Training 09/04/2012 – 15/04/2012 (and a bit more)

Monday 9th I decided to go to the gym, which I had been absent from for quite a while with a combination of an increased running schedule and the laser eye. It was pouring with rain so the run to the gym was not nice, and by the time I got there I was pretty damp. I did about an hour of weights, chest, shoulders back and arms (no legs) and run home (it was still raining)

On the 10th I went for a 9km run in the morning and in the evening a 8km run, the intention being to have Wednesday off and then run Thursday, Friday off then the long run on Saturday. Due to factors outside my control this didn’t happen.

On the Monday I started to experience some discomfort with m eyes, nothing major and to be honest I thought nothing of it. I figured that it was all part of the healing process, Tuesday was worse with my vision decreasing and it appearing that I was getting more shortsighted, with sensitivity to light. I had an appointment with Ultralase on the Wednesday so decided I would discuss it with them, Wednesday came about and it had gotton worse, to the point where I was getting white outs and really struggling. Getting to London was a real pain given the vision issues, but I managed it.

When I described what I had been experiencing intially they couldn’t see why it would be happening, but I had some more tests and when they did my eye pressure it came out at 47 (anything over 21 being not normal). What I was told was that I was having an Optical Edema due to the Steroid eye drops, me being one of 2 people that they have ever seen with this reaction (and my own research after indicating that this reaction is a rare genetic abnormality). Obviously the Edema is not good, with words the doctor used of “worst case, possible optic nerve damage”. I was given lots of drugs to take to get the pressure down, and thankfully they kicked in and on the Thursday my vision had improved 100%. My followup appointment on the Friday indicated that everything was normal, and my pressure had fallen to 9 (my normal reading being 15 and 18) but another followup appointment next week will hopefully confirm everything is ok and my pressure will stabilise.

So, due to the above all form of training was out the window until after the appointment Friday and Sunday was my next available date to run, which I did and an easy paced 19km followed.

More good news, the profile for the Trail Marathon Wales is out and wow, does it look tough. Below is the race profile and as you can see, a lot of up!! 4821 feet of ascent (1470 meters), so any sense of doing it in a certain time is out the window, it will be a case of enjoying the views and just finishing, even if that is last.

They have a blog for the Trail Marathon Wales so if you fancy reading it, the link is here:

Incidently am taking the decision to switch to miles rather than km after Offa’s Orror next week as all the other events that I have booked are in miles, so it makes sense to make the change, and work on my pacing in min per mile.

Training 02/04/2012 – 08/04/2012

So  not a lot of training done this week, having to take a week off from any activity following the eye surgery. I was finally able to do some jogging on Saturday. Apparently jogging only needs a week but racing needs 2, not sure what the distinction is, so I went for a 8km jog following my usual route through Lloyd park up to Addington hills and back again. Pace was ok, I wasn’t going to push it so maintained a steady pace at about 6min per km.

Sundays run again was an easy paced  run, but I had company with my brother joining me. He appears to have caught the running bug and has signed up for the Tough Mudder in May, a 12 mile assault course which has allsorts of obsticles, such as crawling through nettles and electric wires (sounds fun!!). It was going to be a shorter run, as I wasn’t sure how far he had covered so far but we ended up doing about 9.5km, which was good and he kept up with the pace and did really well, now all he has to do it run that again and avoid 10,000 volts 🙂

Training next week will consist of more running and a return to the gym (Greens keep emailing and texting me to see if I am ok, as I haven’t been in ages!)

I am still fundraising for the Special Care Unit, my Just Giving page is or you can follow the link on my blog.

If this sounds like fun ‘Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. With the most innovative courses, half a million inspiring participants, and more than $2 million dollars raised for the Wounded Warrior Project, Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world.‘ then follow this link to get some info:

My new eyes

Not a lot of training to report on for last week, with the Marathon on the Sauturday I was keen on not pushing it too hard, although judging on the 5km run  on Monday pushing too hard wasn’t going to be a problem as my legs were so heavy it was more of a fast trot than a run. Following that run I completed another 5km on the Wednesday which although a bit quicker was not any easier on the legs, with the left leg having a particuarly sore achillis. Due to this I decided to avoid running for the rest of the week, and as I will detail below I won’t be running for another week either.

