Last week proved to be another busy week. It was also a very productive week as well. I completed a couple of small projects in work ahead of time and that was good as I had scheduled a couple of days off, it was good that I didn’t need to think about finishing them on my return this week.
Training continues to go well and the motivation and focus are still strong.
On Saturday I did another long run – 14.2 miles. Sooner or later this will become a medium distance run as I push towards runs of 20-24 miles as long runs. I decided to sort my mp3 player out prior and purchased a 16gb micro SD card, so the capacity was increased. Just over 3 hours later of transferring songs onto it, and I’d only used half of the capacity (at full capacity it should be able to hold around 4,000 songs or one prog rock keyboard solo!!!!!). Great, even more different stuff to listen to whilst training.
Slight glitch on Saturday with it though, as I was running along at a steady pace, focused, and it repeated the song I’d just listened to (‘Radio Free Europe’ by REM), skipped it and again the song same popped up – seriously!!!! Managed to sort it out and got moving again, until once again, a few miles later the same song decided to play again (and again after hitting skip!) – as much as I like the song I don’t really want it on a loop for a run of over 2 hours.
Last week's training mileage was just over 27 miles plus a couple of walks of over 2 hours. The walks were great as I’d be meaning to do this for a month or so as I wanted to get some pictures of some of the points I pass on my runs – I don’t tend to take a great deal of notice when out running so to explore the vast history and great architecture was good.
I’ve also increased the amount of strength and core work I’m doing. It is all going in the right direction and I know that as each week passes the previous week was an easy week in comparison to the coming week.
I’m trying to live as spartan an existence as possible as I train for the ultra. I spend very little time watching television or browsing the internet (I read and listen to music instead). I’ve become more disciplined about what I eat. I stick to the routine I’ve set myself – it is neither exciting nor inspiring, but I know it is the way that it needs to be until I cross the finish line of the ultra. I know I have the self-discipline to do this, I don’t see it as making much of a sacrifice in terms of what my goal is.
I don’t feel bored, far from it, some days it is a push to get everything I’ve planned done, but it gets done. I’ve already finished reading 14 books this year and have a stack of 10 more to read in the next couple of months. I’ve been here before when I’ve trained and that sacrifice is worth it once the finish line is crossed.
I have some of my finishers medals hanging up on the wall – they don’t solely represent the race or event but more the effort that went into achieving that finish, those long miles, those days when the training went well and those days when I had to really dig deep to finish the session. I know this is going to be exactly the same this time around. Mentally I will be prepared, and physically I will be prepared.
I did watch a video from the Serpent Trail 50k Ultra last week. The course looks amazing as well as challenging. I visualised what it would feel like to cross the finish line. Then a thought popped into my head – “then what?” Good question. Once I’ve recovered the from the ultra why should all the hard work and training stop. Hopefully I will run the Great South Run in October and then the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon in December.
If all goes well with the ultra and after saying ‘never again’ for a day or two as my legs recover and thoughts start veering towards ‘what if I did that differently’ I’m not ruling out returning to the Serpent Trail again in 2022 and maybe finding another 50k trail run to take part in somewhere in the country. However, they are thoughts for later in the year when the event is completed. Thoughts now are on being focused and self-disciplined, not being distracted, shutting out the noise, and building the strength, determination, and belief even more each day.
Richard Guy, 47 years of age, born and grew up in London and have lived in Portsmouth since 2017.