Meet Wayne! – Running With A Superhero

- Love - Live - Run -

Who?

From September 2015, Wayne Russell will be running, unsupported, around the British mainland coast. Starting from London, the run will take him clockwise around Britain for over 5000 miles, I had the pleasure of meeting him in his Dundee/St Andrews section of the adventure.

From The Man Himself

Wayne runs Britain

“The aim of the run is to raise money for my chosen charity; The Superhero Foundation, but also inspire others, in the same way others have inspired me to do this in the first place. It all comes down to three things:

  • My Sister
  • Charity
  • And as cheesy as it sounds, to just do something with my life.

“My Sister, Carmel Webb, died suddenly on New Year’s Eve 2013, after battling primary pulmonary hypertension, a rare heart and lung condition. Despite being terminally ill, Carmel was chairman of the Podsmead Community Association as well as working for the grants scheme. She also…

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About the Run

From September 2015, Wayne Russell will be running, unsupported, around the British mainland coast. Starting from London, the run will take him clockwise around Britain for over 5000 miles, keeping…

Source: About the Run

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Running v Cycling – The Blood Glucose Experiment

I have been asked about fuelling by quite a few diabetic folks of late. Here’s what I had to say about it a couple of years back

Tentsmuir

My interest in understanding fuelling for diabetic endurance runners is something that has been troubling me since I finished the Bamburgh Coastal Trail Ultra Marathon last October. I seriously underestimated the fuelling levels required on that run, and though I finished in good time and high spirits, I soon found myself having a diabetic episode. I cannot tell you for sure if my Blood Glucose Level (BGL) was too low because, as a Type 2 Diabetic, I had ceased to be prescribed test strips for my BGL meter in 2008. I was told there was no need now that my circumstances had changed. Briefly, the background is this:

I’ve been diagnosed T2 diabetic since 2001 and a runner of sorts since then completing my first marathon in 2006 in 3:59:01. For about six years my BGLs were completely controlled by exercise. I monitored by BGL religiously and eschewed any attempt…

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Is that not what it’s all about?

 

Beer on the Beach

There is history and heritage in this image; a lot of running miles sitting around that fire. Hundreds of ultras, marathons, and trail miles covered – let alone the training runs. But that is not what tonight was about. No this was about friendship and a more relaxed approach to health and fitness.

It started with a lovely little joggette through the small wooded trails and dunes to the beach where we ended up at the traditional ‘Fire Pit’. Once there, a steel and flint appeared and an ‘old school’ fire was made of the drift washed up on the beach. Who doesn’t carry tinder with them when running in the wild? Backpacks were opened and a variety of goodies produced; Some home brew beers developed by the ‘award winning’ brewing experience of @hermiston and others reinterpreted for tonight by @andyjamieson30. These all easily survived the journey, but we let them settle for a few minutes ‘just in case’. These were all drunk from Marathon du Medoc trophy mugs earned by me and @FireyJim  for drinking beer after ALL the wine during the race back in 2011.

The beer tonight was also tasted in the company of friends who took a chance after internet banter to ‘go for a run’ in the Tentsmuir Forest a few years back. @GirlRunsWild’s first ever night run was down there with Jim a few years back and it was largely for her that we celebrated the new moon rising.

Beers and Full Moon

We broke no running records this evening. Most of us simply covered a very comfortable 7.5 miles on the trail. Andy knocked in an impromptu marathon having pushed in 20 miles earlier on in the day – well, at least that meant this 50 something could keep up! After a couple of hours watching ‘Red Neck TV’ (the fire), we trotted off the beach and back home through the forest, still chatting about everything from the beauty of the full moon to the finer points of brewing. An occasional mention was even made of running ….. But most importantly tonight, we laughed. We laughed a lot. Is that not what it’s all about?

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But here’s the thing …..

Last year, 2015,  was a mixed bag. Having seriously injured myself running and cycling within three months of each other (knee in April, shoulder in July) I had three full months of recovery which included my arm being in a sling for six weeks (seriously broken collar bone), and the subsequent recovery from the insertion of a metal plate and pins.

Scar Tissue

As a result I’ve gone pretty much back to square one with my running and have reintroduced my cycle commute to work painfully slowly. From shuffling one mile three times a week in September, I have managed at least one 10-15 mile run each week for the last 10 weeks thanks in no small part to the constant companionship on the trail of the one you might know as Girl Runs Wild. This run adds to 3 or 4 others of between 3-6 miles which is, all told, a much lighter mileage than I had at the start of 2015. I should add we also tend to stop for a snack half way round these days at The Crepe Shack. It would be rude not to.

My cycling too has slowed somewhat. I have shelved the Genesis Aether for races only and moved to a slightly heavier hybrid for my daily commute.

Genesis Aether

There are noticeable pros and cons for my health. On the one hand I managed to put on a little weight last year, and my HbA1c rose from my usual 6.2-6.5 to a quite uncomfortable 7.8. I am working on this.

