“Don’t worry about the warm up, that’s what the first mile is for!” – Lionel Smith.
This is all new to me: running and blogging; but more-so blogging. I decided to start a blog once I had made the crazy decision to sign up for an Ultra Marathon. The blog is as much as a learning curve for me as running is and has been: please bear with me! I will start from the beginning, and work towards the present!
I only started running around three years ago. It was all prompted by a few health concerns and some honest conversations with myself about lifestyle choices. I started with the popular C25K app, as did many, but this was not enough for me, and after a fair period of running alone, and off the back of advice from experienced runner friends, I joined a running club: Ely Runners!
For many reasons, Ely Runners changed my life! I met like-minded people, who love to run, and I am sure they do not appreciate how important many of them have become to me. It was with Ely Runners that I started a rapid journey; from those early club runs, to entering 5 and 10K events; progressing to half marathons; onto my first marathon (then two more including VLM) to becoming a Run England Coach in Running Fitness. There are simply too many details and experiences to list here, and too many people to thank (many of these people will feature in my future blogs), but what motivated me to start a record of my journey was the crazy idea of entering the Peddars Way Ultra Marathon: 48 miles from the Suffolk border to the North Norfolk Coast (in January 2019). Why did I enter? I’m not sure: I will explore that as I go along.
I have been considering an Ultra Marathon for around three months now, and have been very carefully asking questions of Ely Runners colleagues such as Charlotte and Kyle (more about them soon), in order to test the waters and see if it’s for me. When entries for the Peddars Way Ultra went live, I found a couple of Ely Runners enthusiastically encouraging me to enter! They got me when my defences were down: and here I am, all signed up and wondering what the hell I have let myself in for! I really am very nervous!
The past two days have involved bombarding a couple of club members with questions! I must be getting on their nerves! I have also read loads and listened to ‘FATMAN TO GREEN MAN, FROM UNFIT TO ULTRAMARATHON’ by Ira Rainey (amazing). Although I train regularly, I regard today as the first session of my ultra training.
31/10/18. I ran a half marathon distance multi-terrain route around my home City of Ely (in the dark). I wore the kind of kit I will wear at Peddars, along with a pack with water bladder and some other gear to get used to carry a bit of weight. Off I set with head torch and trail shoes! 13.1 miles is not a major issue for me; but, running more slowly than I’m used to is! It’s quite a struggle! Also, learning to eat and drink whilst running is proving to be a major challenge for me! So, tonight was a short run in the scheme of things, with time to reflect on the enormity of my decision, and the fact that I have much to learn in terms of slowing right down, as well as getting myself used to eating a little and taking on board fluids whilst running. I strongly suspect I am at the bottom of what will become a very steep learning curve! More soon!