From Diabetes to Duathlon » My personal story

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Bad news, Good news and everything in-between !

Well yesterday I met with my Dr to discuss the findings of last weeks MRI scan on my left foot and as I sat down he churpilly said  “so jules when is your next marathon coz I dont thing its going to happen” so I knew it was not going to be great news but hey ho, it is what it is.

My left foot has been problematic and painful since October last year and despite seeing 4 different physio’s and a chiropodist looking at it’s still bloody painful 🙂  its an odd pain tho and often is ok when I run but painful afterwards and at odd times during the day often when I am doing nothing so a bit weird really.  Anyway I digress !

During last weeks scan I had my foot and ankle scanned and it turns out that I have 2 problems both fairly severe but I think i can deal with both without too much disruption to my life and hopefully my running too.

I was screened/scanned for all types of common running injuries and problems,  My Dr knows me well and has signed marathon medical forms for me so no point pretending I don’t run to him.

I have a chronic tear in my ATFL (anterior talo-fibular ligament) and my AITFL (anterior inferior talo-fibular ligament) sounds a bit sifi 🙂  but I also have osteoarthritis in my tibiotalar  joint and prominent anterior osteophytes seen arising from my anterior tibia and mild first MTP joint arthrosis and moderate interphalangeal osteoarthritis of the great toe.  FECK !!!!!!!!!

But to put a positive slant on things,  I have “old mans” disease which is cool coz I can deal with pain and a few torn ligaments which may well be from a 15 year old injury but I will find out more in a couple weeks.

The good news is that everything else is perfect so all running related possible injuries and complications all came back negative,  well if you can ignore torn ligaments 🙂  BUT Since I became “skinny Jules” I have not injured or twisted my ankle so I am thinking it was an accident I had 15 years ago which put me in a wheelchair for a year.

I have a consultation in 22nd April so not too long to wait.

So what to do……….After much thinking and soul searching these past 24 hours I have decided nothing,  I am going to carry on as normal and stick to the shorter runs so half marathons and below and wait until I get told different.  My Dr said “thank god it never snapped during a marathon” and when I questioned that he said it would involve a lot of pain and emergency surgery, my thoughts are I am already in pain and surely to god emergency surgery is better than waiting for 6 months for the same procedure 🙂  see I can put a positive slant on anything haha,  seriously if this is a historic injury the its at no more risk of further damage than anyone else out there.  I will avoid long training runs alone for the time being for obvious reasons.

Ok so onto today…..

Sue had always planned to do her first parkrun before her birthday next week and having only just started running I was pleased when she said lets go for it this week and even more pleased that despite my news she still wanted to go for it.  So I asked a few people for a nice flat single lap route and we chose the Southsea parkrun which is flat and potentially fast in better weather, it was a tad breezy today but beautiful.

We arrived a little later than planned at about 08:35 so drank our pre race coffee and headed to the bathrooms before arriving at the start about 08:55 just time for a quick round of our dynamic stretches and then we walked to the start line with everyone else.  Sue headed for the back and my plan was to start about mid-way but as they were counting down I saw my club mate and uber fast runner Danny White appear at the front so I pushed forward just in time to say hi,  This of course meant I started on the front row, something I was quite happy to do 3 months ago but had not planned to today haha,  anyway off we went and to be honest it felt good pushing a little harder although my head was full of negative thoughts so I slowed a little until I found my natural pace,  Its a slightly changed route because Clarence Pier is closed but we ran along to the pier then turned and ran about 1.5 miles to the normal turn point and I saw Danny racing along at this point and got a very welcome “well done Jules”  I then turned and headed back into the wind and after about .4 of a mile I saw Sue looking very strong which gave me a buzz.  I ran through until the end and had a quick chat with Danny and I honestly think that is what helped make my decision to continue with my running, thanks Danny 🙂

I then headed back to the car to grab a bottle of water for Sue and to head back to meet her,  I caught up with her about half a mile from the end looking great and we ran together to the finish.

