With only 5 days to go until my 32 mile challenge, now seems like the perfect time to reflect on my training over the last few weeks, and prepare myself mentally for whatever I will face Saturday morning.
My preparation has been less than perfect. I was dealing with some stress and depression issues through December, and did no exercise at all. I began some running just before Christmas mainly to make myself feel better, and then a few weeks later thought -“it’s still 8 weeks to the Haworth Hobble, I wonder if I’ve got time to train for that”. I’m pretty sure the sensible answer was “no”, but I don’t get much fun out of sensible answers so I decided to give it a go anyway. (At this point I should probably mention that in 2017 I completed 2 half ironmans, 2 half marathons, and a number of smaller events, so I should have some base fitness and I would certainly not recommend 8 weeks training for this event if you are a beginner – always seek expert advice! 🙂 )
So 8 weeks preparation was not ideal (albeit with some endurance under my belt), I then proceeded to become ill twice in those 8 weeks, each time needing to cut training a few days. Time for a re-focus of mindset. Yes, I am undertrained (longest training run 17 miles), but look at the factors to my benefit: 1) I will have fresh legs! – no overtraining concerns here; 2) My strategy is run/walk in any case and knowing I’m undertrained will definitely avoid me starting off too fast, 3) I am running with my Dad, Gordon Stone, who not only has completed the event more than 20 times but is also a veteran of the Mind Over Matter philosophy, having previously walked the 500 miles length of the Pyrenees – solo, and also completed the LDWA 100 miles – non-stop – twice!
Combining the above with the fact that I don’t view failure to finish as a failure (in fact, I view turning up at the start line as a massive success), I am really looking forward to the day. If I get past 17 miles, it will be my longest run in 7 years, if I get past 26.2 miles it will be my longest run ever, and if I get to the end I will be both shocked and overjoyed in equal measure, but it is possible, I’m giving it 50:50. That was good enough for an Ironman, and it’s definitely good enough for now. See you on the other side, and everyone pray for no more snow!