I’m someone who loves a challenge. Tell me I can’t do something and I’ll immediately try to do it. What can I say, I’m competitive?
Although I’m a bit of a princess in that I’m not a huge fan of camping and I don’t like mud, one of my favourite races is the 24 hour Spitfire Scramble held in Hornchurch, East London every summer. I ran this in 2015 and in 2016 with a team of fitness bloggers and this year is going to be the biggest challenge yet.
Originally, I thought I was going to be unable to run due to a possible clash with a bowling tournament. Yet when sitting in Byron one day with the awesome Corey, it suddenly dawned on us that we were both available to run after all.
We looked at each other.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” I said to Corey. She nodded.
There and then, over burgers, wine and beer, we entered the Spitfire Scramble.
As a female pairs team.
“We’re GOING to place!” said Corey.
Yes, you read that right. Corey and I have partnered up to run a 24 hour relay race as a doubles team. While this may not be quite as hardcore as those brave souls who take it on as a solo runner, this is undoubtedly a big challenge for both of us. We have both completed marathons, but we are both yet to step up to the ultra distance.
I’m also a bit lazy and I don’t like hills and see trails as an excuse to walk a lot.
I’m nervous and excited about this challenge. My personal goal is to cover 6 laps, which is 36 miles, which I know sounds very doable. However from previous experience, I know how resting between laps and runs can cause your legs to tighten up and make it much harder.
So, how am I training for this?
I know the key to doing well is getting my legs to moving more than once a day. I definitely find it easier to cover a half marathon in one hit than splitting it over a couple of runs. And I’m going to have to run a few times over the course of the weekend, so it’s time to get the legs moving now. I’ve just taken a office which is exactly 3k from where I live. So once I’ve shaken this cold, I will run too and from the office, which will give me two runs a day. In a few weeks time, I will try to add in a lunch time run.
I’m suffering from yet another cold at the moment, so I am doing a slightly amended version of the above, which is a 2k lunchtime run and a run home in the evening.
Weekend longer run
I am working on a “jeff” technique for longer weekend runs. I know if I want to keep moving and not seize up, I will need to plan a walk strategy fairly early on. So I’m following the Jeff Galloway approach for the longer runs at the weekend. Although flat, I am following the canal path as it means that I can’t get lost and gets me used to running on uneven terrain.
I know, I need to get used to trail running. I’m going to run one of the races in the Salomon Sunset Series, to give me a 10k trail race with hills. I am also going to the Isle of Wight for the Isle of Wight Festival Of Running, and I will be taking part in one of the races there, which are all off road. Neither of these events will be done for time, but to test equipment and to get used to trail running.
I’m still going to yoga once a week and I will be keeping this up as I believe it is helping my body to feel stronger and I think I will feel the benefit when it comes to recovery. I may increase this to twice a week nearer the time, if time permits.
And that folks, is how I plan to spend my summer. What challenges have you got planned?