September’s Trail Marathon Training: Full Progress Report! 💪🏼

Hi all! This is a super long post but it gives a great summary of my progress through September as i slowly attack the trail and increase my mileage and strength! I hope you enjoy the monthly updates?! 💪🏼 😀 🙌 

3rd September 2021…New walking workout record! 😲  

544Kcal badge

Hi all! I really didn’t expect this badge today! 🤔 

After a rest day yesterday, i started another 2 laps of my trail through the woods as part of my ‘Trail Marathon’ training, ready for my MS Society Trail Marathon on 24 April 2022.. I’m going to try 3 laps next week to try an increase my endurance! 😨 

When i returned tired and hungry, i checked out my lap times, elevation etc…And guess what??? I’d won this badge for burning 1 more calorie than Wednesdays 2 lap walking record badge. I’d say that was pretty consistent and now that’s what i call progress, lol! 🤣 

Sarah’s stupendous post-walk nutritional lunch…😋  

 

Pizza

 

I’d like to introduce you to the best pizza i’ve ever had, and i’ve had thousands over the years! This is our protein pizza which we prepare on Sunday evening (we make 1 each), cut into 6 pieces and have a slice each day. We both make our own so we can have our fave toppings (Sarah often puts olives on hers) and i hate olives, lol! 😀 We make the base from turkey mince so it has no carbs but lots of protein which is great for Sarah as she’s a T1 diabetic, then i can have my fave carb source food which is dry 7 seed wholemeal toast (like Elwood Blues) and Sarah doesn’t have to worry about carb counting or her blood sugar shooting up! 💪🏼 😀 

 

As a post walk meal my lovely wife Sarah prepares me with a warm slice of protein pizza (less than 200 calories a slice 😲) my new fave carrot kebab (i used to love donor kebabs but after dumping the junk and eating healthily this is my new fave) it’s a huge iceberg lettuce leaf rammed full of grated carrot and topped with cottage cheese…Mmmm, and of course a salad containing tomatoes, cucumber, apple, spring onion and beetroot…And of course my fave dry seeded wholemeal toast! 💪🏼 😀

 

I always consider what i’m eating after my long walk so my post-walk recovery meals always consist of carbohydrates and plenty of protein. As your body is designed to extract much-needed nutrients from your food quickly and efficiently after a long walk, protein is important post-walk because it’s necessary for building and repairing muscles. Ultra long walks can cause micro-tears in muscle tissue which must be repaired, hence the need for protein! Plus when you’re as old as me it’s a great way to fight off sarcopenia, lol! 💪🏼 🤣 

 

Wow how amazing is my wife?!! ❤️ 

 

These meals are really going to help me on my MS Society Trail Marathon! 💪🏼 😀 

6th September 2021…Another walking workout record! 😲

 

784 Kilocalories Badge

 

Hi all…You’ll never believe this?! 😲  

 

Today was my first day of increasing the mileage (number of laps) to a distance i’d never walked without stopping before! 😨  

 

Each lap of the trail is 2.5 miles and this month i’m attempting 3 laps without stopping. So today was my first time walking with my backpack and carrying water and a trusty Grenade protein bar supplied by my lovely wife Sarah. I thought after losing 5 stone (70 pounds) my legs would be able to manage an extra couple of pounds or so, lol! 🤣 

 

I knew it was going to be more difficult as the sun was really bright and stopped me seeing most of the trail, i even missed a turning but managed to get back on it…But when i was in the shade i made sure i nailed it! 💪🏼 

 

I drank some of my water at the halfway point of each lap, and i ate my tasty Grenade bar after lap 2 whilst not stopping…Had to check if i could drink and eat on the move, and i was fine with no stitch etc! 😋   

 

I was stupendously surprised (not only for making it round 3 laps) but for managing 8.24 miles at an average pace of 15 Minutes 39 seconds. I need to stay below 18 minutes 18 seconds to do the trail marathon under 8 hours, which is my goal! 

