It's not long to go now until my first race of the year, and I'm really looking forward to getting going! This Saturday I'll be running the first race in the Centurion Running Grand Slam - the Thames Path 100 miler. I ran this race back in 2012, but pulled up short about 70 miles in with a sore hip (having fallen off my bike on icy roads just days before).
For the past couple of years my focus races (most notably Spartathlon, GUCR, Transvulcania and UTMB) have taken precedence over the Centurion races, and with early season injuries I have had to DNF or DNS a couple. This year I aim to put all four to bed in one go. They're always a fantastic experience, and are probably the premiere ultra races in the UK at this time.
With 5 days to go until the start, I'm feeling... pretty good actually. My daughter now sleeps (for the most part), so I haven't got quite the level of fatigue that has plagued me for the past 2 years (although 5am starts 7 days a week probably aren't helping much). I have (so far) managed to avoid any horrific accidents or injuries (there's still time though). The plantar fasciitis that hit me before Spartathlon is now under control, so hopefully shouldn't be an issue. So yeah; all systems go!
The last few months have seen a house move and a few changes to my work schedule that have shaken my training plans up a bit, so I'm maybe not as fast as I would like. I also like cake a bit too much, so I'm not what you would call "race weight", although I find that I skirt the line between being svelte and stuffing my face with chocolate with impunity. But the important thing is that running feels effortless and (more importantly) fun at the moment as it should be! I am currently running (sprinting...) with our new dog, Saphie, everyday which is a ton of fun! So the speed work is there, I'm just not entirely sure how I'll cope without the benefit of a wolf to drag me along...
I ran a 10k a couple of weeks ago which, while a few minutes outside of my best time, was actually not as bad as I expected. So maybe there is a little bit of residual speed hanging around in the old legs.
Anyway, I'm feeling good about the race and really looking forward to getting going. All being well I'll have a good day out there, and a PB should hopefully be on the cards. I'm not stressing about pacing, so I'll just run and see what happens.
I even have a crew to help out on the day. Well, a Nick. But he's as good as a whole pit-crew (well, he probably eats as much anyway...) so we should have a cracking day! I think he's going to live-blog his experience of the race as well, so watch this space!
Now let's just hope the river doesn't flood again...