Just a quickie today. This weekend is the North Downs Way 100 miler, another Centurion Running event following along the North Downs Way from Farnham to Wye. I helped out James at this race last year, so got to see just how tough it actually is. Whilst the vertical ascent is less than the South Downs Way (9,930 ft vs 12,700 ft), most people that have done both agree that the NDW is the tougher of the two. It doesn't have as many rolling hills, but it does have lots of steep and punishing climbs and generally much tougher terrain.
I have unfortunately been suffering from injuries, essentially since Transvulcania in May. Since attempting the South Downs Way in June, I have been pretty much unable to run at all, so my training has not been - shall we say - ideal. The main problem has been my right knee, but this has thrown all sorts of things out of whack with my gait, leading to issues along my left tibialis anterior and also some plantar fasciitis which I haven't really been able to shift. When it rains it pours! But the main thing is that it doesn't appear to be anything serious, so I have just been sensible and stuck to running no more than a few miles at a time. Plenty of cycling should hopefully have kept my fitness levels up.
Whilst I'm not really feeling my most prepared, I am going to start the race but with no real expectations. I'm just going to run whatever I can, and if the injuries flair up I will just pull out and help out at some of the aid stations for the rest of the race. Hopefully that won't happen of course, and I'll still be able to get a great race in, but whatever happens I'm out to have a fun weekend! These events are always a bit of an ultra-party, so it's going to be great fun catching up with everybody.
See you out there - if you see the sideburns, say hi!