Part 5 – My first ultra marathon – the V3K – Welsh 3000s in one day.

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Preparation

I arrived embarrassingly under prepared. I was about to take part in my first ever ultra marathon (this is just a footrace that is longer than a marathon) and by the time I swung my sandaled feet out of my car, it was late enough for the near solstice sun to have dipped behind the dark green ridge of the mountains. There were excited and very fast looking runners everywhere, all of which were sorting through impossibly lightweight racing bags and flexing lean calf muscles.  As I jealously looked through the windows of the converted vans and estate cars, I could see tomorrow’s competitors had already pinned on race numbers to vests, shovelled pasta into their mouths and were starting to settle down to sleep.  I wasn’t sure if I was too late to sign on and collect my number (teachers cannot just ‘take the afternoon off’), didn’t have a fancy VW Transporter to sleep in and only had a solitary scabby apple to eat for dinner and nothing at all for the following morning. Worst of all was the fact that I bloody hate running. Continue reading “Part 5 – My first ultra marathon – the V3K – Welsh 3000s in one day.”

Number on the front – a transition from cycling to running

The summer of 2015 was a landmark summer for my cycling. It was the first year that I had not gone faster than the previous year. Suddenly I was no longer new to cycling and was no longer magically improving.  Deeply distressing indeed. I knew exactly why this was. I’d simply not ridden enough. Rather than clinging onto my clubmate’s rear wheel winding up Sa Callobra on our usual spring training holiday, I was nursing a hangover in a tent high up in Sierra Nevada. Rather than strapping on my panniers and conquering more hills from the top 100, I’d been drying my socks in front of a bothy stove. By the time summer came I was desperately hanging onto our Tuesday night fast ride and found myself being passed by newcomers on the hills. For years I had been enjoying feeling myself getting stronger, entering harder races and completing longer rides than ever. Now I was going backwards and to get back to that level of fitness I would have to not only train hard, but train smart.

So I decided that Continue reading “Number on the front – a transition from cycling to running”