But here’s the thing ….. Since July 2015 I have not taken a single puff from my Blue inhaler (Salbutamol). As part of my recovery I have dispensed with any form of speed or sprint work and by being more relaxed about my activities I have been nine months with one less medication. Instead, I am controlling my Asthma with Symbicort only, and even then at a reduced dose of only two puffs in the morning and one on the evening.

So, my race times are a thing of the past and I am sluggish on the move. But there is a positive health benefit, and I’m sure one day soon I’ll start to hit some kind of form worth blogging about.

In the meantime, you can always find me in the Tentsmuir – possibly stuffing my face with Crepe.

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What is it about Loch Ness?

End Pic Etape Loch Ness

So there you go! My first ever bike race was completed on 27 April 2015. I ask “what is it about Loch Ness?”, because the scene of my first ever running race over any distance was the Loch Ness Marathon (a sweet 3:59:01 perfectly paced round by my fiend Jim Groark). That was back in 2006.

Then last year I got involved in a personal coast-to coast challenge across Scotland (The Soldier v Scholar with my friend from way back in 70s, Bruce Strachan).

Steve Selfie Challenge July 2014

On our challenge we got used to running and cycling along the banks of Loch Ness. So naturally this year the Etape Loch Ness Cycle Sportive had to be done (66 Mile/105km).

The event was a wonderful experience; the organisation was superb. Being used to the start of running events I was surprised at the calm at the start of this race. The marshalling into start pens was so smooth and fuss-free. But the thing that really surprised me was once we set off. It felt sedate and relaxed compared to running events and I suppose I expected it to be more frenetic. We all knew we had a long way to go so people simply pedalled off. One thing that became apparent quickly was how conditioned we are on the roads. Despite being a closed road event, you couldn’t help but chortle as a few of us cruised down the right hand lane watching the “sheeple” sticking to the left.

The main thing to take away from the race is obviously the scenery. But three of us had decided to work together over the first half of the race, taking it it easy, but pushing and pulling each other to get to the half-way point in good time. Then came the “King of the Mountains” and we separated for the rest of the race. Ali Bartlam pushed off first. I tried to go after him – no chance! He waited for me at the top of the 5.5 mile section, but had been there almost 10 minutes. Together we waited for Bruce, but the snow came on. I told Ali to press on, I’d wait. But 5 minutes later, all of us waiting at the summit were ushered away by the marshals who were fearful we’d get hypothermia.

Then onto the swiftest part of the course where I hit my top speed of 59.8kmh (37.5mph in real money). I maybe could have gone faster, but this was already MUCH swifter than I’ve ever gone in my life. Having negotiated the decent, and now cruising at about 20mph, a slight disaster happened. A rear wheel blowout caused me to skid, and in the process hit the verge and take out a guy slipstreaming me. We were both shaken but fine, and after making sure my friend was OK to continue, got him back on his way. Then I had to turn to the problem of my bike which I was uncertain would be able to finish the circuit. Luckily the motorcycle mechanic team had me back in the race in less than 15 minutes. They changed the tube, but also gave the bike a surprisingly thorough check over before sending me on my way. Ah, the old Genesis Aether – not the fastest, but now a proven sturdy bike!

Genesis Aether

While I had been confined to the verge, Bruce had gone past, so when I got back on the road I made it my mission to catch him up. When I did he told me to press on as I was going well – and in the last quarter (and very much to my surprise) I maintained a much higher pace than any other time in the race.

I crossed the line in 4:42:20 – a time I am delighted with given I was thinking more like 5:30:00 for a target. For those who like such things, the stats are available from GARMIN.

Afterwards Ifelt tired, but did not have that “nearly broken” feeling I get after the ultramarathons. My BGL was admittedly low (3.5), but I had been correctly fuelled on the way round and am used to going low on a cycle. Asthma – well, I did need a puff a of the reliever inhaler after about 10 minutes, but apart from that I was fine. Indeed, overall, I liked the feeling very much and know this is not my last sportive.

I would like to thank all my friends for their generous support in the build up to the race, and for those who supported my fundraising for Diabetes UK and Asthma UK. To those who donated anonymously, you have the advantage of me – how will I know who to buy a pint, coffee or cupcake for?

Thanks again for all your support – it means a lot to me and to both the charities I was cycling for.
Diabetes and Asthma Tops

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Bollocks!

The BAD News: Due to a knee injury on 25 March I have had to pull out of the Hoka Highland Fling and will be out of running for the next couple of months! This is a knock on from the loss of my ACL in my right knee in 2007. Well, I have managed 4 marathons and 12 ultras since then, but this is the third time its flared up and knocked me out of a race. Grrrrrrr!!!!!

The GOOD News: The knee does not seem to get aggrivated by cycling, so I WILL be taking part in the Etape Loch Ness on April 26th.

If you have supported so far, it is appreciated. If you are about to, remember, two ultramarathons have already been achieved this year and the thing holding me back here is mechanical, NOT asthma or diabetes.

The donation site is here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Tentsmuir

Posted in ACL, ACL injury, asthma, cycling, diabetes, EIA, etape, Etape Loch Ness, exercise induced asthma, Hoka Highland Fling, marathon, run, Running, ultramarathon | Leave a comment