We’re nearly there! Ten days left until my first ever attempt at running 50 miles, and my second ever attempt at this ultramarathon malarkey. To say I’m excited would be quite an understatement; it’s my first big race of the year, after niggles and sporadic training led me to withdraw from running in London three weeks ago. It was a good decision, I think – the ankle trouble I’ve struggled with on and off for nearly three months has finally been laid to rest, the training that I have done has been encouraging, and I’m now trying to get to the start line in as healthy a shape as possible.
The race in question? North Downs Way 50. I had been oscillating between excitement at the challenge, and disbelief that I could actually manage the distance. Until, that is, I followed the truly inspiring efforts of everyone running the Thames Path 100 last weekend, which quite frankly makes the small matter of 50 miles look like a walk in the park. So now I’m mostly excited, and entering full OCD / control-freak mode regarding logistics, packing, kit, and weather forecast checking. Oh, and food.
I’ve bought a new running t-shirt especially for the occasion, because none of the 24 million t-shirts that I already own are *exactly* right, and everyone knows that new kit makes you run faster anyway. I’ve just about resisted the temptation to follow this philosophy with new trainers. That might have been a bad idea, but I’ll admit it was a struggle. Maybe for the next one!
Because I am moderately competitive by nature, and an idiot, I naturally have aspirations regarding time and rank. But really, my aim is to have the best day running a beautiful trail in good company. If I manage that, then there’s every chance that I’ll get close to my dreams… but I genuinely have NO IDEA what this is going to feel like. I can’t wait! The whole process is being made far less intimidating by the company of fellow C&C runners Paula and Nev, and superstar crew, Rich. I would be bricking it if I had to do all this on my own. I’ll tell you afterwards what my hopes are for this race, and you can all judge for yourselves just how much of a crackpot I am!