(C) London Marathon, press conference for Flora 1000 Mile Challenge, December 2002
(C) London Marathon, press conference for Flora 1000 Mile Challenge, December 2002

 

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December 2010

Well the book has finally been released and being read up and down the country judging by the orders and feedback - and even venturing around the world. The feedback has been phenomenal, please keep sending me your comments about the book and your goals to sharon@sharongayter.com. There are many words that keep coming through and kleenex appears to be needed from the first chapter, even the foreward and dedication sees some of you reaching for the tissues. Hopefully there are a few funny points too! But words so far are amazing, unique, inspiring, emotional, phenomenal, legend, brilliant, gripping, fantastic, unstoppable, determination and it appears to be doing the trick and getting you all out there setting your own goals for 2011. So keep up the good work, and hopefully those of you that are reading this straight through and getting to bed at 5am as a result of this book will catch up on your sleep soon!

Back here the snow and ice are playing havoc with races and running, but am easily getting a daily dose of at least 10 miles in, either slipping and sliding through the woods or boring myself on the treadmill and may even get one more long run in before the year is out - weather permitting. I am still aqua-jogging too and doing alternative training and am fortunate enough to gain membership to the Energy Club courtesy of Tees Valley Leisure, to assist with my training, which is greatly appreciated in my quest to keep fit.

The year is nearly at an end, it started well with a freezing cold and snowy trip to run across Slovenia in February. It was at Crawley in April when the first signs of a problem appeared and much of the year was spent having various scans and seeing consultants in a quest to find a solution to my problem, which was finally diagnosed as a large cyst in my tibia, the operation taking place on 15th September, this is now all behind me and am free to run again, but time has nearly run out to finish a 24 hour race to keep my reign at the top intact. For the last 13 years I have been ranked GB No 1 and was ranked 4th in the world last year with 226km. Hopefully the book will inspire you to dream about the goals you can set and go out and achieve, and remember that little motto of "Never give up". I haven't. Best wishes to you all over the festive season.

November 2010

After a visit back to the surgeon Mr Siddique, he is happy with progress and can now run much further, which feels fantastic. I now have regular access to the treadmill in the hydrotherapy pool at Teesside University and am averaging 3 x 2 hour sessions a week in there on top of my outdoor running, weights and cross training, it may take some time to reach the peaks set last year but by next year should be back on track for a busy year and back to my usual standards. I am finally running pain free, which has taken over 6 months to achieve and had some very bleaks spells during that time.

On the book front, this has taken slightly longer than anticipated but so far all is on track for the big release on 3rd December 2010, so cutting it a bit fine for a book signing at my local parkrun at Albert Park, Middlesbrough on 4th December, but considering a couple of books have been donated for prizes for our parkrunners I am keeping my fingers crossed for no further delays. A page will shortly appear for purchasing the book with Paypal (at which point the pre-order form will be removed, 30th November is the crunch date for all pre-order forms to arrive by to guarantee Christmas delivery) you will be able to purchase the book from your local outlet as this is available from the major UK distributors Bertrams, Gardners, Nielsons, but you may need to order it (no guarantee it will be there before Christmas) and will need further details:

Title: The Clock Keeps Ticking
Author: Sharon Gayter
Publisher: Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 978-1-907652-43-1

Full book cover

Hopefully the local bookshops and sports shops will stock this but it is a bit of a catch 22 situation, they wonít plan book signings until they have a copy in their hands, so canít plan ahead until the books are received, so after the 3rd December I will work frantically to confirm the shops that will stock this and prepare a book signing schedule Ė for the time being I plan to be at Albert Park, Middlesbrough on 4th December (8:30am until 10:30am) at the coffee shop and anyone at the Loftus Poultry Run on 19th December should also be able to purchase a signed copy. I will guarantee a copy at Albert Park and reserve some for the Loftus Poultry run, but other than this unless you have sent a copy of the pre-order form there are no guarantees of delivery dates. You have been warned! I have a bulk order of as many as my budget will allow, and once this stock is exhausted it will take approximately 3 weeks to order more. They will of course be available after Christmas. Amazon will stock this book, but again I doubt you will be able to obtain a copy from them before Christmas. More details of the book content will shortly be available on the book purchasing page. Happy reading!

