Thursday, July 21, 2011


   I apologize for my constant references to this coming weekend's 'entertainment' .... my Marathon in the Mountains but as you can imagine it is playing on my mind quite a bit.....its the climbing that concerns me!!  To put it in some kind of perspective; I and the other lucky souls will be running a similar distance to the New York Marathon and whilst doing this we will be running up the equivalent of the Empire State Building, 6 TIMES!!! Yeh, I know, I know.
       However, not to be discouraged I have just recieved some great advice from fellow runner, Jamie, who completed  the Comrades (2 marathons back to back)...and I quote.....'Remember your attitude will dictate the run......don't let the run dictate your attitude. Marathons are run between the left and right ear, trust me I know and I have run 60 of them!' there you go. This must be true because probably the No1 Ultra Marathon runner of all time, Scott Jurek, once said that, ' To run 100 miles in one go is  80% mental...........and the other 20% is mental'.........and I thought it was all to do strength and fitness!!!
           I guess you have to be fit enough both mentally and physical. As regards the fit bit my resting heart rate is now 46....which is excellent and my VO2 Max is 176 (the maximum beats that I can raise my heart to in maximum effort).  I have a good aerobic base due to my training, however I have only recently discovered that my endurance speed is too slow for my level of fitness; in other words I am able to go much faster on the easier bits than I have been doing. Yep, I have been lazy and didn't even know it. I became aware of this after I bought a new heart rate monitor; it seems I had been running based on my old measurements and expectations. I could have been increasing my fitness rather than slightly plateauing, which  I may have done. Anyway its too late to train at the  higher level now as the race is on Sunday but after that I need to 'Step Up'..... a lot!!
           What a great metaphor for life; - you think you have given all you can.....only to discover that you have  been coasting in 3rd gear for years.
       In summary my fitness level is very high but not as high as it could have been but, I will not let this get in the way on Sunday as I believe my mental fitness to be pretty good...............anyway we shall see. I believe you can achieve virtually anything if you believe it and are prepared to do all you can and more to succeed.

                        'Life will test your spirit the trails will test your soul' - Unknown.

          In normal marathons the commentators often talk about it being a FUN day. I have never quite got my head around this. Years ago I ran the London marathon and I don't recall it being much fun unless you want to count being passed at the 15 mile mark by two characters dressed as Mickey Mouse and Yogi fact it was most dispiriting. The good news, as Sue pointed out, is that in trail running nobody dresses up as anything, its all a bit too serious. So when I am  on the edge of the forest and a Bear runs past I have no need to worry, as it won't be a Yogi Bear character, it will be a real one..........What am I saying!
             Anyway, at the end of the day its all about heart and mind; and with that I shall include a  link of one of my all time favourite songs by Joni Mitchell. Its a love song that has nothing to do with what I have just been talking about, save the title, but who cares, I shall sing this to myself as I scale the peaks. Enjoy and wish me luck...or as they say in France 'Bon courage'.



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