After last weekend’s excesses I had a reasonably laid back on this weekend. That phrase had so many different meanings in my twenties.
Anyway, the training focus now shifts towards the Fan Dance in about 7 weeks and the ultra marathon following that the weekend after. As luck would have it, a mate of mine whom I met at our local ParkRun, almost read my mind and messaged me to see if I’d be interested in doing some longer runs on Saturday mornings before ParkRun, which is what I was intending to do anyway. So after a night on the tiles on Friday night after work, I met him at 7.30 am and off we trotted at a fairly pleasant pace, able to chat the whole way. By the time we did the ParkRun however, dead legs had set in and despite my assurances to concerned friends overtaking me that I was taking it easy, I couldn’t have actually ran faster if there was an escaped leopard chasing me. I would have been breakfast. Still, it was really enjoyable to run along chatting to people instead of flying along like it’s the Olympics.
The run home for both of us was fairly hilarious as we both literally ground to a halt. Still, it’s good for me not to tire my legs too much ahead of the weekend.
My very good school friend whom I mentioned last week completed an incredible 100 mile (actually 104 mile!) cycle ride at the weekend, and finished in a very respectable time. The face to face conversation we had briefly at my ultra the other week revealed she was concerned that the broom wagon would get her! This obviously wasn’t the case. I think the size of her achievement might not sink in for a while. Despite her doubts, and my years of endurance training, I am actually only 25 minutes faster across that distance, so she has a hell of a lot to be proud of. I hope it is now the catalyst to start a journey of self-discovery and personal achievement that I started out on years ago, cutting any doubt down to size and instilling a kind of quiet confidence that you know what your limits are and what you’re capable of. So many people are afraid to find out.
As I carried out hill sprints and circuits in the woods near my house yesterday morning, I was very aware of the motto on my t-shirt: Pain is your only certainty.
This makes or breaks people. Time find out which.