 

During my training i’m trying to keep a quicker pace than the one i’ll have during the trail marathon’m, and hopefully this will get my body in better shape for the challenge….I’m still like a sporty family saloon car but i need to be a ‘Group B’ rally car to pull this off, lol! 🤣 

 

My Personal Best Walking Record…

 

I still can’t believe i’ve done my lifetime personal best at none stop walking, and i won this badge for burning 784 calories during my walk…Time for some lunch, lol! 🤣 

 

7th September 2021…😲 

 

1422 Kcals burned in 1 dayHi all! I’m giving thanks again for this ‘New Move Record’ badge. I earned this award yesterday after my longest walk time without stopping during the start of my ‘Steve’s Blindman Trail Marathon’.

 

It’s great to see i’ve burned 1422 calories over my BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), and it means i can have MORE FOOD to stay in my healthy calorie deficit! 🤣 

9th September 2021…Goodbye Trainers…Hello Blisters! 😭

 

Puma clean

 

Hi all. During my ‘ultra Step Challenge’ through advent 2020, you may have noticed that i was always wearing my fantastic trainers, which were a gift from my lovely wife Sarah for losing 3 stone. They have been my most fav trainers i’ve ever owned, and i’ve owned some cool trainers before, they were just so spongy! 😀 

 

i’ve also been wearing them now i’ve started my ‘Trail Marathon’ training this last week. I thought these have seen me through a gruelling challenge before…So why not get me through this one too!

 

But…

 

I think my trainers glamoured me or something, as i hadn’t realised the padding had worn through in a few places inside! I can’t use my blindness as an excuse as i should have noticed this…A school boy mistake!  😨 

 

I’m now sat with a super doughnut shaped fancy plaster creation by Sarah on my foot, and my walking has been cancelled for the rest of this week. 🤕

 

My trainers are now in the bin…But i still wanted to write this post in memory of these stupendous trainers. They don’t stock any more in my size so these will be the only pair i’ve owned. 😭 

 

But on the positive side…🤣 

 

I’ve just found this ‘Perfect Month’ badge i’d achieved for hitting my move goals every day for August! 💪🏼 🙌 

 

Perfect Month August Badge

 

10th September 2021…i newspaper interview! 😲 

Hi all! I’ve been interviewed again this week for the annual “Know Your Numbers” week 2021 (this week). I think you’ll remember the ‘Ultra Step Challenge’ i did during advent 2020 for the Blood Pressure UK charity…And they wanted to use the ‘I Newspaper’ to interview me from a slightly different angle for this years case study too! 😀 

It’s a great article and it almost makes me sound inspirational, lol! 🤣 Please take a read!

Article…

‘It felt like my head was exploding’: Blind man describes how he lost his sight at 24 after brain haemorrhage
Steve Rebus’s optic nerve burst because his blood pressure was so high, causing him to suffer two brain haemorrhages

Me BPUK 1

Steve walked 266 miles to raise money for Blood Pressure UK in December 2020.
Steve Rebus knew he had a family history of high blood pressure but never expected it would leave him blind following two brain haemorrhages in March 2000 when he was just 24 years old.

“I woke up and I literally couldn’t move,” Mr Rebus, now 46, told i. “Luckily my mobile was on the table next to me, and I could just move my arm across to call for help, otherwise the doctors said that would’ve been it.

“The ambulance rushed me straight to hospital and my blood pressure was 280/220mmHg [a normal reading is 120/80mmHg]. It was that night when my optic nerve burst because my blood pressure was so high and I had two brain haemorrhages.”

Richard Francis, Head of Research at the Stroke Association, said high blood pressure puts a strain on all blood vessels, including ones leading to the brain.

“In some cases the extra strain may cause a weakened blood vessel to burst inside the brain, causing bleeding into surrounding tissues. This is called a haemorrhagic stroke,” said Mr Francis.

Mr Rebus said it was “the most painful thing I’ve ever gone through” and added: “It was like a movie when you see a head explode, it was that kind of pressure.

“I put my head under the pillow and tried to squeeze it until the pain went away two or three days later.”

8 roatan me and sarah

Steve and his wife Sarah on holiday in Roatán, a Caribbean island.

Steve and his wife Sarah on holiday in Roatán, a Caribbean island (Photo: Supplied)
More than one third of adults in the UK have high blood pressure, also called hypertension, and another one third of adults are unaware that their blood pressure is high, according to CEO of Blood Pressure UK Phil Pyatt.