October 2010

The pre-order form has been posted. You can purchase my autobiography "The Clock Keeps Ticking" on the special pre-order form, the price has to be at the RRP which is £14.99 but for an introductory period the price will include free P & P. The book will be with you before Christmas. The precise date has not yet been released but will hopefully declare this before the month is out. I will update this information when it is available and also all the other outlets where it may be possible to purchase the book. If you would like to purchase several copies of my book then please contact me individually for possible discounts. It is hoped that there will also be several local books signings, again these will be detailed when I have firm commitments and dates and times available - probably not until next month at least. Contact can be made via sharon@sharongayter.com

On the running front I have many plans in place for next year, but have to finish this year off first. I am still not running much and recovering from treatment to my ankle and remain optimistic about the remainder of this year, I am still not running pain free. My aim is to compete at the Bislett Stadium in Oslo. There is a lot on in my life at present and feels a bit like the time when I won "Juggler of the year" for juggling my many commitments, with the release of my book this is consuming much of my time, I have a commitments for the last time at a local castle with many high profile people and then of course some lecturing at Teesside University, somewhere around this is finding time to train, still mostly cross training and intermittent running. I am hoping to make use of the new facility opened at Teesside University, the hydrotherapy pool that includes an underwater treadmill. Teesside really does have some exceptional facilities for athletes!

September 2010

I had the operation on Bill's birithday - well I did have a choice of dates but the alternative was Bills's mates wedding day (which I did hobble to on the Saturday). It was a long day at the hospital but was home the same day. Bone marrow was taken from my hip to go into the ankle. Arthroscopy was used to debride the ankle and drill into the bone. The large cyst was removed - around a centimetre in size, stem cell injected and bone graft used. Two weeks later and you would never know I have had an operation. Two tiny holes in the ankle, no swelling and bruising all but gone, I have had far worse with a sprained ankle! I can't resume normal training but can still do cross training. Just over 2 weeks later and am allowed to do frequent, but very short runs. When the ankle surgeon, Mr Siddique, asked about what would be a short run for me, the 3 miles I suggested got turned into 6 x 800m runs spread thoughout the day. So very short indeed but this is to help with the healing process and is actually beneficial to put some stress on the bone to strengthen it. He has done a fantastic job and feel very privileged to have been given such amazing treatment.

The other news this month is the news I have been continuously asked about for months now - the book! Well I can finally say with confidence this WILL be out very shortly - mid November is the expected date, and hopefully in October I will confirm a date. Prior to that I will very shortly put a pre-order form on this site for ordering via post - and yes, there will be a box for any dedication you want me to personally sign. The book will be available in some book shops and on Amazon. Hopefully I will get a paypal account set up for anyone wanting to order this online from this website. There will also be book signings locally, suggestions are the Albert Parkrun, Loftus Poultry Run, our local Guisborough Bookshop, local running clubs - I guess I will also have to keep a supply in my van for instant sales! So if you are struggling with small gifts for Christmas presents or just want to be inspired, you know the answer. If it is any help, poor Izzy that had to remove so many "gots" and had to put up with my paranoia of "now" or "then" and "is" and "was" and banishing last years and tomorrows (the previous year and the next day) trying to keep the book in the past tense apart from the opening chapter and also had to make me explain running terminology to a non-runner (what is tapering, negative split and reps) well she was inspired and converted (with a little help from Andrew) and is now a runner that has completed in at least 23 parkruns and even a 10km race! So there is the proof!

August 2010

Finally I can report a positive month and good progress. As far as my leg problem is concerned I went to see Mr Siddique from Newcastle and he suggested the way forward is with pioneering stem cell treatment. Great news as this does not involve drilling a hole in my tibia and is carried out by an arthroscopic treatment through the ankle joint. Treatment will be taking place in September.

As far as running is concerned, I am on my way back. I have been doing 2-3 hours of cross training per day (aqua-jogging, cycling, rowing, elliptical trainer and weights) and have done a couple of long runs. The only long race I did was the Herts Stroller (LDWA) event that was on a showery day in Hitchin. Although I tired towards the end I kept running and moved through the field to finish second overall. I have missed running so much and the enthusiasm only gets stronger when I canít run Ė I am sure I will have that UK No 1 spot bagged by the end of the year, but I think I will have to accept that the world ranking of No 4 from last year will be beyond me this year. As a result of this event I have now entered the Perth Ultrafest.

Just a note to comment that my email and telephones were significantly disrupted during May, June and July and had to change servers a couple of times, so any emails that I did not respond to mean that I did not get them. I can now get my emails from sharongayter.com but can only send them from my new server until this gets sorted. I also have a new telephone number, had no choice but to change this so if you have my previous one, drop me an email and I will update you.

Photo: Supporting Middlesbrough Hearts and Minds at the Albert Park 5km Parkrun, this is a mental health social inclusion group for action on attitudes to mental health.
I in 4 suffer from mental health difficulties - that's 35,000 in Middlesbrough!

July 2010

I can finally say that I have done some running this month. I have got back to running parkruns on Saturdays (just a couple of minutes off my best) and done a 10km run - 4 mins down from same event at Easter, so 46 mins for 10km. But its great to be out running and can do much more cross training. Cycling, rowing, elliptical trainer, weights and aqua-jogging, so doing in excess of 90 mins of exercise most days now, running 3-4 times a week and enjoying being out in the fresh air at last. The cyst inside my tibia is still there and will probably have to be removed before doing the long distances so have to be content for now that I can do some running.