Danny crossed the line in 3rd place in 18:01

I crossed the line in 32nd place in 21:42 which is an awesome 40 seconds quicker than last week and a post injury pb

Sue crossed the line in 146th place and an even more impressive 31:17  on her first ever parkrun

3 lordshiller’s and 3 amazing results I am so proud right now with Sue’s achievements I could pop 🙂

One this dawned on me this morning…..With sue running I have lost my race photographer, NOT happy hahaha  but here is a quick post race photo.

I will update you all once I see my Specialist but thanks to today I can confirm that for now at least I am down-not out.

Jules x














parkrunning the the USA

This morning Sue and I set the alarm for 6am so that we could head off to Clermont waterfront parkrun #31 which is situated lakeside about 16 miles from our villa and one of only 3 in America at the moment so something not to be missed and once we arrived we realised that we were not the only UK’rs running today 🙂

Since mid December I have been nursing a poorly foot and this has now resulted in me not running anywhere near as much as I want to so I knew today would not be a fast one but I was determined to finish and that I did.

It was 54°F and 07:30 when I set off alongside a few Americans including a young lad who regularly does this route in 18 minutes, I was proudly wearing my LRR vest and followed the route along the lakeside until the turning point when we headed back to the start area where for the first time ever I stopped to grab a drink from the lovely Susie it was not mega hot but I was dehydrated something I need to address before Disney,  I followed on through to the next turn about a mile on and then back towards the start and past to the very first turn then a quick run to the finish tunnel,  My Achillies was super tight at this point but not giving me too much grief and better than it has been so I was happy and taking it a little easier was definitely a good move this morning.

The whole parkrun thing seems to be in its infancy here in the USA but well supported none the less, so different from here in the UK but the same if that makes sense haha well it does to me,  on route I only saw a couple marshals but then it was a very simple route to follow, no lead bike and no tail runner either but none of these are even the slightest bit critical it was an AWESOME experience and I cant wait to run it again in 2 weeks time hopefully feeling better than I did today.

Sue and I met lots of people from the UK here and quite a few running with me at Disney and we met 1 family from Poole and they had all run the Bournemouth marathon festival like me and you can see Reese below 🙂  she does look slightly scared but then imagine me grabbing you for a photo haha

I finished in 23:28 and in position 16 out of 81 runners so VERY happy and hopefully injuries permitting I can try for a time nearer my PB in 2 weeks time.

I hope you enjoy these photos.

Clermont Waterfront parkrun # 31_0720Clermont Waterfront parkrun # 31_0721Clermont Waterfront parkrun # 31_0722Clermont Waterfront parkrun # 31_0723Clermont Waterfront parkrun # 31_0724Clermont Waterfront parkrun # 31_0725Clermont Waterfront parkrun # 31_0726Clermont Waterfront parkrun # 31_0727Clermont Waterfront parkrun # 31_0728





Training run with a parkrun finish

This morning I had a 5 mile at my marathon pace in my planner so at 08:30 I headed off to the Common and my slower longer pace of around 8 min miles, its the perfect warm up of about 2.5 miles and I saw a few lovely runners and friends along the way which is pretty cool.  Once at the Common I ran the parkrun at my marathon pace of 7:20 min mile which is not fast for me but felt good especially after a really heavy Christmas party last night 🙂  after a quick barcode scan I headed off running home again at my mara pace for the last 2.5 miles.

It was another fab turnout at the common and although my thoughts on parkrunning have changed slightly because of my marathon training it was a lovely way to start a saturday.

I covered just over 8 miles this morning and it was quite enjoyable, I have once again been full of this winter bug this week so training has been tough but I managed it ok.

I am hoping again to do a parkrun next week all going well and that will be part of a 7 mile faster run.

Photo thanks to Chris.




Pre-Gosport parkrun

This morning I managed to fit in my first parkrun for a few weeks but it was only a gently run around before tomorrows half marathon at Gosport.

I woke up early for a coffee and there was lord of discussion on Facebook about shorts or tights 🙂  well I poked my head outside and opted for tights and it was the right choice let me tell you! when I arrived at the common it was just scraping past 2 degrees and still damp from the overnight mist but I was excited to see the new course C for our run.  There were lots of people already arriving and most like me were complaining about the cold, yes winter has definitely arrived.

