- Just a quick post to say that in just a few days time I will be doing my latest challenge.
- I'll be running (or hobbling)
169 miles across
The Grand Canyon!
The 'Grand to Grand Ultra' starts at an elevation of 5,344ft (1,629m) and finishes at 8,656ft (2,636m).
- Like my previous challenges, this is a multi-stage event and by the end of
- Day 1, I will have covered 30 miles with a 10kg rucksack on my bag (gulp!).
- There are six stages over seven days.
- The long stage is 52 miles long and involves running through the night (which is apparently quite cold).
Due to all sorts of circumstances, such as ones mentioned in my last blog, along with my oldest son leaving home for University in Scotland two days ago, I have not done my usual amount of training. I have not trained with a backpack and I haven't had time to do any really long runs. This is not how I would have liked it, as training for me is all about recovering faster at the end.
It doesn't mean I won't finish it, but not as well as I had hoped. However, it is still an adventure, and for me it is about having fun ...so, I'll catch up with you all when I am back.
NB In the meantime you can email me during the race (although I can't reply).
Enter my name and bib number in the Subject line: - Wanda Summers (269)
I would love to read them!
You can also follow the race on their website and like them on their face book page:
- Why YOU want a Personal Trainer ..
- Profile and Professional Bit
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- Inspirational Guest Blogs
- Running for Peace and Harmony
- Adventurer & Runner Graham Kelly
- 2014 The Ocean Floor Race
- 2012 London Olympics Behind the Scenes
- 2012 Roving Planet Jordan
- 2011 Atacama Crossing
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Well, you may remember in my last blog, my friend Mark who came on my Birthday walk with me, I mentioned at the end that he had had an accident. This is about his recovery. It has been 13 weeks since the accident.
This is what my best friend Mark normally gets up to. Mark was one of the first ever skydivers to sky dive alongside Mount Everest.
Mark likes adventure and extreme sports. He is fit because he never stops doing something or trying something new. He doesn't go to the gym, he doesn't lift weights, he doesn't do sit ups or any of the stuff that I do and love doing.
Instead, he remains in shape through gymnastics, playing squash, playing badminton, and leading me on crazy off road routes on his mountain bike whilst I run behind.
Mark goes beyond a normal fit person and has the endurance and stamina of a mountain goat. I remain fit because I train hard and run stupid distances, but we both share a sense of fun with what we do and we both love paragliding.
I was going to go on a paragliding trip to France in June, but work took priority whilst my friend Mark, who always finds excuses not to work went.
I woke up one night at 1am to a text from Mark. It said ;
"I am in Intensive care, but don't worry".
Mark had broken 8 ribs, punctured his lung and broken his pelvis. He was lucky to be alive.
Having had an accident once (or twice)and knowing how lonely it feels being in a hospital and also knowing that Mark was unable to fly back because of his punctured lung with the risk of it collapsing again, I decided to un-prioritise work and fly to Annecy in France.
I knew Mark would hate not doing anything. The worst accident he had done before was a broken wrist. Mark didn't 'do' accidents, just like he didn't do 'personal training'. Or so he thought. Turns out he was wrong...about both.
Mark had already been 6 days in Intensive Care by the time I had got there. He was moved out of the Intensive Care room whilst I was there and put in a different room, which he still had to himself.
My french was very poor, but I managed to understand the words 'stubborn' and 'difficult 'when the Doctor nodded his head in the direction of Mark.
The Doctor asked Mark if he was in pain and if he wanted any pain killers. Mark shook his head. The Doctor asked Mark if he had tried to move at all, again Mark shook his head. That's why you are not in pain I said, take some painkillers and start moving. And so it began...
Once he started he couldn't stop. I had told him that it was important to keep moving, to avoid muscle wastage and the risk of blood clots.
He took this to mean in his ever usual extreme way, that he had to start walking the entire length of the hospital corridor right away and do balancing tricks.
Together we came up with some extreme rehabilitation methods he could cope with, in other words not bore him to death. Not your usual sitting down leg lift type of exercise ...
It was hard trying to stop Mark from doing too much. At one point I had wheeled him outside to get some fresh air, when he got up, abandoned the wheelchair and started down the stairs to the hospital's underground car park!
Mark soon realised how hard it would be coming back up the stairs with a broken pelvis.
By the end of the week, Mark was discharged from the hospital. We couldn't go home yet though, because Mark had to wait a further 10 days until his punctured lung was healed and was safe to fly.