Although Bill is still running extremely well I am pleased to say he still can't beat me, either at 5km or 10km, although he did get another pb for 10km I was still a minute ahead. I have some tentative plans for the end of the year if all should go well and seeing another ankle surgeon at the end of the month for his view to progressing with my problem.

June 2010

Good and bad news to report this month. The good news is that my annual bone density scan revealed a massive increase in bone density by 8% that now puts me in the normal range and so my bones are much stronger for the challenges I want to compete and will stay on medication for another year to see if there is any more progression. The bad news - I am still not running. The MRI finally revealed no stress fracture but identified an area that was causing my problem. Mr Adedapo from the James Cook Hospital then referred me onto the Freeman Hospital at Newcastle. Mr Gerrand was great (amazed he even looked at my website and so knew how important my running was to me), he requested a CT scan that revealed the problem precisely, and am now being referred to an ankle surgeon to hopefully correct the problem.

Bill seems to be taking up the mantle with running, throughout last month he improved his pb at 5km nearly every week in the regular park run at Albert Park, now well under 22 minutes and this led to him winning the Sweatshop monthly prize of a pair of shoes for commitment and improvement (thanks Andy Fisher). He also did the Redcar Half Marathon in 1 hr 45 mins, still 20 minutes off his best time but considering he is restricted to what running he can do this was a superb achievement .

On the racing front I have now withdrawn from The High in July and the UTMB (ultra trail du Mont Blanc) in August and will re-assess my running and racing once this problem is sorted.

May 2010

After Darren Cooper advised this looked like a bone problem I was referred and then awaited an MRI scan and ceased running completely until the problem was solved. The MRI did not come in time to make an informed decision on whether or not to compete in the IAU World 24 Hour Championships this month and so had to go on the side of caution and withdraw based on the information to hand and listening to the experts. I have now been walking around with an Aircast Boot on to support the bone. I am maintaining some fitness with cross training but it was a hard decision to make, 18 weeks into a 20 week program and all of the hard work was done. There were only 3 women selected for Great Britain and it takes 3 to make a team so it was not pleasant to take away the potential opportunity for the GB team to get on the podium as well as a potential individual medal. Watching from the internet I was still listed in the top 5 of the world going into the race, but was nice to see my great friend Julia Alter (Germany) run such a controlled race and take the bronze medal. Our GB men, 6 of whom had been selected collected a bronze medal in the European Champs at the event.

Injury
I have been kept busy supporting though – one of the highlights of May was witnessing Dave and Andy taking part in a classic LEJOG journey “support our troops” raising thousands of pounds for their efforts. They did so much beforehand to raise the profile for their charity and it was an honour to watch their efforts in their 1,200 mile journey, 12 marathons, 12 X 60 mile cycling in 12 days. Attached is a photo with their vest they donated to me. Their website is at www.yorkshireduo.co.uk for their journey and details of how to donate at www.justgiving.com
.

April 2010

My fitness this month was excellent, some really good runs, improved my speed and got some long runs in. My races were not so good. I didn't enjoy the Crawley 12 Hours early in the month with the marathon runners sprinting around shouting "track" after we had been circling for 3 hours and found this difficult to concentrate and got a sharp twinge above my left ankle and withdrew rather than risk anything so close to the World 24 Hours. Later that week I was pleased with an excellent run around the Preston Park trail event and left ankle was fine again. That weekend it started grumbling again after around 16 miles around the Wolds and again cut the run short there rather than cause problem, but needed to get to the bottom of the cause of the pain. I had not turned my ankle and it was a short sharp pain, quite intense when I felt it but not there at other times, almost as if a nerve was being touched. Flat footed running on a good surface was fine but gave pain when on my toes. Darren Cooper from Teesside University took a look as there was little muscle damage to be found. An x-ray revealed nothing but was referred on for further diagnosis and awaiting an MRI to confirm suspicions as to what it may be.

March 2010

There are quite a few announcements to make this month. Firstly, Vitabiotics have generously stepped on board to help with the build up the “The High” and some much needed financial help. This event is in the Himalayas in aid of Climate Change. Do take a look at their website for the various products to keep you healthy (www.vitabiotics.com).

The High van

After two new hips husband Bill is back racing fit and well, and has already felt many of the benefits of the Jointace products. The van has already been decorated courtesy of Signz of Skelton (thanks Terry and Lesley – hope Charlie and Peanut are recovering well). I must also mention Ian Johnson in Marske Industrial Estate that has been keeping my van on the road, through free servicing and more recently the work needed to pass the MOT. Many extremely generous gestures from the people I meet that want to help me on my way. I am still continuing with my excellent Spira shoes and Mannatech.