I was not 100% sure wether to go all out or plod around today but after a quick chat with Captain Jim I opted for something in the middle to save my legs for tomorrow, I have learned that running too slow can be as dangerous as running to fast so I stuck at a comfortable 7:15 minute mile and loved it,  this is actually just a tiny bit slower than my current half marathon pace.

The new course is great, the extra hills suited me just fine and I think it will be a PB course, I guess the next week or so will tell.

I ran around today in 22:38 and it felt great, I a really looking forward to the Gosport Half marathon tomorrow which officially kicks off my Rome Marathon training and I have opted to work with Ant from RunCamp who is coaching me but more on that later.

Thanks to Paul Hammond for the photo, thats me waiving to the marshals 🙂  I know none of these lads are wearing my super warm tight but hey they all have 30 years on me !!!



Bournemouth Marathon Festival speed of light 5k

Wow, Wow and WOW !

Tonight I travelled to the Bournemouth Marathon Festival to take part in my first night time run the Speed of Light 5k and it was amazing.  I had already booked a 10k for Sunday with our son Andy so when I saw this race advertised I decided to book the 5k because the evening race sounded like a lot of fun.  Because I am racing tomorrow Sue decided not to come with me so I asked my mate and fellow photographer Matt to come along and take a few photos for me, we arrived about 5:30 because there were a lot of road closures and parking could have been tough, after settling in we had a good chat and a walk around chatting to fellow runners including fellow hiller Laura who had finished the 10k earlier and was buzzing from all the excitement.

I must admit after dozens of races this one did seem to be a bit special, it was what I expected Richmond to be like, thousands of people and a great buzz all round, so much so that I barely had space to do a warm up so instead I ran to the loo’s and did some dynamic stretches instead all of which got me prepared to run.

We were all given little flashing lights to wrap around our arms or legs which must have looked wicked as we ran off 🙂

After what seemed like an eternity the starting corals opened and I made my way over the shuffled my way down to the front where I chatted to a few runners and was chuffed at getting the front line spot 🙂  that was until they called a few of the fancy dress runners to the starting line for photos BUGGER !!!!!  haha but hey ho it was dark so I was not expecting a PB tonight. The horn sounded and off we all ran twinkling with our lights they handed us and running strong into the dark towards Boscome pier, it felt great although I had not started my GPS the lack of light and me not wearing my glasses meant I could not see much 🙂 but by the time we reached the first corner I was around 20th and very happy.  we then headed back towards the start and turned left and ran along the pier and back before heading off the other way and I am pleased to say that I kept my placing which is when I realised that I really was having a great race,  along to the next turning point and I picked up my pace and managed to overtake a few runners in front of me, I continued along the front and as we approached the last bend I overtook 2 more runners and really gave it my all and ran up the finish hill in a very impressive 5 min mile to an amazing applause and commentary and over the finish I went, I then went on to collect my medal which is the best yet 🙂 and a drink and a real nice goodie bag and technical t-shirt which I love, a few more photo ops and then we walked back to the car for the trip home, I was Buzzing all the way…..

The course was fast and flat apart from the finish hill and I loved it, it would make a fab parkrun 🙂  and the support from marshals and spectators was the best I have ever experienced I was honestly gobsmacked at just how good it was 800 runners and thousands of spectators all clapping and cheering all the way around, simply amazing.

I never got a PB tonight but that pales into insignificance when I tell you that I finished in the top  13 out of 800 runners which makes me very happy and very proud too.  This race started in the dark and was tough for everyone but looking at my placement I am getting faster and faster when all things are equal. I once again never wore my glasses whilst running but must look into getting contacts which would have helped me see last night, that or more carrots 😉

Great medal in fact my favourite yet and  a lovely technical t-shirt too, along with a goodie bag packed a flapjack, drink and lots of energy products this was how races should finish.

Bournemouth Marathon Festival you should be very proud, thank you for an awesome experience.

I missed Sue today something awful but I am so grateful to Matt for coming along and taking these awesome photos 🙂  cheers Matt.

I finished this race in 21:35 but much more important I finished in 13th out of 800 runners and I am VERY proud of those numbers.

Check out my Polar GPS stats here