All gazeboed up and going for the horn

And hopefully not the cattle prod.

Going for the horn; yes, next weekend I am hoping to get the horn. Cue classic Kenneth Williams.

Please note that I did say ‘getting the horn’ as opposed to ‘getting the horn on’, cue Sid James this time

A subtle but significant difference.

Having cleared that one up; you may ask, what horn?

Perhaps it might be a bugle or a trumpet, maybe an alpine horn, 

or even a stolen blue French horn?

Sorry, it is far less interesting than that. The horn in question is an air horn that will be sounded should I achieve the magic 25 laps, 100 miles in 24 hours of running at the Glenmore 24 trail race. Theoretically this is eminently possible. I just need to trot out steady 50 – 55 minute laps for 24 hours and it’s in the bag: easy; apparently not.

Last year I failed the attempt. I did get a creditable 23 laps and enough short laps to give me 95 miles. I have spent a year wondering why I failed. It always was going to be tall order as I am slow and inevitably get slower in the dark and as I tire. Losing count of my laps does not help. The crappy weather did not help either.

But the real answer lies in my splits which show an uncharacteristic lack of consistency. One thing that can be said about my running is that I am consistent, I may be slow, but I can generally keep chugging along at a steady pace. Why were my splits so erratic? I have no idea.  I struggled mentally at times and that shows. My transitions and stops were not efficient, although that was not helped by the conditions. In a word, I lacked discipline; again uncharacteristic.

My plan for this year: aim for greater consistency, more efficient stops and transitions, greater discipline. I am probably more tired mentally and physically this year as it has been a heavy year with the North Pole Marathon and the WHW Triple Crown. This means I could easily fail to reach my target. However, the curious thing about me is that often it is just this state that brings out the determination, discipline and the fighter in me.

Of course there is always the incentive of avoiding the cattle prod. I jest not.

This will be ably wielded by Ada if we are getting a bit lazy and needing a prod. As much as I seem to like pain I think I might try to avoid that particular experience.

I have another objective, and this is perhaps more important than the miles. I want to enjoy this event.  I want to end my race year with that warm fuzzy feeling of enjoyment. If I am brutally honest, I think I have to say that with the exception of the Fling, I have not enjoyed any race this year. They have been hard, uncomfortable slogs. Yes, I have enjoyed the post-race sense of achievement but not the process. Perhaps this is how it is. Maybe that is why we get that sense of achievement; what makes it greater. I don’t know, and that is probably a blog entry in its own right.

This year will be about consistency and enjoyment and if that means not getting the horn, so be it.

And back to that gazebo. Race support was really not impressed by the two man tent, picnic table and umbrella base camp set up: so fussy! Honestly! Anyone would think he expected to be able to keep dry and warm for heaven’s sake.

He has spent twelve months whinging about it. Right, no whinging this year, how about a waterproof gazebo, a pasting table and a brazier? Although I’m not quite sure how to break it to him that it is less this,

and more this that he is getting.

Of course, this all means that it will be dry and mild.

It also means that fire-starter McIntosh will have far greater scope for creating a conflagration and you probably don’t want to know that.

Oh, and those laps: belt and braces my friends: a new garmin with 20 hours of battery, a 2nd garmin to take over, and a mini whiteboard and pen.

If I do perchance get the horn I really hope this chap puts in an appearance.