About a month ago I went for an Ultralase consultation to see if there was anything that could be done about my short sightedness, being -9.5 in one eye and -8.5 in the other (read blind) I had got to the point where having to use contact lenses anytime I wanted to do sport, and wearing glasses at such a perscription effectivly distorted the world around me had become to much 0f a pain. As the consultation was free I figured what I have I got to lose, if anything it would be the most indepth eye test I would ever have.

So, the consultaton went fine and after lots of different tests (vision, night vision, eye health to name a few) I was told that there was a good chance I could be bought back to 20/20 v ision (which if I am honest I was really surprised at). Given my perscription I was told there was only a couple of dates available due to the surgon who would be required, with the date I opted for being yesterday.

My appointment was booked for 11:30 in Hammersmith so I was up fairly early to get the train up, I went with my mum as Verity was at home with the twins and the advice was to have someone with you to help you home after (I later found this to be very accurate advice). Upon arrival at Ultralase I was greeted and asked to wait for someone to see me, promptly a lady came down and asked me to go upstairs for a further scan on my left eye, they wanted to double check somthing from the previous scan. At this point I was thinking that I was about to be told ‘sorry Mr Clark, i’m afraid we won’t be able to do the surgery’. Thankfully this was not the case and it was all good.

I was then bought back into the waiting room and about  5mins later was asked to go with the nurse to meet the surgon who would be carrying out the treatment. A nice guy, he ran through what happens in the treatment and what I would be likely to experience. After signing to say I was happy I then went to another room with the nurse where she ran through the aftercare regime and what to do and what not to do.

After this I was asked but a surgery hat on and some plastic overshoes and was led into the treatment room. If your sqeamish about your eyes don’t read this bit 🙂

I was asked to lay down and was told that the first part would be to add some anithestic drops in my eye (the nurse had done this before as well but I am guessing they are just being extra careful). After that I on eye was covered in a protective shield, the other eye then having a suction cup put over it, the idea being the pressure stops the eye from moving when the laser is used to cut the top layer. The bed was then swung to the left and a laser was used to generate bubbles under the cornia to create a flap which could be flipped back to allow the laser through. I couldn’t feel anything at all, and because of the pressure on my eye I couldn’t see anything either. Once the flap was cut the other eye was then done and I was swung back to under the laser, then the surgon flipped the flap up on the right eye. Although I couldn’t feel it I could tell what he was doing due to the blurry instrament in my vision and as the flap was lifted the vision getting even more blurry. The laser was then started and I was told there would be the smell of the gas from the laser as it started working, but I do wonder if they just say that as the actual smell is your eye being burnt away 🙂

This was where it got really weird, as I couldd actually see my vision improving as the laser did its thing, which took for each eye all of about  2minutes!! The total time I was in the centre was about an hour and a half.

Getting home was fun, with sunglasses on and my mum leading me home I could only keep my eyes open for about 2 minutes at a time and was having to be guided along the roads, had I been on my own I would probably be in Scotland by now.

So, the results, as I type this I can see pretty much clearly, some slight blurring at distance but this is normal and the eyes should continue to improve as they heal. Because of the flaps I have to have antibiotic drops and anti inflammatory drops, and can’t run for a week (due to the sweat going into the eyes) so am going to have a week of stretching, then run on the Saturday to get back into it.

Now I don’t have to worry about contacts or glasses, 2013’s challenges will probably take the vein of multi-day mountain marathons.

In summary, it was pretty amazing for the first time in 21 years being able to wake up and see normally!!

Running for Charity

On Sunday 18th my first children, twins, were born and unfortunatly they both had some of the problems and had to spend some time in the Special Care Baby Unit at the Princess Royal University Hospital in Farnborough. I am not going to go into all the detail, but the team there ensured that they were both well looked after and able to both come home the following Saturday. With that in mind I want to give somthing back so have decided to do my Ultra in August to raise money for the unit and have created a Justgiving Page to donate to the charity which supports them, the Special Care Baby Fund.

Please feel free to donate if you wish to support this worthy cause, and feel free to share the link with anyone who you feel may wish to donate.

Link to my Justgiving Page:, I also have a link on the right hand side of my blog which will take you straight to the page.

