Thursday, 19 May 2016

Motivation creation

Recently I realised that not having a race to target means that although I go running for fun (which was the point of not having a formal plan), I also eat like a pig and drink like a fish. Oops. Consumed way too many carbs, and way too many units of loopy-juice lately. The remedy? Enter a race or two and get a goal to target.

Mrs, rocking the North Downs Way 50 last weekend

So - fast or far? Competent athletes have to cope with a trade off - they have these challenging decisions to make like “should I be a sub-10s 100m sprinter, a sub-13 minute 5km middle distance athlete, or a 2-hour marathoner?”. If you go super fast, you can’t do it for long; and if you go long, you lose top speed (although Mo Farah appears not to have got the memo on that one). Thankfully, 13 stone 40-year old desk-bound office workers rarely face such a conundrum.

I said a while go I didn’t see the need to enter a road marathon again, right? Didn’t say anything about trail ultras though did I. Therefore - today I entered a couple of trail ultra-marathons.

First up, on July 16th  I’ll take on the X-NRG Chiltern Challenge 2016 - a pretty 31-mile trail race through the Chilterns.

Chiltern Challenge route, 31 miles

But maybe I need bit more motivation?...

How about 50 miles worth of motivation?...

In 122 days, on September 17th, I'll have a bash at the Centurion Running Chiltern Wonderland 50. I’ve let Mrs take on the long races until now (apart form my one painful ultra experience) but watching her ace the North Downs Way 50 last weekend was (and I’m not sorry for using this word) inspirational. I saw her at 31 miles, and at the end. She looked amazing, she was running wonderfully, and was so full of happy at the end. I want that!

Chiltern Wonderland, 50 miles

I really enjoyed a run out on the North Downs Way recently, a 10 mile out and back, and would love to race on that terrain. I say “race”, really I mean “get from A to B without exploding” but that’s really the goal of ultras - to get to the end, ideally in one piece and smiling a bit.

In the mean time I seem to have swelled a little and currently tip the scales at very nearly 90kg. I feel heavy and my clothes are unflatteringly snug. There's plenty of time to fix that, so... game on!

*nervous gulp*