Sunday, 17 April 2011

The blog is back!

Well finally, after a huge break, the blog is back.

...and with it comes a new commitment to regular updates from both the UK and the US as well as, just fer giggles, I am going to start running some odds for a few of the UK races and racers just so we can see how wrong I can be.

First though, a very quick update on the past few months. I really wasn’t very fit or motivated in 2010. After scraping a 2nd place in the Fellsman and a win (although we were not the fastest runners) in the Scottish Islands Peaks race my fitness fell away dramatically. Why? – a cold/bug in June, lots of travel to London as part of my contract and soon I was out of the habit of training much.

This culminated in late November with me getting a pretty nasty neck problem – something along the lines of a herniated disc in my neck but that’s not confirmed and not on my medical records so it didn’t happen right! What did happen was that I got massive shoulder and right arm pains, couldn’t sleep more than 1 hour for a week and ended up with some codeine painkillers.

The great news is that less than 6 weeks later I was running again, feeling good and starting to get motivated – all thanks to my talented Physical Therapist (and wife) Lynn.

Well, the thing about fitness and motivation is that its possible to develop a virtuous circle. It’s like the vicious one only friendlier – a bit of training produces positive feelings which encourages a bit more training which produces.... and so it goes on.

An early Feb outing over some of the boggiest bits of the High Peak Marathon route went badly and one of my good friends confidently pronounced me “over the hill” but then, in the actual event, we recorded our fastest time – also the 2nd fastest ever; amazing to think that some 20 years on from my first HPM I would be recording a PB.

The Marin Crew - Topher, Krissy, Nate, Amy, Jason and Kim - Devon resting out of picture!

The good vibe has continued and I am now building up to Fellsman. Looks like this year could be a humdinger with Jez Bragg scheduled to run. I was hoping Duncan (last year’s winner) would also be there but seems he has picked up a stress fracture. Anyway, I am psyched to get the chance to run against Jez and see what the gap is.
Most recently I was slated to run a 50 mile race (actually I thought it was 50km when I entered it) in Northern California but, in contrast to our rather dry winter, they have had some record rains so the course was flooded and the organiser was not prepared to turn it into a run-swim-run duathlon so the event was cancelled. The resulting training weekend was probably tougher than the race with some very high class company as you might recognise from this picture.

OK – off to the hills for a couple of days to get some good miles in then I will update on plans for the next few months and a bit of an announcement! – yes, the old dog is going to attempt something audacious. Check back to find out what soon!!


Nick said...

Great to have you back Mark. We missed you. You obviously haven't lost the nack.

You and Jez head to head on the Fellsman? That'll be a show. Sorry I can't be there to see the aftermath (or actually see it if I could be marshalling again).

Morgan said...

Hartell lives! More blog posts to come. Excellent.

Spotted you in the pictures on Krissy's blog and wondered when you were going to confess!

Keep us all informed.