Wohoo! I’m back in Blighty after a 3-week trip to Peru – who noticed I was gone, anyone? I know Trail Running mag reader Dan Whiter has noticed as he’s just sent a message to our facebook page! Thanks Dan, I’m back now don’t you worry, the ultra tips from Rory Coleman for the epic, knee-wobble-inducing Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica this Feb will now continue.

Me, thrilled to meet Machu Picchu after our 4-day Inca Trail trek
Me, thrilled to meet Machu Picchu after our 4-day Inca Trail trek, I didn’t do any running here but I climbed a shed load of stairs at altitude which definitely put my HR at over the coach Rory-recommended 142bpm!

Unfortunately however, some kind of super-strength Peruvian flu seems to have jumped aboard the good ship Claire (that’s me) and have spent a worrying amount of time in a horizontal position since I got back, lounging around complaining about a banging headache, sickness, snottiness, dizziness, phlegmy cough, lack of energy etc. The thought of walking is hellish right now, let alone running. Coach Rory said, “Drink lots of water and rest.” Sound advice, I will definitely be doing that. Nicky Spinks, woman’s Bob Graham, Ramsay and Paddy Buckley rounds record holder also told me to stay away from training, “The race is far enough away that a few days off to recover won’t do you any harm,” she advised. Thanks elites!

I’d blame the coca leaves (yup, the plant they use to make cocaine from) but according to the Coca Museo de Cusco they’re the miracle cure for every type of sickness imaginable, so my 20-a-day habit developed on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu probably didn’t cause this illness.

Peruvians swear by coca leaves for alleviating the symptoms of altitude sickness. It made me go a bit giddy…maybe you shouldn’t start with 20…

So I’m now looking back on a brilliant holiday feeling pretty pleased with the fact that I only missed 5 days training, and 3 of those were flying at the end. I did eat a few naughty snacks though, like crisps and beer (you’ve got to celebrate 4-days trekking in the right manner!) so I only lost 1kg. I say that’s pretty good going. 61.7kg but now missing training due to cold. Hoping to be back on board towards the end of this week, I’m sposed to be running a 1:40 half marathon at the Great Eastern Run with Stamford Striders in three weekend’s time! I’ll give it a go…