Well its been a pretty good start to the year training wise and during this mornings sunrise run on my favourite trail I realised the worst of the winter is behind me. Seeing the sun peep out from behind the trees that little bit earlier in the morning and the chorus of the birds that little bit more melodious means that racing season is not far off. I have chosen my usual low key, local races much the same as last year. The reasons for this are always two-fold and quite simple. One; it is less expensive to enter a locally organised event that will consist of possibly 250-600 runners than it is run a 20km race on the streets of Paris with 20,000 people jostling the shit out of each other like cattle in a holding pen. Two; by running a local race I am supporting the health of the sport in my area and further expanding my ties within the community. There may be no fancy medal at the end or as many aid stations as say, a marathon, but that is the joy of the experience. Some of the most demanding trail races I have run have been meticulous in both planning and execution and that's because of the passion that is poured in by people who care. I would prefer the indelible memory over the fancy t-shirt or medal any day.
So a week from today will see the local 10k kick of at 11.30. This race is a little short for me yes, but consists of all single track trails and two loops of pure undulation. There is hardly more than 50 metres of flat before being interrupted by a short and sharp climb. Its also a race that attracts a lot of the track runners from other towns looking to get some winter speed work in. To say that the race starts a little too fast for my liking is understating the fact as last year I went out with the big guns for the first lap and had lactic acid burning my eyeballs after 5km. This year my approach is different in all of the events I am entering. I want to complete more than compete (not saying I will be slouching but am definitely thinking bigger picture) as too much is riding on my solo run in Ireland in July. My training is specifically planned to get me to the south of Ireland in the shape I need to be in to complete the challenge. I will be updating more on that soon as there is still a ways to go, what I can say is that I am mentally prepared for this more than ever and have the belief that with my current program laid out and refined its looking very good. Unfortunately my trail shoes are not best pleased and would probably issue a restraining order against me if they could. Hustling for sponsors is my least favourite part of planning such and adventure but I have a great crew assembled and that's a major anchor for me. It lets me concentrate on the important stuff like Pearls schooling of which I will be detailing in my next post. Many sagas and twist and turns as per usual....... to be continued.
See you round the bend