The body felt quite good after the previous weeks 100+ kilometres, but with only 6 weeks remaining until I’m at the start line, its time for some big weeks!
Last week I smashed out a total of 146kms over 6 days, and I chucked in a 90 minute Bikram Yoga class too. The week started with a lightning quick 15km tempo run, followed by a steady 18kms with river views the entire way (It does seem to help pass the time when I’m racing the rowers up the river).
Thursdays run of 35kms through the scenic Richmond Park was a lot of fun, with plenty of hills to climb, other runners to try and talk to, and cyclists riding past giving me strange looks like I’m from another planet. The run went quite well until about 4kms from home my right hip decided it didn’t want to work anymore and was screaming at me to stop. Its times like these I believe that show us what we are made of. I was in pain, I’d just ran 31kms the fastest I’d ever ran, I could have just walked or stopped for a minute, but instead I said to myself I would drop my pace ever so slightly and if the pain increases after another kilometre i would reassess. I knuckled down thinking about anything but the pain in my hip, singing songs I could remember the words to, telling myself stories, and imagining the finishing line of my race and my name being in the top 50 athletes, it worked! Over the next 2 kilometres the pain gradually decreased to a level where I could “comfortably” manage it, so I increased the pace and flew home over the final couple of Kilometres. If you never push yourself, how will you ever know how far you can go???
The following day I was back in Richmond Park for 28kms of hills, I was to climb as many hills as I could as quick as I could, this was surprisingly one of my “funnest” runs I’ve ever completed in my life. I literally would run up and down a hill a few times then run a few kilometres to the next hill or incline and do the same, ok so it wasn’t all fun running up some of the steeper hills, but what I really enjoyed on this day was running as fast as I possibly could down each and every single one, I laughed, I smiled, I felt like knock kneed 7 year old kid I once was being told to slow down or you will hurt yourself, I never slowed down or hurt myself! I had a huge smile on my face for the entire run and the rest of the day, I will remember this run when I’m standing at the top of a mountainous sand dune in the Sahara and think, go for it!!!
After my run I decided to test out another one of my dehydrated meals I will be taking on my trip, on today’s menu was chicken pasta and vegetables, It was actually quite tasty and to my surprise not all that bad! This is what it looks like re-hydrated:
Along came the weekend and it was time to get out of the city and into the country, Camber in Kent to be exact. Camber is situated on England’s South East coast and has quite a long sandy beach, which is why I was there. My target for the day, 42kms with a minimum of 10kms on that soft sand. As I arrived in Camber I realised just how tough this run was going to be due to the howling winds coming off the ocean, all I could see up and down the beach were kite surfers, wind surfers, and other pieces of equipment which needed wind to operate, good times ahead I thought.
It was no easy run, but just over 4 hours after heading off onto the soft sand I completed my own “Camber Marathon” and had beaten off the wind, the rain, the cold, and even the last 15 minutes of darkness I ran in to finish. So before driving to my sisters who lives close by, I thought I should have a quick stretch while listening to some AC/DC ‘Its a long way to the top’ absolutely pumping out of the cars speakers, Im lucky no one was around because if there were they probably would have thought I was truly crazy and called the authorities by the way I was singing and dancing (well moving as best as I could after 4 hours of running).
The morning after my marathon I set out for an easy 8k recovery run in the pouring rain, sometimes the weather can be brutal, but I look at it as a small test of my strength, character, and determination which I will use to achieve my goal in Morocco. After finishing my 8k run, I had a couple of hours to eat and rest until I headed for a Bikram Yoga class in 40 degree heat, and after 90 minutes of hard work and composure, with the instructor leaving the room my week of training was complete.
This week really showed me that I was able to pick myself up each morning and head out with a goal in mind and achieve that goal, something I believe everyone should do every morning. Set out a goal for the day and don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of achieving your goal, there are few better pleasures then telling yourself your going to achieve something then going out and doing it!
If you haven’t already sponsored me for my race, I would be extremely appreciated if you could give whatever is possible to one of my charities who Im running for, there are links at the bottom of my website which will take you straight to my donation pages. I thank you very much for your generosity.