High blood pressure is almost entirely treatable but it kills thousands of people per year as it increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Mr Rebus has his own blood pressure monitor and regularly checks himself as well as his friends and family: “I check everyone’s blood pressure now.

“You don’t realise how energetic and happy you can be when you’ve not got that worry of heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure,” he said.

“It’s really nice not living on that danger line. It’s way less stressful.”

Before his brain haemorrhages, he played football, went to the gym and worked at a body shop repairing cars.

Doctors initially told him that his sight would eventually come back and he has noticed some improvements in his vision but at a regular check-up in July 2000 he was given the news that he was registered blind.

“As a gym-going footballer nothing really phased me until then,” he said. “I walked out the room and I just fell on the floor bawling my eyes out.”

The first few years after losing his sight were incredibly tough, Mr Rebus said. “I was suicidal non-stop with dark depression. They sent me to all kinds of therapy that didn’t work and I was getting drunk so I wouldn’t hear the voices in my head saying ‘no one wants you you’re rubbish’.

“I didn’t have the strength to live but I didn’t have the strength to kill myself either.

Me Winners Trophy

Steve ‘pushes the barriers’ of what he thinks a blind man can do by taking on physical challenges for charity.

In 2004, he met his now wife Sarah who “changed everything” at an annual sight-loss conference called Sight Village. “We always call it ‘love at first Sight Village’,” Mr Rebus said.

“Sarah worked for the Royal National Institute of Blind People. She came to our stall because she’d written an article in a magazine about our charity, Look UK, which I was volunteering for at the time.

“We were looking through the article together but then I said: ‘You do know I didn’t see any of that because I’m blind?’ She looked at my face to see whether I was joking or not, and that was it…she liked my sense of humour apparently.”

After 21 years, Mr Rebus said he has learned to live with being blind and said he likes to “push the barrier” of what a blind person is expected to do, completing a Tough Mudder challenge in October 2018 and a 266 mile charity walk during December 2020 for Blood Pressure UK.

In April 2022, he is taking on a trail marathon through the woods near his house in aid of the MS Society, in memory of his mother, who died of progressive multiple sclerosis the same year he was registered as blind.

What should your blood pressure be?

‘Know Your Numbers! Week’ is a campaign by Blood Pressure UK with the aim “reaching the millions of people who have high blood pressure but don’t know it, so they can get the treatment and support they need to bring it under control,” the charity’s CEO Phil Pyatt said.

Everyone is encouraged to routinely check their blood pressure either with a home monitor or a GP check up.

Anyone with normal blood pressure of 120/80mmHg is recommended to have a check up every five years.

Anyone above the age of 50 or anyone on the upper end of normal between 130/85 and 139/89 should get checked at least once a year.

Although there are some risk factors for high blood pressure such as old age, ethnic group, family history or underlying conditions like kidney disease, “mostly it’s due to lifestyle”, said Mr Pyatt.

Eating healthily, cutting down on salt intake, being active, not drinking too much alcohol and not smoking can keep your blood pressure down, he added.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) backs the Know Your Numbers! Week campaign. Julie Ward, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the BHF said: “There are up to 4.8 million adults in the UK who are undiagnosed with the high blood pressure, which is sometimes referred to as a silent killer because it often doesn’t present with any symptoms.

“If you are living with high blood pressure but don’t get diagnosed or treated then it can lead to other health issues such as heart attack or stroke.

“Anybody can be living with the condition, that’s why it’s important that you regularly get your blood pressure checked and know your numbers. It could end up saving your life.

The Stroke Association also supports the campaign. Richard Francis, Head of Research at the Stroke Association, said: “High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, but it is a contributing factor in around half of all strokes, making it the biggest single risk factor for stroke.

“Measuring your blood pressure is quick, simple and painless, and can be carried out at your doctor’s surgery or at some pharmacies.”

