Finding my first 100 miler – November Update

Click this for my previous blog post!

Week 7 complete and November nearly out.

Training so far has been fine.  Still feels like the calm before the storm.  Its noticeable that there are few rest days, but the 3 weeks hard effort and 1-week recovery is working out well.

The slow start in October following the Run to the Sea Ultra meant I really only properly picked up the training from the Hills block at Week 5.

With working from home, I’ve replaced the time my normal weekday commute used up with training.  Early starts to ensure I’m back before the kids go to school.  Right now it’s an alarm call somewhere around 4:45/5:15am.  That’s just nuts, but it’s the only time I can be sure to get up (though that’s the hardest part!), get out and back in good time to help with the school prep, get showered and then be ready to work by 8:30.  It’s tough, but I’ve omitted myself to hitting the start line of a 100-mile race in September 2021.  I’ve paid my entry fee and I’m damn sure I’m going to do what it takes to get to that race.  Of course, things can happen out of my control that might affect that, or totally scupper it!  But willingness to train, determination and a will to succeed in what seems like the most impossible personal challenge I have set myself, will not be lacking.

One thing I have started to think about is logistics for the event weekend;

Travel, support, aid stations and crew support.  I’ve thought about it, but right now I have no plan.

Another thing I’m throwing in to all my long runs is structured fuelling.  I used to be a ‘fuel when I felt like it’ runner on all my runs.  Following the Quarantine Backyard Ultra in July I realised that for me fuelling when I feel I need to is just too late.  I need to plan fuelling; I know my calorie burn rate was about 100 calories a mile-ish.  So, I know by 5 miles I’m down 500 calories.  By 10 miles I’m down 1000 calories.  So, I have started to plan fuelling during my long runs regardless of feel.  I’m probably way of getting the balance right at the minute, but it’s work in progress.

The other thing I’m thinking about is what do I want to achieve.  Now in reality I want to start and then finish a 100-mile race.  But no matter how much I try to convince myself that this is my goal, the real goal will be to run it as fast as I can.  I have a real problem running faster than I should, and then hitting a wall that I have spent a good chunk of a run building in my own way, brick by brick.  I know I do it, but I’m yet to really overcome it.  That said the training plan from Krissy Moehl is helping me build more diligence in keeping pace down.  I’ve done more runs in the past few weeks averaging over 8:30 mins/mile than the last 18 months I suspect.  This is good.  But I also need to work on it.  I would like to be able to predict my timings for the 100 miler.  I did it with the Run to The Sea in October.  I predicted my times at each 5-mile point and at the time I would meet my wife around mile 26.  I was a minute out!!  I like to be able to judge my progress and at a fairly untechnical 50 Km rave on trails and roads I got it pretty spot on.  100 miles is different, but I hope to get to the point where I feel able to build a plan.

So, looking ahead, December is a speed block.  4 weeks starting 7 December.  I like speed blocks.  They are the workouts I find the most exhausting, but the most exhilarating.  Also, I found my Heart Rate Monitor chest strap last week, so I’ll have that for gathering some accurate HR data over those hard effort sessions.

this updates gallery:

As I write this there are 286 days to race day, and 8 days to my next event (a great local 10-mile mud race – with lockdown changing in a few days the race is back on – Woohoo!!).

Here’s to the next training block, the next 286 days and the biggest challenge I have set myself.

Whatever happens at the end of this journey I know I will have done my best to rise to the challenge and overcome the physical and mental obstacles that litter the route ahead.  Strength comes not only from within but from the support, belief and love that surrounds you. 

I will take this challenge on with just one body, 2 feet but the strength of countless hearts and minds from those all around me.

Click here for the start of this blog!

Click here to know more about the Robin Hood 100.

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