Ever since training for my first marathon in 2013, I've enjoyed long distance running. However, it's been a bit of a bumpy ride with several long-term injuries.
In February 2018, I woke up the day after a short race with a nagging knee pain that didn't feel like a normal ache. A few weeks off and some physio treatment from DTR clinic hadn't been able to cure it so I was referred to Spire Cardiff, and specialist, Mr Stuart Roy (I'd had a similar problem several years previously so I knew what to expect). The service from Spire Cardiff was excellent from the moment I was referred, with appointments with Mr Roy, an MRI, and a date for a minor operation all within a few weeks of each other. All the staff were friendly and helpful.
As a committed runner (although not necessarily someone who is particularly good!), I hugely appreciated Stuart Roy's understanding of how important it was for me to get back to running, and how much it matters to me.
I made a quick recovery from the operation, followed my physiotherapy and gradual comeback instructions to the letter! I decided that an autumn 2018 marathon would be too much too soon and so concentrated on shorter distances, including the Cardiff half marathon. However, for several years, I have had my eye on the Barry 40. This is a 40 mile race on the running track in Jenner Park with a six hour cut off. It incorporates the Welsh ultramarathon championships. With careful training, I was able to increase the distance of my long runs and eventually entered the race about a week before entries closed. Conditions on the day were far from perfect - gale force winds and a few hailstones too! Nevertheless, I managed to complete all 161 laps, was one of only two women to finish, and the only Welsh female finisher. This made me the Wales ultramarathon champion for 2019. The race was on 10 March, almost exactly 11 months after my knee operation at Spire Cardiff. This achievement would never have been possible without the team at Spire and DTR clinic and I am incredibly grateful to them all. I cannot recommend them, and Mr Stuart Roy, highly enough.
I am not a particularly 'good' runner but I am stubborn and I persevere.
Thanks to Spire Cardiff, I finally had the chance to put this into practice in the Barry 40. Roll on 2020...