I’ve allowed myself a few days of gloominess and self-indulgence and so now I have to prepare for a future of chirpy good-humour and yet more self-indulgence. Mentally and physically, I’m still feeling like crap because I can’t train and also because I remain unsure as to what’s wrong with my leg. I know that nothing positive will come of dwelling on my misfortune although that hasn’t prevented me doing so thus far. Aside from driving everyone else mad, I’ll start to bore myself as well and we can’t have that.
If I’m to stay sane, I must have a plan and the plan is ‘Project 140’.
The Connemara 100 has given me the confidence necessary to believe I can run a decent 24-hour race at some point in the future and that’s where I’m going to focus my energy. For however long it takes me to recover from this injury and prepare for one last big, do-or-die effort over 24 hours, that will be my sole competitive focus – everything else is training. The plan has to be ambitious and yet plausible and so I’m making it my target to cover 140 miles in 24 hours at the next competitive opportunity. Obviously, I’m setting myself up for a big fall here, but that’s in the nature of what I’m doing. If I didn’t stand to look like a complete fool, perhaps it wouldn’t be any fun.
Although I’ve written many race reports I’ve never been one to set out my racing plans or training sessions in public before, but that’s what I’m going to do for this one. I’m not going to bore the socks off everyone with detailed blow-by-blow accounts of what I’ve done, but I will summarise each and every training session that I complete. I’m going to do this for a few reasons but mainly because I need to use the public commitment as a way of tying myself ‘hand and foot’ to at least one last big ultramarathon effort before I get too old, slow or sensible. I’m not sure how I’ll post the material yet, perhaps as weekly updates, but it’ll all get posted – good or bad.
I’ve never believed that ultramarathons are very much different from most other long distance races. Despite the sense that some people seem to have that training for or completing an ultramarathon requires some sort of superhuman mental or physical strength, I’ve always believed that it’s all much simpler than that. Perhaps by publicly documenting all of my training between this low point and a race at some time in the future I can show that although perhaps ultras are not for everyone, they can be for anyone.
It’s going to be a slow start. As of today I’m limping badly with soreness in my left shin and so there are very few training options open to me. I’ll start with some upper body weights tonight. It’ll be a start.