Stirling Marathon, a fading memory. Stirling Marathon, a race which showed me what was possible with a solid training plan, good nutrition and good rest prior to the event back in May. Stirling Marathon, a massive high but then what comes after one of the best races of my life? An Ultra marathon of course!
Within days of running 2:52:52 at Stirling I signed up to 'Run The Blades' 50k ultra. My first Ultra. The course is set out in the UK's largest onshore wind farm. It's offroad on trails which is right up my street however I've done very little training for it!
Since Stirling I've struggled with motivation to run. I've tried to get back to training but I just haven't had the drive to pull on my trainers. I know that 50k isn't just a run, I know I should be going out doing long runs and clocking up the miles but since Stirling I've had days where all I've wanted to do was crawl in to bed and hide.
I've tried to get back in to training, getting a solid 60 mile week in, not that long ago - but I felt flat. My legs had nothing in them and what I found even worse was my head wasn't in it.
Since that day where I just wanted to hide, I've spoken with my coach and said I won't be back to the usual Tuesday track session for a while. I need a rest from structured training. I want to find the love of just running.
One way I've found of finding that love has been by pulling on my trail shoes instead of my road shoes and I've gone exploring. Heading out on to the trails down at Dunbar, East Lothian. Up, over and around Athur's Seat and the Salisbury Crags in Edinburgh, basically anywhere I can which isn't on pavement or tarmac.
It has been great fun and I'm running by time, not distance. I say I'm going out for an hour and that is all I do. Whether I've covered 4 miles or 8 miles, it doesn't matter.
I trained for six solid months for Stirling and now that it's over and done with, I need to readjust. Let my body and mind fully recover and rather than feel I have to get a run in, just run when I really want to.
I've so much I need to do now that I'm not training so intensely. I've blogs to write. I've training to do for my job. I've a life to live with Mandy. I don't want to look back in five years time and think - gosh! I should have taken more time to enjoy life back then. I want to enjoy life now!
I've about four weeks to go before 'The Blades', so where am I physically and psychologically? Well, I do plan on getting a couple of long runs in, something in the region of 18 - 20 miles. Just so I know that I can at least get to 20 miles without any issues. I probably won't taper as much as I did for Stirling. Psychologically, this is not an 'A' race for me, it's an experience. I've decided that I won't race 'The Blades' but instead I will enjoy it. Take in the scenery, take in the experience of my first Ultra marathon and enjoy the outdoors, enjoy running.