Manbag #20 – Am I ready for this?

The last Manbag before Lakes in a Day, only 2.5 sleeps before the start. I have an early start on race day hence the 0.5 night.

So, am I ready for this? Yes, well as ready as I can be. Could I have done more training? Yes – Could I have lost a bit more weight? Yes

Would I have felt less nervous/more confident if I’d done the extra miles/weight loss? Probably not.

Am I confident that I can do it? Yes, otherwise I wouldn’t have got this far. I have the kit to keep me safe on the fells. I can navigate without the need of a GPS, but I’ll have one with me. I know the route over the high fells and I know where I can bail if it goes wrong.

I can’t control the weather so there’s no point worrying about that, yet.

My one known, unknown is my stoma. It’s been on a long run – 12 hours. But, never a really long run with feed stations that serve actual food. I’ve never had to change my bag on a run but that’s not realistic in an event this long. I have a plan which goes like this.

It’s really uncomfortable to run for any length of time with a bag that begins to fill up. Even a small amount makes me feel uneasy and I am still a bit self conscious about bag bounce and subsequent leaks. So, my plan goes like this. There are 3 feed stations, if my bag contains anything other than a tiny amount of crap then I will change it. Hopefully that will mean that I won’t have to change my bag up on the fells in a howling gale or in the dark down the side of Lake Windermere. Additionally, when I go on a long run my output gets increasingly liquid which makes leaks more of an issue. On a regular run I use two additional pieces of tape on top of the base plate. But for this I’ll double up. So, my stoma kit will be 3 bags, 12 pieces of tape, a bunch of wipes and adhesive remover spray plus bags to put the waste in. All wrapped up to keep dry and a spare dry sac just in case I need to change on the fells and carry a bag to the next feed station.

I’ve tried various wraps, stoma vests, hernia supports but a tight fitting Helly Hanson type base layer tucked in to my shorts/leggings is as good a way as any to reduce the discomfort of bag bounce. The balance is adequate support without too much compression. Too much compression leads to increased risk of leaks in my case. There are lots of variables that influence this choice, where your stoma is situated, type of running you do, speed etc. So for me it’s a good fitting base layer. it’s about feeling confident, if I feel confident I can concentrate on the running rather than my stoma. If it’s blowing a gale on Fairfield in low visibility and fading light, you really don’t want to be worrying about your bag/stoma. I will also take a spare base layer just in case I have a leak disaster.

So, back to my original question.

Am I ready for this?

Yes, absolutely.

Thanks for your support, it means a lot.

If you’d like to support Colostomy UK, a charity supporting ostomates you can do so here.

Take care


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A 50 something film and digital photographer based in Kendal, Cumbria. Blogging about mental health, mental wellbeing, living with a colostomy and music memories.

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