Only a few days until step two on my Ultra step toward the Grand Slam and this time a very different prospect in terms of course. This Saturday is 100 miles on the South Downs Way: Winchester to Eastbourne. A total of 12,700ft ascent over the day. I’ll let that sink in… 12,700ft. Yikes! That along with some mid-20’s temps and it’ll no doubt be a gruelling event.
As a general rule these events are hilly. There’s hillier courses in the UK and don’t even get me started on some of the events overseas that make this one seem like a small bump in the trail but for a novice Ultra Runner like myself who trains almost entirely on the flat planes of Horsham it is daunting! Fortunately this time out I have two pacers, once joining me for 20 miles from Mile 54 to 76 and then another from 76 to the end. They will no doubt keep my spirits up during the dark times.
Last time I blogged was shortly after completion of the Thames Path 100 and in the 5 or so weeks since then I took a week off exercise completely and roughly two weeks off running to give my body time to come to terms with the stress I placed on it. After that I started running again but have only maintained fitness levels rather than pushing harder. I maybe could’ve done more but I wasn’t able to find my running mojo and struggled with motivation to get out for the shorter, quicker runs.
The key thing I took from the last race was how important it is to maintain a positive frame of mind. If you start something thinking you are going to fail, you will. Much of the past 2 weeks I’ve spent focussing on the journey I’ll go on, the positives of what I’m trying to do and of course, the finish. Whilst my legs don’t feel 100% fresh I’m ready to rock and can’t wait to get going.
I’m going to try for a sub 24 finish again this time so wish me luck on those hills!
For more information on the SDW100 click here