Tonight is the night before the night before running 66 miles on the Vanguard Way. What happens on the night before the night before running 66 miles? Not a lot, really. Eat. Rest. Prevaricate. Half-heartedly stretch. Devise excuses. Think, ooh, my ankle/foot/calf/knee/hip hurts.
I have fielded a plethora of questions today. They have a common theme.
Are you ready?
How are the legs?
I suppose I am ready. I suppose I am set. And I suppose my legs feel okay, although the feeling in my legs deserves no better adjective than ‘okay’, I’m afraid.
What I want to say is that I am a little scared and a little daunted. I’ve run distances beyond 60 miles twice before and I remember what they did to me. I felt like I had been beaten up. I felt like giving up time and time again. I felt as miserable as I have ever felt.
Yet the intermittent moments of joy are unparalleled before, between or since those 60-milers.
It is very hard to explain to people who have not run a long distance that running 66 miles will hurt very much. And that at some point I will be in considerable pain. And at some point I will want to abandon the whole awful business.
More than anything, I do not want to mess up something that I have planning for six months.
However, I am reminded of words I wrote on the night before the night before the Bob Graham Round in June 2012: ‘It really is going to be fine.’ It was fine that day and it will be fine on Sunday.
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No Clough Head
No climb up to Steel Fell
No climb out of Wasdale.
Sounds a ‘doddle’!