100k here we come…

Perhaps the sunshine made me giddy this week, after a winter of grey runs angled slightly into the drizzle and wind. Perhaps stringing together a good streak of runs this week gave me ideas above my station. Either way, on September 7th I’ll be running my first 100k ultra.

This is the perfect time to talk about it now – far enough away that I can still have grand plans without the fear and logistics requirements of any approaching event. It also helps to make sure I get my 54-miler done in April as a bit of a sighter, or rather to make it abundantly clear how much work I need to put in before September.

It is the Thames Path 100k Challenge from London to Henley. No doubt I will talk about this 2 million more times before I do it so that’s all for now. Today’s focus should be all about the sunshine this week.

Look at this, it’s February after all:

I love weeks like this. One of the first weeks of the year when you remember what it felt like back in October time when it wasn’t just dark and cold.

You can run looking forwards and feel the sun on your face. I did get carried away, however, when the sunshine tempted me to run a lunchtime route on trails that are normally strictly May to October trails.

“It’ll be fine,” said my inner voice. “The sun’s been out for 4 hours, it’s bound to have dried up 3 months’ worth of rain”.

Oh sure it will:

Very much summer trails around Hinton airfield 13/2

Once I’d kicked off the 50kgs of mud from each foot, it was fine. In fact, I genuinely didn’t mind at all. On such a lovely day, I merrily ploughed through the bog up to my ankles. Convincing enough? Nearly everything’s better in the sunshine and running is absolutely one of those things.

I even got a tempo run in this week.

Mon: 7k easy

Wed: 11.5k easy

Thurs: 8k, 6k @4:15/k

Fri: 9.6k easy

I’d planned just an easy week with a long run this weekend but Thursday was such a nice day, I Just felt like going a bit quicker.

Told you the sunshine sends me giddy. Not so much that I’d be hasty and enter a 100k race though. Oh, wait…

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It’s Easy to Sign Up for the Thames Trot 50 Miler When It’s 5 Months Away

If you start Googling ultra running, it won’t take you long to come across some of America’s more famous 50 or 100 mile races. It won’t escape your notice that these are all done by guys called Cody or Chad or Sage. They have beards and live in the mountains.

Fortunately these aren’t pre-requisites for these races or ultras in general, a particular relief for me which you’ll understand if you’ve ever seen me try and grow a beard. No, I’m just called Tom and live in Northamptonshire and, right now, a 50 mile race seems well out of my league.

So I signed up.

It’s the Thames Trot 50 miler in Feb 3rd 2018. It sounds really rather pleasant doesn’t it? Very benign. Almost pleasant. I suspect on Feb 4th 2018 I’ll have a different view.

I’ve only just begun my training for it, there is a lot to learn but it’s five months away yet so I’m feeling positive. I’m certain the realisation will sink in at some point over the next few months. The truth is, from a training perspective, it’s not a huge step from marathon training. The long runs are a bit longer and a bit more frequent but hopefully manageable.

For those of you who love this kind of thing, like science geek yours truly here, this is it in its 26 week glory:

Pretty straightforward? We’ll see. I’m now just starting week 3 and, I must admit, the runs in week 1 and 2 were a pleasure. A nice change from the more technical plans of marathons, just keep it slow and get through the miles.

The weather’s been great, there’s been no wind and I even came across a 20p on my long run at the weekend. Win.

It’s been a while since I got up and out on a Sunday morning for a long run so this weekend was a shock to the system. It was worth it to run with this backdrop though

I’m not too great at mornings. I just can’t imagine ever being. I’ve come to terms with this though and learnt to lay all my clothes out on the floor in the order I need them. That way, zero thought is needed and I overcome every urge in my body to stay in bed. I must be quite a sight leaving the house. Picture a mole staggering from his hole into bright daylight and you’d be close. It doesn’t matter though, I’m up and I’m out and, after a couple of minutes, feel like a true smugpants.

Plus I usually then get to spend the rest of the day eating my body weight in snacks.

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