The night before the night before running an ultramarathon


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?

All set?

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.

Maybe…

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Roger Muir says:

    No Clough Head

    No climb up to Steel Fell

    No climb out of Wasdale.

    Sounds a ‘doddle’!

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