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Team Men's Fitness blog - 28/04/09

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(Image credit: Unknown)

Two weeks after the Namibia 24-hour Ultra Marathon (opens in new tab), my body is just about back in shape. The blisters have faded away and the blackened toenails have all fallen off (who needs ’em?!). The memories remain, though, and I think the lessons learned and the people we met will spur us on towards the next race. This weekend I decided to get back into training and started with a gentle 20-mile run. It's good to be back on the trail… but ask me if I’m still feeling good after four months of training for another one of the toughest races on earth (opens in new tab).
I’ve never experienced exhaustion like I did when we first got back. I felt like someone had ripped my soul out. I’d get to the station in the evening, trudging like a zombie, and think, ‘It’s a mile back to my house – I don’t know if I’ll be able to make that!’ I did my first actual training session yesterday, exactly a fortnight after finishing the race. It’s taken that long just to feel ready. A lot of people have gently questioned whether the experience was worth it, and the answer without doubt is ‘yes’. There’s something deeply satisfying about the pain and exhaustion. I think the staff of Men’s Fitness (opens in new tab) got it though. Most normal people won’t sit listening to you politely while you talk for an hour and a half about pain, tears and blood in the desert, but they did. Thanks guys!
I’ve reached the point where I can walk again without massive amounts of pain, which is the good news. The bad is that my food bills have gone up because my ‘training’ since I got back from Namibia has consisted entirely of eating and resting. I watched a running race rather than taking part in it at the weekend – my reasoning was that it was a hill race in Scotland, so it would have been a bit of a brutal homecoming.
Still, while I was there I got to do a bit of hill walking and have a mindblowingly cold swim in a stream. It felt pretty good, and I’ll definitely be running (opens in new tab) again this week. I’ve given my body a complete rest it needed but I'm ready again. I'm still enjoying telling people what I've done, purely to see the disbelieving looks on their faces, and it’s given me renewed energy and expectation for next time.

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