At this moment the vision of Kevin in Home Alone pretty much sums up how I am feeling. I have form here: I am screeching into an ultra a bit tired, under trained and slightly stressed. Who am I kidding? Diva level stress.
Where do I start?
The mental and physical fatigue that has plagued me since January.
Minor injury, with a niggling Achilles.
Lack of motivation and general lethargy.
The lack of training. (See above).
I can’t even call it ‘Taperitis’ because this has been the longest taper ever.
Then we have the ever changing forecast; but what’s new.
There is the question of what kit to take. Well, it doesn’t matter as I have a whole boot I can fill with kit for all eventualities.
The mad week at work.
And the final straw that broke the camel’s back: the lost Garmin.
‘You never learn’ is Alasdair’s comment.
‘Why do you leave sorting your kit until the last minute? The forecast is not a good excuse. We have weather in the UK. We also have a boot. You can pack for all weathers. You can pack 20 pairs of shoes, 10 jackets’
'Why don’t you put your Garmin somewhere safe?' I do actually. It should be at my bedside, and I don’t know why it’s not.
‘Why do you stay up late the week before a race? You know you need to be well rested’. Rest, who needs rest. Sleep is for sissies.
‘Why do you insist on working right up to the minute we have to leave? Most sensible people take the day before off, or a couple of days’ Fair point, but somehow work always conspires to be busy the week before a race, and I always worry about lost income.
‘You always feel under trained, and you’re not’. Well, in this instance I am.
And so it goes, like a chorus to a familiar song.
I don’t know why.
I am under-trained, but my body will remember and as long as I know not to expect a great performance and to just settle into an easy pace it will be fine. Treat as a training run, enjoy the day and know that you can make the generous cut-offs. Just finish and get it under your belt.
Last weekend my motivation flickered back into life just like Spring. I got the all clear to run (just as well with a race this weekend) and made the effort to go out and test my legs. It was a short, slow and lazy trot round the local wild park. It was a typical spring morning; mild with sunshine and an April shower. Spring was in full flow in the park: bright green buds on the tress; the acid lemon of the gorse; primroses; wild garlic and daffodils.
And so, in spite of the less than perfect approach, I am looking forward to this weekend. My first foray over the border for an ultra. A lovely and challenging route and removing any pressure to try and perform. This is part of the regeneration of my motivation and a kick-start to getting the fitness levels back to where they need to be. Kielder Ultra 80k here I come ready or not.