Well, what a year so far! A series of injuries and my mental health issues had meant that so far this year things have not gone anywhere near to plan. There have been moments when I could have decided enough was enough and that running clearly wasn’t for me… However, running and the amazing running community definitely is for me! So I need to stop making excuses and start again!
I have had to defer all the remaining ultra distance events I had entered this year due to injury. So this gives me a solid six months to sort myself out and train properly for my first one of 2017. March the 17th will see me running the Hardmoors 55 Ultra Marathon. This is a description of the race from the events website:
The Hardmoors 55 is a 55 mile Ultra marathon running from Helmsley to Guisborough. The 55 mile race will take competitors through the North York Moors and the Cleveland Hills in quite possibly winter conditions. Do not underestimate this race!! There will be options for supported and unsupported runners. The race contains over 2000metres of ascent and has a time limit of 16 hours.
Sixteen hours seems like a fairly generous cut off……but bear in mind the Lakeland 50 gives you 24 hours to finish. To complete the Hardmoors 55 within the cut off, I will have to average under 17.5 minutes/mile. This is of course very achievable if I train properly. If you look at the elevation profile (below) you will see this event should most definitely NOT be underestimated!
I have managed to find a training program from the Santa Clarita Runners website that I have been able to adapt for my purposes. This schedule will start in mid-November.
My training will start in eight weeks time, so in the meantime I will need to start eating cleaner and try and drop some more weight. It is vital I do things sensibly though, not just because of physical health but perhaps more importantly for my mental health.
If I am completely honest, the Harmoors 55 scares me, but that is a good thing. The fact it scares me will hopefully push me to stick to my training plan. I know that if I do not push myself to achieve the many ultra distances I want to run in 2017 then I will not be able to think about running the Pennine Way in 2018!
You can find out more about why I am doing all of this and donate to the RSPB’s Hen Harrier Life + project and Bipolar UK here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/runningthepennineway