Well I’ve got good news, and bad news…

It’s been a while, but I’m getting back in to the writing groove. Since my last posts I took on an additional role in work, moved house, got Bengal kittens and used what little free time I had to keep some focus on my own training to keep in shape over winter.

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Headed up early in the season to scout out conditions and the route for the large group I was taking up that coming weekend

Now spring is in the air I’ve already been up Cadair Idris twice and am just starting to ramp up my distance walking and running training ready for this year’s challenges – unfortunately I also had some less positive news since I last updated…

Following some pain in my left foot during an early training walk in January I headed to the GP to be told that I had a bunion. This isn’t the bad news, the bad news is that he was wrong and I kinda knew it. After seeking a second opinion and being referred to a very reputable Orthopaedic surgeon, an x-ray confirmed I have Hallux Rigidus. Degenerative arthritis of the large big toe joint in my left foot (and also beginning in my right foot).

Throughout the past few years as I’ve ramped up my goals I’ve had a variety of injuries, this however was initially a tough mental blow given there is pretty much nothing I can do to prevent this condition worsening over the coming years. There are various surgical procedures which, come the end of this year, I will likely be going through, as well as having pain relief in the form of a steroid injection to get me through my 2019 challenges. There is a percentage chance one of these may at least stop the conditioning worsening much more, but at the very least I now get discomfort turning to pain over long distances.

This isn’t due to overactivity, apparently I’ve had this for many years, and only now am noticing it, which was some small comfort to know given my tendency to push myself to, and sometimes beyond, my body’s limits.

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Stock photograph from Google showing what awaits me…

In a way the diagnosis has made me much more mindful of those events I still intend to complete this year. I know it will give me more drive to succeed in my goals knowing this limits my future to achieve them. It’s also making me revisit and adapt my training as now I really appreciate how much of a ticking clock this condition can be. I also accept it’s hardly a terminal illness, and although it directly affects something I only now have realised I have a passion for, I can at least take measures to work around it.

So, I have a number of blog entries from last year to post up, not least of all a summary of how my three consecutive weekends of challenges went, particularly the Yorkshire and Welsh 3 Peaks challenges (spoiler, we smashed them both). I’ll continue with some advice around training and now with my own personal experience of working around a significant limiting issue with your own body. This was very much a new blog last year, so I hope to regather the momentum from some early fantastic feedback and reach an even wider audience.

This IS going to be a good year!

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The fantastic group of friends that I led up Cadair Idris just a couple of weeks ago. Amazing day with astonishingly perfect conditions!