And the smile is back on the face

26th January 2016
By now I’ve learnt that after each expedition I need to give my body some time to recover. Usually I am so shattered from the climb and lack of food on the mountain that once I’ve landed and sorted out my gear, washed my expedition clothes I hit the bed and sleep for days. It’s not just the muscles that need healing time, but usually the blistered feet, cold hands and wind swept skin too. I also noticed spending days on hard terrain carrying weight somehow aggravates my teeth and this time I ended up in the emergency dentist’s chair with an infection on my gum the day after I got back. Two weeks on antibiotics and painkillers can also make you feel pretty tired and dizzy so I wanted to be extra careful easing back into exercising.

Probably took me a good week after getting back from Aconcagua to start eating properly again, which is not unusual at all. You live on cardboard food for long enough for your body to forget what real food tasted like. I am also aware that having suffered with anorexia and bulimia when I was young, I have to look after myself even when the thought of eating my favourite food makes me sick. BUT it’s all temporarily and I call it ‘post-expedition trauma on the body’. I know it will pass and getting back to my general routine of exercising and eating healthy food three times a day will help me to build up appetite again.

I threw myself back into exercising, starting with a short run 10 days after getting home and a double spin class a few days later. Having just recovered from a hamstring injury, I thought a ‘building it up again’ approach is sensible. (until you start getting messages about going out for 100+km bike rides!) I was pleased to see that my favourite swimming pool was still there where I had left it a month ago ☺ and with a half ironman distance triathlon booked in the diary, I’m very keen to work on the techniques in the pool to cause less embarrassments for my parents when they try to photograph their daughter getting (crawling) out of the lake with the last pink swim cap on this May.

What I love most about this easing back into exercises period is that there are no rules. Do you fancy just swimming this week or if the weather is crap attend spin classes? How far to run, flat or hills? Who cares! There will be times soon, closer to the triathlon event when I have to be disciplined and follow a more strict training routine but as for now I just want to go out and enjoy whatever I do.



With this in mind, when my friend Tim and I were chatting about running last week, we decided to head to Richmond Park with our off-road shoes on. That run on Sunday, must have been the most pleasurable run I’ve ever done. The freedom of taking any trails, roaming past giant stags, the “come on let’s push our heart rate up a bit” on the hills and the stunning, stunning views in Richmond Park were just what the doctor ordered.
I encourage anyone to put a pair of running shoes on and go out to discover. Because there’s so much more to running..