Ok so it’s been a while since my last blog, too long in fact. So what have i been up too?

Well over the past 6 weeks or so, I’ve been keeping most of my runs local to where i live, varying distances, from a quick 3 miler round the block to 13 miles of mostly hills, with a mixture of road and off road, flats and hills, with weight and without.

To get the long runs in at the weekends, it’s simple a case of the sooner I’m out the sooner I’m back to help out with family life. So with this in mind I’ve been abandoning the car in lay-bys at the crack of dawn and running back home. One favourite route is running down the Borrowdale Valley on the Shap road running back to Kendal, a good 17 miler with most of it off road. It has it all – hills, flats, bog in fact it’s got the lot, including options to increase mileage should the mood take you. The best part of this run is it literally takes me to my front door and its 90% off road.

My last big run of around 22 miles was with the Ultramadness crew. Basically we chose a meeting point that is convenient for all, run out and back along the Pennine Way

Due to the hot weather we decided the main focus should be on hydration, hydration. So with this in mind I only carried essential kit, made of the following

·        OMM 20ltr Adventure Light rucksack

·        HH short sleeved base layer

·        Haglofs Barrier vest

·        First aid kit

·        Leki Micro stick poles

·        Buff (don’t leave home without one)

·        3 litres of water, 2 in a bladder, 1ltr in OMM bottles.

·        Klymit Inertia XL weighs next to nothing. Curtesy of www.Klymit.com

All stored in our new Exped Ultra light dry sacks. Courtesy of Exped via www.Lyon.co.uk



Our last meet was at Gargrave a few weeks ago, dumping the cars and running 11 miles out to Cowling and back. 11 miles of varying terrain, from the flats of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal to the short hills, that took you over to Lothesdale village.


So with a few long weekends under my belt and lots of local mileage i want to keep the momentum going. With this in mind I planned to run from Kendal to Carnforth via the old canal path last Saturday. In total around 16 miles and as you can see below not exactly a hilly run for rom start to finish. 


Lancaster Canal - Route Profile


One of the main reasons for running there is my sister in law lives there and she invited the family for tea. Bonus, i get to run and someone cooks my tea for me, happy days.

So using the same kit as i did for the Gargrave 22 i set off a few hrs before Kerry with an ETA in Carnforth for 5pm with tea being served at 5.15.

I’ve done all the sections of this route plenty of time before either solo or with Wayne and Liz. Liz is Wayne’s partner and a good ultra runner in her own right.

So, off i set, with my iPod charge and playing, the suns shining and I’m smiling away happy with the world. I pick up the old canal path and it feels good to be off road running through the country side. During the first 4 miles the old canal, now filled in, goes through numerous fields. I think there are plans to open it up again at some point in the future all the way to Kendal. Anyway, this section involves going over about 4 stiles. So I’m happily running along when i have thoughts of having to call Kerry to come and collect me because I’ve sprained my ankle. Shaking the bad thoughts out of my head i turning my iPod up and plough on eventually catching up with a group of walkers at a stile. We all smile nicely at each other, being a gentleman; I let them go over first. So I throw my right leg over and place it down on the ground, bringing my left leg over to follow and BAM, man down man down I’ve only gone and twisted my right ankle with a ripping noise that loud i can hear it over my iPod.

The pain makes me feel sick straight away. I rip my headphone out of my ears; i can feel the warm sensation of my foot swelling almost instantly and I’m limping/ hopping. For a few seconds i can’t believe what has just happened, am i dreaming – is this real?


There’s no way i could have been this stupid, surely. Twist my ankle going over a stile?

I instantly recall all the runs I’ve done and the terrain I’ve run over in all weathers, I’ve even fell of the cliffs just outside Patterdale inheriting the nick name “Cliff” but I always made it home in one piece to run another day.

But no, this is for real; the pain is telling me that. Two walkers walk past asking “are you alright, how far you going” to which i reply no I’m not alright, I’ve twisted my ankle badly. I reach down to get my phone out to call someone and they must see this as a sign that I’m ok, because they do what walkers do, they walk on and leave me there. The pain is now that bad i can only shuffle/ limp on the ball of my foot.

I call Kerry tell her what I’ve done, she tries not to laugh, not that im injuried but how i did it. She picks me up some 30 mins later armed with ice packs and anti inflammatory tablets.

So as a family we all had tea at 5.15 with the sister in law and i got a 3.5 mile run in.

The next 48 hours was spent applying the RICE technique, once i’d worked out what it meant, and that it didn’t mean boil some up and smother it over your foot. You see, id never heard of RICE before, why would i I’d never seriously injured myself before, which would explain all my texts and messages to “others” asking what do I do with RICE?

Father’s day was spent with plenty of Rest, Ice, Compression and one huge foot Elevated high in cushions. (Getting the hang of this RICE lark now) Not quite the pamper day i had in mind but hey.


Early Monday morning resulted in a trip to A&E to get an X-ray. Luckily there is nothing broken, it’s just a really bad sprain. I’ve been referred for physio but i my go private as the waiting list will be very long at my local hospital and time may be against me with.

The A&E Doctor told me a full recovery can take up to 6wks and he advised i get my ankle taped/ strapped for any events that i take part in. To my surprise i get a phone call from my local hospital on the Wednesday asking me to come in for physio that day. This was followed by a further appointment two days later, folowed by weekly sessions.  

With this in mind it’s time to dust off my bike in the garage and start cycle training and possible get some swimming in once the swelling has gone down. Heck i might even enjoy it and who knows might join a tri club like the  one Wayne’s just setting up with the help from Marc Laithwaite at Epic Events (check it out on Twitter @UlverstonTri, or at the Facebook page)

Overall the aim is to try and be on the starting line next to my fellow Ultramadness team members for my 3rd Lakeland 50 event which takes place at the end of July.


The rest of Monday morning was spent watching my boy take part in his first sports day event. Luckily there wasn’t a father and son race to take part in, i say luckily, mainly for the other Dads and Sons as me and my boy would have left them on the starting line.

Check at the “foot pictures” on flicker.