijuana plants (apparently they are allowed 6 each, I didn’t even know it was legal) we also met his bison called “Pisser”, he apparently used to get very angry as a youngster; we chatted to a lovely Amish family, although when we asked if we could film them they were happy as long as we didn’t film their faces and saw lots of signs saying “no guns allowed on these premise” – not something we are used to seeing in the UK!
The weather on the whole was fantastic although in Colorado we did encounter snow, but short lived. We all know that America is a vast country but it REALLY is MASSIVE and for us driving the entire route from west to east was amazing experience and to see how diverse the scenery is as we moved through the various states.
The best bit for me was driving over the George Washington Bridge where I saw the NY sky line for the first time. I felt a wave of emotion come over me as I imagined myself running over the bridge in September and completing my journey at the City Hall. A moment I have tried to bottle so I can draw on it when I need a kick up the backside during the run.
After sampling a few cocktails in NY and running round Central Park (something I had always wanted to do) we returned home shattered but excited about the adventure that lay ahead.
Having been back a few weeks I was finding it tough running any kind of distances until eventually even walking was painful so after seeing doctors, physios and consultants I made the tough decision to postpone my run until 6th April next year.
You can imagine my emotions have been all over the place but I know that I have made the right decision, giving my body time to heal before getting back to training again. Not being able to run is a real struggle but I have to look at the bigger picture and remember what I want to achieve next year. It’s not going to be easy so I need to be in the best possible place to achieve my goal.
I’m frustrated yes and poor HWMBO is having to put up with a slightly grumpy wife, but finally I now see the decision as a positive one. My original crew are still coming out with me which just made my cry and I have been very lucky to have received so many private messages from people wanting to help me.
After the saga with Robert Young I am need to ensure that we are able to provide evidence, tracking and record keeping thats beyond reproach – however slowly I do it. How I do this will be covered in a separate post.
I have the most amazing support for this World Record attempt, not just from friends and family but from my sponsors who really have been amazing.
Running kit – X-Bionics UK
Trainers – Hoka (Deckers Europe Ltd)
Watches x 4 – Suunto
Vehicle support – Volkswagen of America
Buff – Buffera Ltd (providing 100 personal designed Buff to sell for my charity Free to Run)
Race Drone Trackers
Ray Zahab – my amazing coach
As you can imagine the World Record attempt is a big expense and none of this would be possible without the backing of my two main Sponsors, their support is fantastic and has given me the opportunity to do something up until now I could only dream about.
Heres to completing my rehab and getting back to running, goodness I miss it!