I feel as though I have not followed any acceptable timeline or logical sequence so far. But minds often don’t work that way do they.
I have a plan. It is not cunning, but I would like to grin mischeviously right about now *grins mischeviously*
I want to run the Marathon des Sables before I turn 40. This has been in the back of my mind for a few years now, but this year I realised that if I want to actually reach this goal and enjoy doing it, I will actually have to do something about it now. Right now.
I started reading the blogs and reports and ‘the website’, and realised quickly that I could probably train and ‘survive’ the race, or actually turn this into an amazing journey. I would like to complete the race in 2019, and during the years leading up to then, build up experience in the various facets that make this the ‘toughest footrace on Earth’ – at least according to the Discovery Channel, obviously an expert in these things. So the challenges will be (amongst others):
- saving enough money
- feet and foot care
- multi day race with long distances on each day
- carrying all gear and food during the race
- all of the above rolled into one
It seems to me that showing up and facing new challenges without any idea of how to deal with them, or what your body’s reaction will be, is probably not an indicator for success with enjoyment. Sure, it will be possible, maybe it will all just work out, but I would like to invite friends scattered around the globe to meet me at the finish line, and to head off to a surf/yoga retreat on the Morroccan coast and actually be able to enjoy that too. So I intend to have a couple of different challenges each year, and to use those challenges to explore my world, and my abilities.
This year I have signed up for a 50km race in the Lake District in May. I love trail running, and would like to visit the Lakes, so my first ‘ultra’ (entry level Ultra, does that sound pretentious?) will be there. Depending on how that goes, I will start preparing for a 70km race, maybe one of the Italian ones, in order to visit old friends.
June will be the Midnight Mountain Marathon in the Brecon Beacons, pushing the night running boundaries gently…and then depending on other people (and finances allowing), I would like to do the Petra Marathon in September, not only trying out desert running, heat, and an unfamiliar culture, but also exploring some of history’s most alluring remains. November is the Miami Half Ironman, and then it will be a new year. The next step would then be to do some multi day events, along the lines of the Cruce Columbia between Chile and Argentina, again visiting new places, and immersing myself once more in the beauty of the Andes.
In this way, each one of the challenges will be tested, and then built upon, so that I am mentally prepared for what will be another step towards something that I don’t yet know exists.
So for now, my training plan is to complete that first 50K in 4 months. Lets see how that goes! Any encouragement welcome.