Training: Week Fifteen

“How’s the training going?”

If I had a pound for every time I’d been asked that question over the last couple of months I’d already have quit work and doing my training by skipping through the Alps in the sunshine.

I never know how to answer it really.

Training is, well, it’s….going.

There’s not much to say. I’m running. Multiple times a week for a few hours at a time. Meh. Sometimes the runs are brilliant, and sometimes they’re dull.

I don’t know whether I’m improving, or getting stronger. I hope so, but as I’m just repeating the same training these few months there’s no way to tell. Until, I guess, until I did something like the Yorkshire Three Peaks. I had no idea whether I could do it, but I did, and I surprised myself. It went well. So, I guess there’s the answer.

It’s going, and it seems to be going well. Only time will tell.

So this week I want to write about all the other stuff that sits around Training. Life.

I haven’t really struggled with motivation so far as such; mainly because I know I need to get out there and train, and if I don’t, come October I’ll be a failed mess with only myself to blame. I’m raising money for charity, so it’s my duty to get out there, put the effort in to at least stand a half decent chance of making it through. Sure, sometimes I can’t be arsed to get up early in a morning, but usually I run with other people so I can’t back out.

What I am struggling with right now is Time and Too Much To Do.

Training actually takes up a shit load of time. My shortest run is one hour, but it’s not really one hour. There’s the prep of my backpack/food/clothes/heart rate strap/anti chafe gel/kitchen sink. I can no longer just put my trainers on and go run. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t run without my backpack which weighs about 5kg (which I have to load up with water/snacks/other weight). Then of course the run. Which sometimes ends up longer because I might get lost go exploring. Then, a bit of stretching (and if I’m feeling good/brave/stupid, some foam rollering). Then eating the right stuff, as soon as possible (or just peanut butter on toast as a snack until I have proper food).  And of course this doesn’t include any pre, during or post-run faffing such as taking photos or videos for these very blog posts.

So training now takes up more of my time, so obviously I have cut down on all the other stuff I do, right?

Of course not. Yeah yeah, I know, I’ve only got myself to blame. But, how was I supposed to know that I’d end up with plans to move to New Zealand at around the same time as the Wadi Rum? So yeah, there’s all the stuff that comes with that. Moving out of my flat, flights, dates, working out when to leave work, making the most of Cheltenham & the UK in the summer, making the most of seeing people and all that jazz.

I have massive to do lists, which I’m not keen on. Both at home and at work. My life is like one big task list. It was like this last time I went travelling and it drove me bonkers. But I do know I have the reward of all that disappearing in a couple of months when I’ll land in Christchurch with no job, no friends and loads of time to just chill out for a bit.

<<If anyone reading this is contemplating signing up for an ultramarathon, my one bit of advice is that it does take up a shit load of time – be prepared for that.>>

In more exciting news, this week I also got some new kit (hurrah!). New socks – didn’t really trial any in the end, just went off a recommendation from someone on the internet as there is just TOO MUCH CHOICE. I shall just hope for the best. They weren’t cheap so they must be good right? Also got some running underwear – went for a Decathalon own brand (read: cheaper) and I’m pretty chuffed. Can’t believe now it took me so long – they will come in so handy for any kind of active stuff like hiking etc, not just running. Sweaty cotton chafing be gone!

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