All is not well.
I feel that I have failed at this round of training…compared to last year’s 100 mile preparations, I’m not where I should be or wanted to be. My mileage in between my races has been pitifully low, and too many days have gone by where I haven't been able to get out of the door to run, and unusually haven't felt that concerned about the impact it would have on my overall training. I stopped working with Robbie Britton a month or so ago, I haven’t lost the weight I had hoped to (and am sure I've piled on half a stone in the last six months as I have been demolishing all the junk food in sight), my Achilles is still dodgy where I haven't been doing my strength and stretching exercises, and yesterday, although not my fault but to add to my frustrations, I twisted my knee…and not even when I was training - I was just walking along the street when someone stopped dead in front of me, and I tried to avoid them. I spent last night RICEing it.
It’s fair to say that although my races have gone relatively well and I've enjoyed them, generally I'm disappointed with myself, with my fitness levels and my whole attitude to achieving my goals this year.
I’m not quite sure what the root cause is of this failure to commit to my training. I struggled with returning to full time work in January after four months off, and finding the time to balance my 9-5 commitments, and our new puppy, has been a challenge that I had got used to not having…but in early December I went through a period of not being able to make myself run at all for weeks, so it can't just be that. I know that the change to our plans last autumn threw me (we were due to go backpacking in South America for 3 months but cancelled when my father in law suddenly fell ill, and then very sadly passed away) and maybe that’s been the issue. Life was totally turned upside down then, and maybe I've not worked out how to get back to normal yet. I’ve also had the added (self-made) distraction of preparing for triathlon to contend with, and hours on the bike or in the pool really aren’t what I need when my running miles are so low. Maybe I've just got too blasé about the 100 miler, after last year's TP100 went so well?
I don't really know, but regardless, these are all just excuses. Whatever the cause, I am where I am - undertrained and overweight - I have to deal with that, and move forward.
I have less than 5 weeks until TP100, with the South Downs Way 50 miler this weekend, and a couple of other marathons to run before the big day. Then it’s just three weeks until the astonishingly tough and ridiculously far GUCR.
I think I've been in denial but feel that I’ve woken up to the state of things and am finally able to admit how my training has gone, to myself and, publicly, to all of you! Now I need to dig deep and do all I can to redeem the situation. Hopefully I can turn things around.
I know that I can't do much in 8 weeks for my overall fitness levels, but I can start to eat more healthily, start training with greater consistency, and at least get to the start lines of my upcoming races with a more positive state of mind.