I love trail running. It’s strange to think that although I had run through the local woods a few times over the years it is only this time last year, about a month after my first marathon (the London Marathon 2012), that I really began to explore the local trails.
Yesterday I ran 10 miles on the trails, including the first 10k as my Virtual10k effort. On the route I saw 3 separate deer run across in front of me, 1 stopping to stare before bounding away, 1 rabbit and 2 ducks ambling along in the middle of the forest. Wonderful.
It was an overcast morning and (thankfully) I was wearing the wind proof running jacket I bought on Friday. Well, better late than never! I’ve never minded running in the rain and have run 10 miles or more in pouring rain in the past in just a t-shirt and/or base layer. After all, Andy McMenemy (ultra marathon runner who ran 66 marathons in 66 days in 2012) once told me that skin is waterproof, so don’t worry about a little rain while out on a run.
It did rain on this run and the wind proof kept me dry. Breathable it may be, but wearing a Camelbak blocking the vent doesn’t help…
Anyhow, my point is that as the North Downs Way 50 nears I am beginning to wonder about the conditions and specifically the weather on race day, particularly given the frankly horrendous conditions during last month’s South Downs Way 50 where runners faced howling winds and torrential rain. I may not mind running in the rain but the prospect of much (or all) of a 50 mile run in those conditions doesn’t seem quite so appealing. I have a waterproof jacket I can wear if it is raining on race day but it’s not been tested in training as I’ve been wearing a cheap winter waterproof running jacket for most of my runs given the long, cold Winter we’ve had.
I’m wondering about race kit if it’s wet, warm, overcast, windy… It’s so confusing. I’m starting to get anxious about race day.
I know I’ve put in the training miles and hours. I’ve run on varied terrain, including hills, fields and and technical trails and feel ready. I’m getting nervous now. Excited and apprehensive. I want to do this. I believe I will do this. I just don’t want to let a kit error cost me a finish. Rest assured, I’ll be keeping a close eye on the weather forecast over the next few days and will make sure I have enough and the right kit for race day. I hope.
Onwards and upwards. Almost 6000 feet over 50 miles next Saturday to be embraced with a smile. I will be there at the finish. As an ultra marathon finisher. I believe.
Thanks to everyone who has supported, encouraged and believed in me on my journey towards my first ultra marathon on #projectultra. The positivity from you all is appreciated and gives me reassurance:
“@DanPark81: @GrahamCarterGC no!!!!! No!!! NO!!!! You have put in graft so it’s only exciting! every mile will be an adventure”
You’re so right Dan. Only 6 sleeps to go. Best get resting. North Downs Way 50, I’m coming to get you. Rain or shine.