In 19 days I will stop looking at training plans, stop looking at my shoe options, stop changing my mind on kit, stop staring at maps and elevation profiles, stop hating my coach and most importantly I will stop crossing the days off the calendar. In 19 days I will be getting ready for the 11.30am start to what is my biggest personal challenge to date. Obvious exceptions apply before anyone questions how I could consider a run more challenging than parenthood. Trust me I made that up as I went along too (love you Cody).
I know I said I would write this blog each week and I really did try at the beginning. It was a goal destined for a DNF to be honest. I just felt like it got bit same old same old though. There’s only so much you can read about intervals, hills, poo stops and hating my coach*. And to be honest there’s only so much I can write about it.
The short version of the last month is that I shuffled round the Shires to Spires 35 mile ultra with 7 minutes to spare at cut-off, I shuffled round the South Downs Way marathon and I DNF’d Coombe Abbey marathon. Yep, I DNF’d a marathon. Why? My knees were shot. Think searing hot pain under the kneecap and you might be close. Plus, and here is the honest raw bit … I got bored. I have never been so bored on a run. I don’t listen to music by choice and I am happy in my own company. You don’t want to know the stuff I think about for hours on end but I actually even got bored with me (and I think I’m bloody lovely!!). So, there you have it, pathetic excuse for my first ever DNF. I genuinely always thought I’d have some great tale to tell the day it happened. Getting attacked by mountain lions halfway up Kilimanjaro was my preferred story that I was starting to build. Boredome near Coventry I didn’t see coming.
How has training gone. Meh. It’s been there. I think this work project has finally drained me. 6 months of 70 hour weeks has taken every last drop of my life. Eddie has been super patient with me but it’s helped that she’s been focused on bringing the beautiful baby Evie into the world so I was a small blip on her radar. Although I have to admit a bit of fear when she gave birth and 6 hours later was asking me if I’d been out for my run!!
This project ends this week though and next week it’s back into the corporate world for a while covering a maternity contract. Guaranteed max 35 hour week. I can’t bloody wait. I will feel like a part timer. Of course it has come too late for my Lakeland 50 race plan. Or has it?
I went up to the Lakes this past weekend and surprised myself. On Saturday we did Howtown to Kentmere. I remembered every step of the route so no need to get the road book out. Then on Sunday we did Ambleside to Coniston. I bloody love that part of the route. Seriously. I smiled with every step (aside from the ones where I was swearing). I did it an hour overall faster than last time and then when I looked at the geeky Strava stuff my moving time rocked. I just need to cut that stoppage time down massively.
Oh, the knee. I took some advice from the amazing Mimi Anderson and have learned how to tape my knee (even had physio check it over and he said I got it right for my issue). Wore the tape on Sunday and had nearly 6 hours pain free. I mean zero pain. It was amazing and I felt like I was flying on the downhills!
And … this is the best bit … I didn’t have any emergency poo stops!
So, there you have it, 19 days to go.
* I do NOT hate my coach. Without Eddie I would have given up long ago. Fact.