Training 12/03/2012 – 25/03/2012 (Marathon Man)

Bit of a gap since my last weekly update, but normal service should resume from now on. Rather than summerise all the runs in this period I am going to just focus on yesterdays run, my first Marathon.

A lovely sunny day for a run, I knew I wanted to go long and with the intention to hit the magic 42.19km, or 26.3 miles. As it was a hot day (for the time of year) and I was unsupported I would have to carry all the fluids and nutrition I would need for the run, so with that in mind I had 2 litres of water in a hydration bladder, 400ml of electrolyte drink in a bottle on the shoulder strap, both on the OMM Ultra Pack. I was also wearing my Salomon waist pack with another 400ml bottle, giving me just under 3 litres of fluid which I hoped would last me. I also was carrying an energy gel, some Cliff Shots and a pack of Jelly babies so I felt I had enough to keep me going.

Armed with a camera to capture some of the journey, and a very loose idea of where I wanted to go I set off at 08:25. I followed my standard route via Lloyd Park, Addington Hills down into Addington, then heading up Featherbed Lane to get to the trail that leads up to Warlingham.









I got to the end of the trail that runs through the Golf course and rather than my usual turn right, I decided to head left towards…well I wasn’t sure. At this point I was over the hour and had started to mannage my pace and mix in more walking, given it was my first Marathon I was intending to do, and that I am training for the Ultra I wasn’t too concerned over timing it was more about making sure that the distance was done.

There road I was travelling down was long, and just seemed to go on forever. That and it being lane with no path meant I was on constant lookout for what I soon came to realise the biggest risk, cyclists. Cars are ok, you can hear them coming so if one is behind you there is ample time to move out the way with bikes, no chance, silent up until you start hearing a faint noise of tyre on road and on this road travelling super quick I was on constant alert to avoid getting a bike up the arse.

Once I got to the end of the deathtrap of a road, I realised where I was and started heading to Titsey Hill as I knew there was a good trail that I could take, I was at about 18km when I arrived so the 6km route was the clear winner as I needed to get the mileage in.








This trail starts off as a nice downhill followed by it levelling out for a about a km, before another downhill. Obviously what goes down must come up  and I wasn’t disappointed, it was hardwork! I was starting to feel the hills more and more so it wasn’t welcome, but one I got it out the way I knew it was a fairly level run back into Warlingham. As time wasn’t at the forefront of my mind and despite all the fluids I had onboard was starting to crave more carbs I was going to head into Botley Hill Farm to get a pint of orange and lemonade ( a decision I had made on the Titsey trail). To my disappointment the pub was closed and my craving went unfulfilled. That said I was running low on fluids so had a stop at Aid Station Sainsburys to get a bottle of water to put in the hydration pack (on a side note, why to people on a self checkout decide to to a trolly full of scanning!!!).

Sainsburys was the 30km mark (18miles) and generally this is considered to be the point where the body starts to suffer, most commonly known as ‘The Wall’. As I had never experienced this before I was uncertain how I would be effected, I would like to say I didn’t notice anything and just carried on but that would be a lie. The first thing I noticed was the feeling of sickness, I wanted to throw up, I knew I had to keep eating and drinking but I just couldn’t, every stride started to become harder and harder, with me focusing on a point ahead, such as a tree, and telling myself to get there then I could walk for a bit. This feeling carried on for about 3 miles (3 painful miles) but after that I bizzarly started to feel better. When I was on the home straight around 24 miles I was just giggling to myself as I ran because I knew I was going to do it.

The feeling of hitting the distance was amazing, and one I will want to repeat. More so it was a mental achievement, I know I can do this distance so the challenge of the Ultra seems that little bit more manageable. I did have a lessons learnt from this training day, hydration. I thought I drank loads, I had to top up my water at the shops, yet I only had to pee once, and it was not the pee of a well hydrated individual coming out the colour of lucozade. This is a concern, you get your hydration wrong your stuffed and is somthing I am going to look into in more detail with a structured plan for my long runs probably being necessary.

Anyway, summary of the 2 weeks in distance, time and calories followed my some more pics

Distance: 98.32km, Time: 9hrs 55mins, Calories: 8,205

















%d bloggers like this: