One week to go.
My last couple of weeks have been easy by comparison to the peak of my training schedule, but there is nothing better than having reached and passed that point without having sustained an injury. Nevertheless I have to keep telling myself it’s alright to have a rest, as I feel a bit lazy, a bit of a ‘slacker’ having only completed a minimal 50 miles last week and with only a paltry 30 miles planned this week
I will need all the rest I can get as the races I am attempting are only four weeks apart, so with a recovery week after each (to let feet and legs, body and mind recuperate) and a taper week before each race, that does not leave much time for training in between.
I am swinging from feelings of excitement over these races, to fear of failure, to loathing of the challenge I have set myself without fully understanding why I am doing it. I have been ‘training’ for this since the end of August after the UTMB – it is a long time to commit to lengthy Sunday runs and early morning starts.
All three races I have planned will be different and present their own unique challenges.
The Cotswold 100 will hopefully be the easiest as it is a road race and the hills that it does include are minimal and gently undulating. The flip-side of this one is that the road surfaces are hard and unforgiving, and it will be an assault for my legs as well as my feet. As this is the first race though, the whole weight of my expectation for the season will also be set here – if I can’t do this is a lot less than 24 hours, there is not much chance for a sub-25 hour Leadville.
The Lakeland 100 is likely to be the most difficult, being far more similar to Mont Blanc, in terms of the continuous barrage of hills around the route (12 plus a few minor 300ft hillocks, which honestly don’t count!) and it is probably more difficult than it’s French counterpart in that the trails, at least for the first 50 miles, are purportedly non-existent. Think 4 x marathon fell running.
The major challenge with the Leadville 100 is pretty much confined to two aspects; The 1000m (in 5km) ascent you have to traverse, twice, once at 45 miles and then at 55 miles on the way back, and of course the altitude, the peak of this 1000m climb to Hope(less) Pass being at 3800m (just under 13,000ft).
The potential for injury throughout these events is high, to say the least. Strong ankles are a must during dark, night-time, trail runs. Heaven knows how I am going to react, and cope, with the altitude in Leadville.
Self-doubt abounds at the moment because of nerves and over a 100 mile race that is the last thing I need.
As they say for ultramarathons
The first third you run with your legs, the second third you run with your head, the last third you run with your heart.
One week to get my head-space right, since as you can probably gather, I’m not there yet.