November started off fairly quietly for Susie as she enjoyed lots of beautiful autumn runs close to home. It was perfect preparation for the trip of a lifetime, as she headed off to Japan to run and bike the Nakasendo Way. Read on to be inspired…
1. Run Ultra interview – 3rd November
As an ambassador for Run Ultra, Susie interviewed top female ultra runner Gemma Game about her Marathon des Sables experience, where she put in an amazing performance to come third placed female in the 2018 event. Having run the legendary Marathon des Sables herself four times, Susie was the perfect person to speak to Gemma about the race, get her top tips for running six days through the desert and share advice about getting into ultra running in general. It’s an inspiring read, written by one great female runner about another great female runner!
2. Nice-Cannes Marathon – 4th November
The beginning of November saw Susie take part in the Nice-Cannes Marathon on the beautiful French Riviera. Susie opted to do a 13.1-mile relay leg due to a continuing foot injury, but still loved taking part alongside her friends who went on to complete the full marathon distance. They all enjoyed a few celebratory drinks and Susie took a quick recovery run up to Nice Castle the following morning to take in the amazing views. Definitely one for the bucket list!
3. November running
Susie has been enjoying the beautiful autumn scenery for lots of runs with her friends, including experienced runners Lily Partridge and Charlotte Whatley.
After suffering a few injuries lately, it’s great to see Susie back out enjoying her running. Social running in inspiring locations is often a perfect way to get your mojo back and remember why you run in the first place. And for Susie, one of her favourite places to run is the trails near her home – proving that for all the incredible medals she has earned around the world, there’s no place like home.
4. November swimming
In between her running Susie has kept up swimming, and she is really starting to reap the benefits of cross training. Susie openly admits that swimming has never been her favourite discipline, but you might remember she took on Swim Serpentine in autumn 2017 and gained newfound confidence in the sport.
There’s no doubt that swimming is an excellent, non-impact sport to complement running…although we can’t help but think Susie’s swim sessions are a little more hardcore than the average swim!
5. Running the Nakasendo Way in Japan – 22nd-30th November
At the end of November Susie headed out to Japan for an epic running and biking journey along the Nakasendo Way. The centuries-old highway links Kyoto to Tokyo and Susie’s plan was to run and cycle sections of the route to see Japan off the beaten track.
Her trip began with a running tour of Nagoya and she soon got underway to enjoy some magnificent bike rides and runs through traditional villages, on mountain roads, through bamboo forests, past lakeside shrines and alongside spectacular waterfalls. The landscape was stunning and Susie’s photos are definitely worth a look over on Instagram and Twitter.
Of course, Susie was up for participating in the local customs and her adventure also saw her dressing up as a Samurai in Sekigahara, the scene of the most historic battle in Japan’s history, eating her first grasshopper, drinking local sake, seeing snow monkeys in their natural habitat, travelling on the bullet train and attending an early morning Buddhist temple ceremony. It was the trip of a lifetime and a fantastic way to see Japan by running and cycling through the spectacular landscape.
Susie finished up in Tokyo, the end point of the Nakasendo Way, where she found her mountain views and peaceful cobbled paths replaced by the bustling streets of the Japanese capital. She was greeted by the Tokyo running club Namban Rengo who joined her for the final 10km, and they ran from Itabashi to Nihonbashi, where the dragons symbolised the end of the journey. It was a perfect end to Susie’s journey, as a huge highlight for her was the people she met along the way – with the additional joy of seeing how important running is in Japan.
Anyone who follows Susie will know her love of pizza and beer, and this is exactly what she celebrated with at the end – with a little sake thrown in!
What a great trip to round off an amazing year of running for Susie. We’ve loved following her sunny stories as winter takes hold here in the UK. Of course, we still have December to go, so keep posted for the next – and final – instalment of 2018!