5 weeks, 60 miles and a reminder that stubbornness is a positive personality trait
I found this week by far the most difficult out of the 30 weeks I have done in this plan. My recovery run at 4:45am on Tuesday morning was horrible and I barely got round the 8.4 miles in time to be back to take my wife into work. Luckily when I headed back out that evening I had something resembling freshness and my legs were able to maintain a lot faster pace far more effortlessly.
I managed another 2 outings of 8.4 miles on Thursday and Friday mornings at 4:45am. These were not as fluid as Tuesday evening but nowhere near as catastrophic as the start of the week had been.
The plan was to do another 13 laps today. I had a later start than I would have liked but I was far too invested in my plan for this week and next week to accept any other outcome.
I had listened to a Talking Comics review of a comic book called I Kill Giants twice on Monday which has definitely been the most influencial book I’ve read this year. The impression this made on the reviewers appeared to be at least as monumental as it had on me. There was also a lot of symbolism I had missed out on both times of reading it which I enjoyed their explanations of too. It is a brilliant story of overcoming circumstances and coping mechanisms. The expression a picture can tell a thousand words could be proven by a few panels of this book! Without spoiling the plot, the key message is about how coping mechanisms evolve with how dependent the person is on them and eventually they end needing to use these less. This ends on a sentiment captured on the fan art below
I was able to use this as motivation for virtually all of my run this afternoon. I took 5 litres of Tailwind in a large water bottle and refilled my 2 litre water bladder after 7 laps. I downed the other litre and hoped the remaining amount and a 7.2% BrewDog Jackhammer beer would be enough for the other 6 laps. I’m really taking the enjoyable liquid diet seriously!!! . My resilience to this distance had definitely improved from a few weeks ago and I was able to keep any thoughts of cutting it short from my mind. The weather was a bit cooler near the end as well which helped.
Ideally if I can replicate this for most of the race at the start of next month, I’m very confident about finishing. I’m not kidding myself that I have suddenly developed an inner steel that was missing in Paris in January and the last 25km of my race in Wales last month but all I need is for it to be there once, for one day under whatever conditions I get thrown at me. My plan is to replicate the night section at some point next weekend so if that goes well I will have trained under every element of the course race conditions. In terms of the 6 weeks since the St I'lltyd Ultra I will have done everything in my power to prepare fully for the difference in terrain and elevation next month. The defining thought in my mind is that once will be enough!