Although the blogging has been somewhat quiet of late, the training has been ticking along quite nicely and dare I say it, I have remained injury free, despite ramping up my mileage over the last couple of months.
The recovery from the ‘exertion’ of the Edinburgh Marathon was surprisingly lengthy it was 2-3 weeks at least before I was getting my pace back to what I would consider ‘normal’. The problem here is that it has also been getting warmer – yes, I know that for those of you in the south of France, the southern states of the USA and Australia, to name but a few, ‘warm’ is not a term that you would associate with the move of a thermometer in a positive direction into the lower 20°C territory, but the UK weather, after a very mild winter, has stayed pretty mild until recently, with only the odd day here and there to remind us that the yellow globe in the sky provides all of the life-giving energy to our humble existance – indeed, sales of sun-cream in the UK have no doubt suffered in 2014 until recently.
Still, heat or not, my training for the infamous UTMB at the very end of August, is going well and as I say, I have been increasing my long-run and weekly distances as well adding in more hill work.
There are not many hills around Guildford, although being smack, bang in the middle of the North Downs, we are perhaps served better than many other places in the UK, but inevitably hill work is less about overall ascent and more about repetition. My normal Sunday morning runs at the moment involve a period of looping around the biggest hill in our immediate area, followed by 20 miles or so. I guess I really should do a couple of loops up the 100m ascent on my way back home as well, but so far I haven’t quite got the timing right – at least that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking with it! 🙂
My general lunchtime runs have generally stayed away from the tourist areas, running east to either Victoria Park or round to the Limehouse basin, both of which take in the Regent’s canal in London. I did have a spell where I braved the tourists and run across the bridges of London, including Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Millennium Bridge, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Hungerford, Westminster and occasionally Lambeth bridge as well. The route is unbelievably picturesque and it is frequented by a huge number of runners, but it sadly lacks the hills that I need for my training.
I’m also planning on doing another ‘long-run-home’ shortly and I am hoping a series of late night runs for 4-5 hours after a working day will at least get me ready to run through the night. I have forgotten how to use a head torch, although even the early mornings have been becoming darker recently.
I am not sure what to make of Mont Blanc. It is a bit of a monster – 103 miles (to be exact) and over 9km of ascent and descent to do a circuit of the highest peak in Europe. Some might ask “why do it?” and it would be a fair question, and I’ll bet of the 2,300 people lining up in Chamonix on 29 August, quite a few will be asking themselves the same question.