Here is a link to article I have written for Berghaus on Tips to succeed at a Mountain Marathon. A lot of them based on mistakes I have made. They are probably mostly fairly obvious but hopefully people will find them useful.
Monday, 13 June 2016
I have never been patient; I really hate waiting for things. But now I have to learn to be patient. My Chronic Fatigue is gradually improving but my full recovery will take a long time. I now hardly ever feel dizzy and my heart beat seems to be back to steady and normal. I still struggle mentally in the mornings but compared to where I was even a few months ago it has improved. But I am impatient to get back to doing long runs and a couple of times I have done too much (an hour’s run with some hills at a faster pace rather than my normal flattish jog) and then I have suddenly felt really dizzy and exhausted for the next few days. Even if I do slightly too much in the garden I can feel the dizziness starting to come back so I have to stop.
The other thing that affects my Chronic Fatigue is stress. Even a small amount of stress can bring along hot flushes in my chest and tingly arms. It can also affect my sleep and ability to concentrate. A couple of week ago I wrote an article for Berghaus about the difference between fell running and trail running (http://community.berghaus.com/athletes/athlete-blogs2/the-difference-between-fell-running-and-trail-running-why-i-will-never-be-a-trail-runner-steve-birkinshaw/). I wrote passionately about why I prefer fell running and there was a large response, mainly positive but some negative. Unfortunately, to some people it read like I was being snobbish and saying than fell running is superior to trail running. I do not think fell running is any better it is just different and I personally prefer fell running. I think trail running is great; it has got loads of people out running that would otherwise be sitting on the couch. There are good reasons why some people prefer trail running (rather than fell running). They want a set route without worrying about which way to go; they prefer a good trail; they think the atmosphere is much better and they like a goody bag and want a medal for their achievement of having finished. I do not like sayings but it is very much “horses for courses” or “each to their own”. I should also have pointed out that I appreciate it is equally hard to run a fast road race, trail race or fell race – just differently hard! The consequences of writing this article are that I have unintentionally offended some people. In my current delicate state I have found this stressful and the hot flushes and tingly arms have returned.
So I now know it is really important to avoid any mental or physical stresses to my body and be patient. I need to think positively and remember how lucky I am to live in a beautiful place and also that I can go out for a 40 minute jog every day.
Again, thanks for all the comments I have received. I really do appreciate them. Many of the suggestions on how to recover I have taken on-board and they seem to have helped.