I sit here one week before the South Downs Way 50 & have I blogged about it over the past 17 weeks…? Nope! Ah well…
So with one week to go how am I feeling?I almost don’t know how to write this. I don’t want to tempt fate & I don’t want to sing my own praises. That just feels weird.
But I feel good. Really, really good.
I have worked hard. I don’t think I have ever worked so hard towards one thing as I have done this race & I’m excited for race day to see what I can do. If the NDW50 last year was a test of ‘can I do?’, the SDW50 this year is a test of ‘what can I do? what am I capable of?’
I’ve somehow managed to hit nearly all of my goals during training.
Yes, I also failed, I missed a few of my targets. But importantly I learnt from my failings. I reflected, readjusted & set new targets.
I’ve stayed focused. I haven’t let myself get distracted this time round by running a fast 5km time or a marathon PB. My goal has been 50 miles. Everything else can wait.
I feel stronger. I’ve run less, lifted more. I dropped a run from my weekly training plan this year to fit in extra strength & conditioning. I’ve had my longest injury free period of training, ever. That is not a coincidence.
I’ve grown in confidence as a runner. I have 12 more months worth of trail running in my legs. 12 more months of hill climbing (and believe me, I have run a LOT of hills over the past year), 12 more months of running down hills without tripping over my two left feet. I’ve embraced the mud, improved my navigational skills (I don’t get lost quite so often) & have overcome my fear of cows on the trails!
I understand my equipment better, understand the importance of wearing & carrying the right kit. I’ve run in sub zero temperatures without getting cold, torrential rain without getting soaked. The weight & fit of my race vest feels like part of my body. My feet feel at home on the trails.
Simply put, I sit here excited for race day. I don’t think I can use any other word.
Excited to be out on the beautiful trails.
Excited to explore the South Downs.
Excited to see & run with friends.
Excited for the experience.
Excited to see what I can do.
Yes, I do have a race day goal. But that is mine & mine alone. I don’t want the extra pressure of other people’s expectations. I’m running this for me & me alone.
As I enter race week I come back again to the mantra that got me through last years race, “My body achieves what my mind believes”.
It’s time to believe.
I am ready.
South Downs Way 50. Bring it on.