I found us a place to stay near the lake, thanks to a lovely friend I had made called Cathy, well, it was about 3 miles up hill from the lake, but I hired a wheelchair. Everyday I wheeled Mark to the lake and his rehab involved walking around parts of lake, sometimes Mark pushing me in the wheelchair instead! Another lovely friend we met, called Cecile, gave us a set of crutches, so Mark was soon using those!
I also took advantage of the circumstances and got a couple of runs done up Mont Veyrier as we were right by the Alps. But that's another story, and involves an old man and his dog and me getting lost...
And finally ...
This is Mark on 5th September, just over 12 weeks after the accident. Didn't take him long to get back to his old self!
After feeling sad leaving the Trail Ferret Training Camp (see earlier post), but altogether feeling a little fitter after the all the running we did.. I got ready for my 38 mile walk on May 1st.
I say I got ready. The plan was to leave early with my friend Mark, drive to Tintagel, leave my van there and walk 38 miles on the coastal path.
It didn't quite go to plan ...Mark took one look at my van, then at its tyres and shook his head and said;
"We aren't driving anywhere with those tyres".
So, nearly £100 worse off for two new tyres and two hours later, we were ready. Bearing in mind it was my Birthday, this didn't seem a great start.
Finally, Mark and I arrived at Tintagel, fighting the traffic most the way and parked the van in an overnight car park. You also have to remember something, yes, I am a Personal Trainer, not your cheesy lycra type exactly, but one nonetheless, and I am Mark's best friend.
Mark doesn't 'do' personal training, or gyms, or anything in a conventional fit way. He is however, the fittest person I know, and many moons back I wrote him a training plan to run the Marathon des Sables with me, which he did, having never run before....
So, knowing all of this, did Mark have energy gels packed or energy bars or any sort of food? No. Did he have water with him?...Umm...No, he hadn't brought anything.
So, at 12:30pm, Mark opted for pub lunch as preparation before the walk. It was my birthday present apparently and then we went to the local Spa to stock on supplies.
The Nearby Spa Shop and pub. Start of the 38 mile walk.
With our stomachs full, we began our 38 miles walk ...
Mark pointing out that when I suggested a walk, this wasn't quite what he had in mind .
Anyway.. the challenge was completed, Mark and I walked through the night, (we did start at 1pm) and I was forgiven for the crazy terrain. Nothing quite as satisfying as a good hill to get your heart rate going and a sense of accomplishment when you reach the top. Mark, however, used it as an excuse to eat his Spa supplies.
And so we finished at 6am...the sun was up by the time we reached the van.
Now, where were those keys?
NB****This walk took place in May 2013. Over a month later, my best friend Mark was involved in a paragliding accident in the French Alps. (Hence, the delays in my blog). Mark was in Intensive care for a week in Annecy Hospital. The next blog will follow his sheer determination during his recovery when I flew to France to look after him.
Back in April, I promised you all a blog update. Well, it was going to
happen, and then lots happened...
To recap, in April, I was invited to go on the most amazing training
camp with the ‘Trail Ferrets’.
Trail Ferret is based in North Devon, the perfect spot for endurance
training or just running on trails.
The head of the Ferrets, calls himself ‘Papa Ferret’ and has ample
experience to draw upon (no, he is not really old), he is just an excellent coach.
I would’ve liked to stay for all the days of the camp, but on 1st May every year, I have a tradition where I walk my birthday years in miles. I used to run my age every year, but then when I had my accident in December 2008, I had only just started to walk again by March the following year, so I was not able.
Instead, a friend trained to run the miles for me, he had never run before, and this was an incredible gesture, one I will never forget. The year after that I walked it with another friend, and now the walk has ‘stuck’.
I left the camp the eve of my birthday to go back to Cornwall for my walk the next day. I was sorry to leave as I really had a great time and met some amazing people and the running routes were beautiful as well as challenging.
This is just part of one of the routes....
I left one of the members of the group, Paul Radford,with a challenge before I left. It was to run up the hill besides the funicular railway, instead of 'cheating' like the others were intending as part of the run for that day (I can hear them all protesting now that they weren't cheating, but my argument is, why practise hill reps, if you never run the hills?!).
In superb style, Paul did it!
*If you want to find out more about Trail Ferret and what they do, click on the link below! They come with my highest recommendation!