I have tried to adopt a calm and positive attitude towards next Saturday’s ultra in Wicklow. This generally involves me talking to myself and saying this like:
It’s just a training run, don’t do anything special or crazy, it’s not your key race.
Relax, 32 miles is just a jaunt. No bother to ya.
When I read other blogs I fully believe that this is the sort of thing that goes through better runners’ heads. I, on the other hand, feel like a complete sham and I know that, like a 16-year-old drinker with 2 weeks worth of bum fluff and a fake i.d. , I will eventually be found out and kicked out of the pub/ultra race.
Still, better to have tried to get served in the pub than have stayed at home with you mum and little brother watching TV……………..or something like that.
Last week was another solid week of running. My working week is busy so it’s normally 4 – 8 mile runs mid-week at a pace that would suggest that I was not training for an ultra – 7:30’s and lower which I don’t see being much use next Saturday – and then some more specific runs on the weekend.
I managed a 7.6 mile set of hills on Friday and a 20 miler on St. Patrick’s Day morning before 11:00. The 20 miler felt tiring as the hills were still in my legs. I always fall into the trap of racing the downhill section of the hills (me and my imaginary avalanche/tsunami). Still, I was able to finish the long run with no nutrition problems.
The nutrition problems only came after the run as I skipped all food as we went into see the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I did get to eat later in the afternoon but I wasn’t ‘Mr. happy’ by that stage. The kids seemed to enjoy the parade but I felt sorry for the drunk tourists who expected us to be asleep in the gutter from drinking all day. The national stereotype is a bit of a myth.
I did end up going out for a few pints on Saturday night with family but all I seemed to get for my trouble was a set of vocal chords I could sell to Tom Waits.
So, the plan for the coming week is to do a few 4 – 8 mile runs and then head up to the sister’s house on Friday and turn up on Saturday morning, pay my money, run over the hills, stop for a wee, eat some junk food, run back over the hills, scrape the mud off my legs, get back in the car and drive home.
The only difference I can see between the day or two before an ultra and that of a regular marathon is that I sleep like a log before an ultra. I actually look forward to it. It’s your chance to head off and be on your own for a long time with all your hats (dad, husband, son, colleague, brother, neighbour, uncle) left behind in the car.
Bring it on!