Plans and ultras

With the a-z challenge out of the way, it’s back to normal. And this means getting back to finishing my novel, considering the other one, and planning and training for an ultramarathon. A what? where did that come from?

I’m in a couple of running groups on facebook, and someone on one of those posted that she was halfway through the Pony Express Ultra.

Now for some reason the name caught my attention, and so I looked it up. It’s based in my favourite part of the country, the New Forest, and it’s a 60 mile/2 day run, through the forest, on trails, cycle paths and very occasionally roads. It involves navigating through the countryside, at a walk or run, and a night out camping in a sports hall.

Sounds fun, no?

I’ve only run as far as a half marathon so far, so I’m being sensible. I’m too late for this year, obviously, and I’m not even going to think about doing it next year. But the year after? I don’t see why not.

It’s a big challenge, that’s for sure. But it’s a challenge that has me excited at the thought, and I consider it manageable. After all, a couple of years ago 10k was a big challenge. So this year I’m doing several 10ks, I’ve done a half marathon, and I’m looking into doing a second HM. The particular one I’m looking at is described as “challenging”, which originally put me off a little, but hey, if I’m heading for a two day ultra, what’s scary about an undulating half?

Next year I’m planning to do a marathon or two – looking at the Kent Roadrunner as a possible first – and then the year after it will be the ultra.

It means building up my long runs, adding in at least one more run a week, running more trail routes and getting much more serious about getting into shape. That doesn’t scare me. I keep feeling it should, but I really enjoyed the long runs building up to the half, and felt sorry when it was all over. Now I have a good excuse to build back up again.

I also have a new pair of shoes for road work, to go with my new trail shoes I bought recently. So I’m all set to go!

I did a 10k race on Monday, so allowing myself to take it easy for a couple of days, but then back to the three runs/three swims a week from tomorrow, building in a fourth run from next week, and increasing the distance. My running is getting faster at the moment thanks to some podcasts I’ve been using, which are working on my cadence, but the beauty of an ultra is that distance trumps speed.

I woke up a couple of mornings ago, the day after completing a 10k, and thought to myself: I just ran fast(ish) for an hour yesterday without stopping. And recently I ran for over two and a half hours without stopping. That’s absolutely incredible. And now I’m thinking of doing it for several hours and over two days. There’s still a long way to go until I’m ready for it, but bring it on! Nearly two years of hard work to go before I get there, but I’m looking forward to it.


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