17th September 2021…Another 3 laps! 😲 

 

16 09 2021 Walk 3laps

 

Hi all…Yay i managed another 3 laps! 💪🏼 

 

I recalculated my water intake after my last 3 laps (so i wouldn’t be desperate for the toilet like last time, lol) and all went well! I felt better than my first attempt and even had a lovely Grenade chocolate mint protein bar after lap 2! 😋 

 

I walked slower than last time (blisters about healed) as i wanted to see how slow i can walk before i hit 18 minutes a mile as that is the slowest i can walk during my trail marathon. Thankfully i thought i was going pretty slow…But to my surprise i was still doing 16:40 minutes a mile, fantastic! 😲 

 

Also the sun was blinding (pun intended) and i had to stop lots of times as my vision was completely smashed! Everything completely disappeared into a yellow out (like a white out in the snow) and i simply couldn’t continue…Thankfully i didn’t hit any trees which was a bonus!! 🤣 

 

22nd September 2021…Motivated! 💪🏼 😀 

 

September 2021 award badge

 

Hi all…Yay i managed another 3 laps (just), and i also smashed my ‘health and fitness goal’ for September! 💪🏼 

 

I managed just over 8 miles (3 laps) non stop this morning, and i was very happy i survived! I can’t believe this was my idea, lol…If doing these 3 laps were my challenge, i’d be happy i’d managed it as i was completely exhausted! BUT i know there would be no chance of anyone sponsoring me for such a small challenge, lol! 🤣

 

As next month is coming up fast, i’m filled with trepidation as i have to up my laps to 4 in October (over 10 miles non stop). I  seriously don’t know how i’m going to do 4 laps never mind nearly 11!! 😨 My feet also don’t need any more blisters too, as the few i have are plenty! 🤣 

 

Motivation…

 

I’m totally motivated by the amazingly kind 7 supporters who’ve sponsored me already, and each time i’m out training i can hear them cheering me on through their kind words they left on my fundraising page! 😀 

 

Also winning my badges and smashing my ‘health and fitness goals helps a little too! 💪🏼 

29th September 2021…Lifetime Walking Record!! 😲 

 

29th Sept 2021 Stats

 

Hi all…Yay i managed 4 laps today in the blinding sun, and i’ve also smashed my lifelong personal best of walking non stop for 10.22 miles!! I didn’t stand still once and i even ate and drank on the move too…To say i’m happy is an understatement! 😀

 

New Exercise Record…🙌 

 

New Exercise Record 29 Sept 2021

 

New Walking Workout Record…🙌 

 

Walking Workout Record 29 Sept 2021

 

I managed this walk in just under 3 hours and i’m very happy with the 17’01”/Mile pace. As long as i stay under 18’18”/Mile i’ll finish under 8 hours which is my goal…Well just finishing the trail marathon would be amazing at this stage, lol! 🤣 

30th September 2021…Memorising the trail! 🤔 

 

The Corkscrew

 

Hi all! I’m going to ask you to engage your imagination to the max, before you make the link i’m suggesting for the first corner that i’ve named today on my trail marathon track, lol! 🤣

 

The photo (above) in no way shows the rough incline which pops your hip out if you hit it wrong (done it a few times), but as i walk up it (not down like the race track) i always think about ’The Corkscrew’ at Laguna Seca. 😲  

 

WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca – From Wikipedia

 

The famous Turn 8 and 8A combination, popularly referred to as ‘the Corkscrew’, is considered one of the motorsport world’s most challenging turns, due to the 18-metre drop in elevation as well as its blind crest and apex on the uphill approach.

 

Memorising race tracks…🤔  

 

Since playing ‘Le Man 24Hr’, ‘Pole Position’, ‘Outrun’ and many more in the arcades as a child, then playing racing games on the Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, PS1, PS2, PS3 & PS4 i’ve always been good at memorising tracks. This didn’t stop when i was registered blind either! Using my memorisation skills i can still drive around some of my fave tracks like Spa Francorchamps, Monza, Suzuka, Interlagos and Le man…But after all these years, i still havn’t managed to memorise the full Nürburgring! 😭

 

This sets me up nicely for naming lots of the straights, corners and chicanes whilst trying to memorise the trail marathon track. I just hope i don’t bore you to death with all of the motorsport references before i finish, lol! 🤣

 

If you’ve read this far…Then i hope you’ve enjoyed catching up on my epic battle to conquer this trail marathon! 

I’d just like to say another brobdingnagian thanks to you for your continue support, kindness and generosity…It means so much to me! ❤️💪🏼 😀 

One thought on “September’s Trail Marathon Training: Full Progress Report! 💪🏼

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