Back Into The Swing Of Things

Okay. My bad.

I’ve been so distracted over the last 7 months with the modules of the course I’ve been studying in Astronomy and Cosmology, that I’ve barely had time to do anything else. My days have been a succession of waking up, studying in the confined space of a commuter train to London, working, running at lunchtime, more working, studying and reading on the way home, helping with the children until bedtime, then dinner and more studying.

Having handed my last Astronomy module paper in on Monday, I’m now free for a few months though – until October as I’ve signed up for another couple of courses…. πŸ˜‰

I must thank Liz for all her support over the last 7 months, as I could not have managed it without her provision of food, water, beer and sustenance in general at appropriate times. Thanks ML πŸ˜€

In my defence, the workload of blogging has also been compounded by problems with my website which I have not had the chance to fix until now – hence also the change of theme!

River Thames from Richmond Hill
River Thames from Richmond Hill

Even so, throughout my recent foray back into academia, I have been trying to maintain my running fitness, but for various reasons, have not done as many long runs over the last few weeks as I would have liked.

This is especially worrying as I am entered into the Centurion TP100 run tomorrow, which is a 100 mile race from Richmond to Oxford, following the path of the Thames.

I have done a couple of races along the Thames in the past, once in 2009 which was from Reading to East Molesey (Thames Meander – 57 miles) and one last year from Oxford to Henley (Thames Trot), which due to a variety of diversions as a result of the flooding in February 2013 ended up being about 44 miles. So I know the route relatively well, although I have always been travelling from west to east in the past and this is a departure in that it starts in London and moves out in the country; I think this will be a lot more pleasant.

I’ve not managed to convince any of my colleagues to come pace me at any time

It is probably the ‘easiest’ 100 miler around as although the ground may be a bit damp, most of the waters from the flood plains have receded from earlier in the year, it is only a few 10s of metres of elevation climb, so pretty flat. As a result its just the distance, and the psychology of running into the night with which to contend.from about 8pm Saturday night to 6pm Sunday morning, on the Bank Holiday weekend – I wonder why πŸ˜†

Thames at Oxford
Thames at Oxford

So tomorrow at 10:00am I’ll be starting on my 7th 100 mile race, and aiming to complete it in under 20 hours – I think the live times will be updated from the checkpoints so if you want to see how things are going check at this link – I’m race number #357.

If nothing else it will be a good training run, but I’m not sure that’s the way I should be thinking about it! Should I be taking it more seriously? Perhaps, but the essence of ultra running for me, is to get outside and enjoy.

Even so, I have no doubt I’ll be pleased to get to Oxford on Sunday morning and I’m also glad it is a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK as that’ll give me a little more time to rest and actually have a weekend with the family afterwards.

10 thoughts on “Back Into The Swing Of Things”

  1. Have a wonderful run! We’ll be cheering for you here in Texas. I’m teaching this weekend, so they’ll be at least 30 students cheering from the Houston REI.

    1. Hey! Thanks Liza – Hope the course goes well and they are ‘willing’ students. Looking forward to hearing about your marathon and sub-3 hrs in a few weeks πŸ™‚

  2. Mark, I’m not sure it qualified as fun! Started out slow and got slower! Beautiful day and night though, albeit a bit chilly first thing on Sunday morning. Harder than I expected on such a flat course.

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