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100 miles…all at once ? taking the spirit of Forest Gump a bit far !
Kit checked today, food prepped, head torch tweaked, lycra ironed and socks out the freezer. Its the final countdown. Im more nervous about this than the Amazon Jungle Marathon (which Ive done twice (double hard bastard me)). Its 100 miles. Not a marathan, not on a straight road, but 100 miles of undulating coastal terrain. Dont get me wrong, I cant wait to see the sunrise Saturday morning having been running for approx 9-10 hours, admittedly probably hallucinating a bit but come rain or shine, itll be amazing. Who starts a race at 7pm on Friday night ??? Whats the worst that can happen ? More concerned about running through Newquay on a Saturday night, maybe stop off for a quick half in town ??
Trainings done, final preparation and food check and most of all, dont forget to download the Hope Relay app. Because kids, in addition to raising money for Walking with the Wounded, every mile I run, Samsung donate £1 to charity through the app. Simple, easy and a good way – try it !
A recent lecture by ultra athlete, adventurer and physiologist Mark Hines was a treat. Hadnt seen Mark since my pre-Jungle physiology testing in 2009 so it was great to get tips, tricks and advice on training and running in extreme conditions. However it did put me into a bit of a panic about the next race.
The Ultra Trail South West. The enormity of it all suddenly dawned on me with a mighty whoomph as I realised looking around the room at Marathon des Sables veterans, Everest racers, fellow Junglers Jim Binks and Jamie Kellett, people were fit. Fitter than me. Training definitely needs to move up a notch.
The added panic and confusion was amplified by a call from Channel 4 who were keen to talk to me about a documentary on ‘Midlife Adventurers’. The initial concern from them was I was too young for the programme. At a sprightly 38 years old and having gone through significant change in the last few years both personally, professionally and health – my story didn’t really seem that engaging to delve deeper into. However they do still seem a bit keen so lets see what happens. Not sure I want the nation to see me training in lycra or bursting into tears about life changing moments. NQOC my darlings.
Anyhoo back to the race fear and having spoken also to fellow athlete Ed Vincent from the Amazon 2009, who is also competing in the UTSW along with Mark Hines and the S4C ultra queen of endurance Lowri Morgan. Ed had been reading about 100 mile races and that in reality, the actual halfway mark is 80 miles, not 50 which some people would assume. This is for a number of reasons, the key one is – its frickin tough and your body and brain shuts down. Sounds like fun. Training up a notch and more info to follow.
3 weeks to go ! Suck it up kids. Train Harder.
As the training builds up, the need for sponsorship increases at www.justgiving.com/iamtombird100miler.
Running across the Norfolk beaches provides a welcome change from ‘ol London town. The clear air, the blue skies, the lapping of the waves. Pure running poetry.
With 7 weeks until the London Marthon, I am on track for a sub 330. However as with all these things, the right training, nutrition and planning – it can all go wrong.
More nightime running required during the week on Hampstead Heath (occasionally bumping into Ricky Gevais on the trails (running also)). This week will involve some speed sessions, leg weights to improve these little chicken legs and ensure the right diet continues.
A few 20 milers planned over the next few weeks to get the stamina back where it should be.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a morning run around the sun drenched beaches of Costa Rica. Having shaken off severe man-flu and suspected malaria I have got back in the training seat in preparation for the big 100 in June. The coastal paths, the hilltops with amazing views. Makes London a distant memory. New Years may cause a slight blip in the training regime but just being here is heaven!