On the running side it’s been an indifferent month, some good runs; some bad ones. The first off-road marathon was Troller’s Trot at the end of a very heavy week of training and very stiff from starting up weights again. Next up it was the Barry 40 and this was the down one. A few days later I came down with a cold and took a very steady run around the Ashby 20 to take the club record, my heart rate was still very high with the virus, around 52 in the morning compared to my normal 38 ish. I opted not to do the Compton 40 as planned, my breathing had still been poor with the cold and had some asthma problems doing speedwork on the track and so worked on my speed with three short sharp runs over the Easter weekend on consecutive days. I reached my planned target times in both the Mermaid 10km and the Albert Park 5km the next day. The Helmsley trail race was the third and feeling rather jaded tried to enjoy this one – as much as you can with the first 2 miles all uphill.

Plans are well underway for the JOGLER (John O’Groats to Lands End Relay) that will happen in June. There are various charities that will benefit from this with the 16 runners taking part. The website has been set up for donations at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/JOGLER2010

February 2010

Many thanks to all those that followed and supported my recent run in the winter edition of the Trans-Slovenia ultra run 220km over 4 days. The weather in the north east prepared me well for the freezing temperatures and heavy snow, and was extreme even by Slovenia standards. It never stopped snowing from the time we arrived until the end of Day 1. Temperatures were reported to hit a high of -6 and a low of -12 on the last day, so this was definitely my coldest ever run. I kept many layers on and wore a face mask throughout to try to keep my asthma under control. Although this restricts my breathing it was better to go slow and finish rather than not finish at all.

The report is done for detailed enthusiasts among you, but I ran a steady and contolled pace throughout the 60km, 55km, 58km and 34 km stages, winning the ladies race on all 4 stages with a total time of 19 hours and 19 minutes. I hate the cold but managed well throughout and was good to have support from Andrew and Caitlin Webb-Ellis from who are doing a documentary on ultra running and me. They have put together a short youtube film to give a little idea of the event:

Link to youtube video highlights
Video highlights:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ib0iovFYYtE

Race website: http://winter.trans-slo.si/en

Full report: trans-slovenia-report-2010.doc (63kb)

I came back in good shape to the news that my selection has come through for the World 24 hours in France in May, along with a female team. A mens team has also been selected. I have heard 4 women and 6 men. I have several long races in this country to contest over the next couple of months to continue my preparation. Trans-slo was 8 weeks into a 20 week program to build me up for this event. Being ranked no 4 in the world at 24 hours last year in no way guarantees a medal and will have to be at my best to be in with a shot of a medal and improve on my 226km (140 miles)
.

Sharon and Thomaz

January 2010

Nearly all of my planned races have either been postponed or cancelled this month. Since the snow began before Christmas I have had 7 planned races that suffered because of the weather. The parkrun at Albert Park of 5km continued whatever the weather and managed to get a new personal worst by some considerable amount, my only consolation was that the mens winner was 3 minutes slower than my best time for the course, just to indiciate how bad conditions have been. The last race of the month was the first race to be postponed due to the weather and that was the Loftus Poultry Run. It was still a snow covered, icy course thanks to another covering the day before and freezing overnight temperatures, but it is called the Poultry Run for a reason and I came home with two rather large turkeys, courtesy of a Vet45 and team prize. We are now living off turkey sandwiches.

I have completed the planned mileage this month but not with much quality work. What outdoor runs I have done have been very slow, hampered by snow and ice and have to run slowly in the bitterly cold conditions to control my breathing that can easily turn asthmatic. Most runs have been done on the treadmill in the garage with the heater on to help my breathing. There was a one week reprieve in the weather where some road running could be done (the hills were still far to deep in snow) and mangaged to get within a few seconds of my pre-Christmas 5km times.

I had a slight re-occurance of a knee problem that I "tweaked" about 4 weeks before the Commonwealth 24 hours last year. Back then I had an injection in the area to help me on my way. This time it has been diagnosed by Darren Cooper at Teesside University, basically a knock on effect from last year and I have not been extending my knee properly trying to nurse it through that has created other problems. Poplitieus (at the back of the knee) was the damaged muscle and having identified this the job of fixing it has been accelerated enormously and feel as though I am running much better, although there appears to me some weakness in my left leg still.

The Trans-slo Ultra run is fast approaching, I have just mananged to squeeze this into the reading week at University so I am not in lessons, so if you want to follow this 4 day stage race of 220km (www.trans-slo.si/en from 10th - 14th February). I will be treating this as a long training run, I have many long races planned, some I will race, some I will run, this one is to run.


   
   
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