When I have a race coming up, I will spend every run that week visualising it. I will go through loads of scenarios; realistic scenarios, dream scenarios, nightmare scenarios. I will imagine the weather, the course, the competitors.
Sports Psychologists say it is good to do this, they are paid to train their athletes to do this. I have to do it. I only train so that I can race, so what the hell else would I be thinking about?
Sunday morning is race day. I am always a ball of nervous energy. Nina knows well enough to stay out of my way, and not take me too seriously. I leave the house at 9.30am , with all my battle gear on. I nearly slip on the ice, crossing the road to the car. Not a good sign. I am driving out of Blaenau thinking to myself, hmmm, these 40mph winds and icy roads don’t feel very safe, especially in my rollerskate of a car. We live in the middle of the mountains, people won’t believe how wild the weather gets up here.
On the outskirts of town, there is a police road block. The mountain road, named the Crimea Pass, has had 6 accidents already that morning. The police get fed up and shut the road off. I turn to go another way, but it is a very long steep downhill, and just as I begin the descent, my back wheels start to drift. It is scary. I slowly pull over at a layby and turn back for home.
I get home and try to find another route on Google maps. There is no way out. And the snow is only falling heavier. I am not going to make it to the start line. The start line that my whole week has been geared towards, all that emotional energy suddenly has nowhere to go. The butterflies are pinging like pinballs off the walls of my stomach.
Oh well, you might be thinking; feet up, sausage bap and chill on the sofa for the day. But no, I am committed to running a 100 mile week, so now have to face the prospect of 21 miles on the treadmill in the basement. Nina suggests I get it done quickly so I don’t have it hanging over me and can have a nice day with the kids. But it is not easy to re-tune my focus. I think I will have breakfast first. Then maybe watch the Super bowl, and now it’s nearly lunch. And I’m feeling awfully tired so maybe I’ll have a quick nap, an hour later and now it’s 4pm. And I’m feeling hungry again…
Non-Running highlight of the week:
Clear winner this week, and also the highlight of 2018; our friend and neighbour takes the kids for an hour on Sat am, so Nina and I can go to coffee shop and have tea and cake and just do nothing. Soooo nice.
Best thing on the internet this week:
Interview with Nick Symmonds, an 800m runner converting to marathon. Just like me then, only much better looking.
Thing I’m digging this week:
NFL Super Bowl LII. Patriots vs Eagles. I am a massive Patriots fan. They lost.
|Tuesday||5tm||2xmile in 5.40 (30 sec rest). 16x400m – 71 (1min rest). 1x300m – 45. 10 miles total|
|Day off, snowed in. Do work on the house with kids|
|wake up at 6am, too tired to run. Drive to gym instead, but then sleep in car. Lucozade x 2 to get through work. Some days it just hits you for no particular reason|
|Friday||6tm||9tm (last 3 miles tempo)|
|date with Nina|
|sposed to do Nick Beer 10km, snowed in again. DNS (Does Not Start)|
|TOTAL:||100 miles||tm = treadmill|