I can vividly remember the first time I found out there was something beyond 26.2miles . I was half way through training for the Edinburgh Marathon, when I stumbled across a race blog about an Ultra-marathon.
I couldn’t tell you who wrote it, what race it was or even what distance.
But I can remember thinking then and there, one day, I need to do ones of those! The idea of pushing your body that far and seeing what it was capable of set alight a wee fire inside me.
The Ultra Tour of Arran
Fast forward to October 2017 I was nervously hovering over the purchase button for the Ultra Tour of Arran (Day one). At 31 miles and 3000 ft of climbing this would be my biggest and hardest challenge yet. When I train for big events I become a woman obsessed.
I don’t sign up for challenges lightly, it’s all or nothing with me. But I’ve learnt a lot since I started running, and life is too bloody short not to go for it!
So here we are, 7 weeks out until my ultra-marathon and I would say so far I’ve loved 92.75% of the training journey.
Plodding along the trails
But there’s been one re-occurring theme whenever I talk about my training which goes along these kind of lines…
- “My training has been going okay, but I’m not very fast”
- “I’m just a plodder you see”
- “I’m not as fast as (insert name of any person who owns a pair of trainers in Scotland)”
You get the idea. Whilst realistically I know I am not going to be smashing Paula Radcliffe’s world record any time soon, I’m getting pretty bored of feel crappy about my pace.
It’s never bothered me that much, but running an ultra-marathon feels like a different game.
Whilst I can rock up to a 10k and know there will be a massive mixture of abilities, I’m not imagining there will be many “fun runners” at an ultra-marathon. And it all comes down to one main worry.
What if I come last?
After all my hard work and training, what if I’m that one runner last over the finish line? It’s the first year they’ve held this race so I have no times to compare my training to.
So these “i’m just a slow runner” and “what if I come last” thoughts, go round and round in my head. And ultimately I’m bloody bored of them!
- Would coming last take away all the fun I’ve had training? No!
- Would coming last take away that fact I couldn’t run 5k back in 2015 and can now run for over 5 hours? No!
- Is telling myself I am a slow runner going to make me happy? No!
Running for the love
I yammer on constantly that enjoyment is at the core of all the running events I do. The more I talk shite about my pace, the more enjoyment I take away from myself.
There are so many things that we aren’t in control of with life, but how we talk to ourselves is one thing we can effect.
So, you heard it here first, I am banning myself from using the following words; slow, a plodder, a bimbler or anything with the word “just” in it.
This doesn’t mean I’m done working on bettering my running pace. It simply means I am done with making myself feel shite about it! I’m sure there must be more constructive ways for me to progress.
In 7 weeks time I am running my first ultra-marathon. I will run as well as I can, probably listen to MANY Disney tunes and hopefully have an amazing experience.
If anyone else is running the Ultra Tour of Arran I’d love to hear from you!
Currently: Worrying I’m developing an addiction for mini-eggs.
Training today: Yin yoga and recovery cycle IT WAS SO MILD (is spring actually a thing?!)
Adventure this week: Heading up to the No Fuss Events Runduro.