As I coast through the festive season, with training in a hold and maintenance plan it seems appropriate to take a look back over the year. Here are some serious and not so serious reflections.
Had I been thinking straight or even thinking at all I would have realised that things were about to get a lot tougher, but blissfully oblivious I trotted along quite happily, continuing to admire the surrounding. A long gentle climb, a nice downhill and we then turned right off the track to follow another one into a valley, where we got our first sighting of Alpacas and donkeys. What more could you ask for: volcanoes, desert, alpacas and donkeys.
The 2nd instalment of my volcano marathon experience.
Title photo: Mike King. Copyright www.volcanomarathon.com
Running the Volcano Marathon; a race in two parts. First Instalment. It was all going so well.
(Title photo copyright Alasdair McIntosh)
I was Chile-bound once again. This year it was my final destination as opposed to a stop-over and I was heading for the North rather than the South. It was also ‘Team Audrey’ this year as I was accompanied by Alasdair.
Hmm, I seem to have been here before?
It is early November and there is a bed with a pile of kit laid out; a pile assorted electronics; a folder with itineraries; insurance docs passport and currency out and a large empty holdall on the floor. The intended destination: Chile.
Since I will be running at high altitude in the Volcano Marathon, and have never been at altitude, let alone run at altitude, I jumped at the opportunity to do some hypoxic training. It is not about performance or improving performance, it is simply for me to get a feel for how my body will react, and set my expectations based on how I respond.
I have run Baxter’s Loch Ness Marathon on 7 occasions now, and it is the marathon that I have run most frequently. Bearing in mind that this is my most frequented marathon and the law of averages, this event has provided me with my 3 best times and my worst time, and been the scene of some major highs and major lows.
The Glenmore 24, is as it says on the tin, a 24 hour trail race that is run on a 4 mile forest trail at Glenmore near Aviemore. There is also a 12 hour event. It is a superbly organised event by team BaM who are also responsible for the GO33 and Great Glen Ultra. Having previously done the other events, I knew that this would a relaxed, fun and well supported event, and I was not disappointed.
Here we go again, another first for the McIntosh ultra-team: my first 24 hour event.