Hope and fear are inseparable. Fear that your hope, your dream may not come to pass.
And that is exactly where I am. Failure rate on 100 mile runs is very high. On a solo run, first attempt it’s as likely as not.
Training is in equal measure frightening and encouraging. The weather has been an enemy rather than an ally.
When the weather is cold and you’re venturing out by yourself for over 4 hours and up to 10 hours you have to carry survival gear. A down jacket and dry clothes so you can get warm – as well as communication equipment. Hypothermia is the thing that can get you into serious difficulty – and if anything at all goes wrong and you have to stop, or even move slowly, you must be able to keep yourself warm.
And until Friday’s outing it’s been cold, and usually wet.
The frightening thing about training is that I’ve no idea whether I’m doing enough. I’ve spoken with others and researched training – some say you don’t need to do more than 25-30 miles in training, but do back to back long runs. Others advise a 50 as a minimum.
I also find pacing difficult – in the real thing and given the hilly and partly off-road nature of the course I’ll be lucky to be averaging 4 miles per hour. But in training it’s so difficult to set off at that pace and I invariably go too fast. With the inevitable outcome that I’m tired by the end and stiff and cramping.
So do I conclude I’m not fit enough for the 100 – or will I be fine at a slower pace?
Relatively I am of course very fit – I’ve been doing at least a 25 mile run and a 12 mile run each week with shorter ones and gym training most days in between. Between last Sunday and Friday I did a normal speed 25 miler, a fast 15 miler, an even paced 30 miler (5 miles an hour for 6 hours) and 3 days gym and short sharp run.
I’m planning to get a 50 miler in towards the end of this month – then take it easier in April. Although I will practice a night time run. Meanwhile I’m assembling kit, getting the tracking technology sorted, and organising my support crew.Here's part of the route - I hope it's as dry as this on 30 April. It's currently a river filling the whole basin.