I'm setting out on a 42 mile run in whales next weekend. I'll go from Aberdovey north along the coast, finishing at Harlech beneath a castle.
I've been averaging over 20 mile weeks for the extent of this year. I didn't keep rigorous records, but any week that I ran less than 20 miles, there were corresponding weeks that compensated. So with that in mind I decided to sign up for a long race at the end of the year. I googled around and picked a race somewhat randomly based on the fact that there were still entries available, and I found a CODRC event, 'run to the castle'. I misinterpreted the statement about the buckle, so I signed up to the 41 mile ultramarathon.
After I signed up for the race I came up with a 5 week plan to train, starting with around a half-marathon distance on Sunday, two twenty mile plus weekends, then dial it back with a half marathon distance, and the last weekend before the race doing an 8 miler. Today is the last 'big' run for training, which is only 8 miles.
I set up the schedule with the intent of proving that I can manage the different stages of the race. I expect there were be hills, mud, wind, traveling with a full weight backpack, traveling at night and navigating. I try to take some of the tedium out of long training runs by running in new neighborhoods. So I started running the Thames Path west of Richmond. From Staines to Teddington, then Marlow to Staines. These runs were pleasant, good for dealing with some of the elements, but they obviously they lacked any hills. So I planned one of the marathon distances to be from the Saturday Walkers club, Pewsey Circular. There is a lot of history on this walk, and I highly recommend it. There is a shorter route too. Then I also did a run along the coast, to experience the wind and hills. So I went from Folkstone to Deal.
For today Ill carry my full gear, including the leggings and see how that works out. I won't use my nice socks in case I do not get a chance to do laundry. It's a strange run, because if I get injured I won't really get a chance to recover. I am torn about actually just skipping this one because everything feels a bit tight from last weeks run along the coast to Deal. I need to work on recovery but at the same time I don't think I should just stop. My buddy keeps running up until the race. So I might even do short runs during the week. Like tuesday and wednesday depending on how today goes.
I'm impressed by the amount I've improved just over the five week training regime. For example the two half marathon days, I felt much better during the second run after a half marathon distance. I misread my time though, because my phone picked up signal from France and I thought I lost an hour. Then running along the shore under the cliffs really took it out of me. The race has a section of run along low tide coast, so Ill probably take it especially easy.
I'm pretty stoked about where I am at in regards to preparation.