Never say never

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So now it’s in the open.

My return to NDW50 in 2014, followed by my first 24 hour endurance race at Endure 24, is leading up to my first attempt at running 100 miles in 2015.

The next #projectultra is the big one. The South Downs Way 100.

How it pans out will become evident over the coming months (22 I believe) but I know I’ll enjoy the journey. Well, some of it!

I never did say never to the prospect of running 100 miles, by they way.

Bring on the miles.

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Lucky 13

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I entered the North Downs Way 50 for May 2014 yesterday.

You can imagine my “delight” when I saw I was allocated number 13…..

Thankfully, I’m not superstitious (or at least not as much as when I was younger) so this holds no fear for me.

I laid down the metaphorical gauntlett yesterday when asked how NDW50 went this year when I responded that I was delighted to finish in under 12 hours and that I am aiming for sub 11 hours in 2014.

My running buddy Phil (@BigPhil137) immediately asked if I was serious as he’s running it with me and making his ultra marathon debut. Am I? Can I?

Destiny may be calling.

Maybe its fate that I am number 13.

Being a bit of a stats geek – like many a runner – I’ve worked out that if I run the NDW50 at an average pace of 13 minutes per mile then I’ll finish in 10 hours 50 minutes. Sub 11.

So my goal over the next 10 months is to work on average pace. This morning’s slightly hilly trail run of 14 miles was done with an average pace of 11 minutes per mile.

I’m getting there.

Exploring the South Downs Way

A day’s annual leave. Wife at work. Son at school. What better opportunity to explore the South Downs Way…..

Let’s face it, as a runner who loves to run trails I’m lucky to have the South Downs Way on my doorstep. During my #projectultra training I planned to run to Harting Down and travel West along the South Downs Way to Queen Elizabeth Country Park but decided to explore West Harting (and promptly got lost) so never made it to Harting Down. This time I played it safe and drove to Harting Down (it took less than 20minutes) and set off for an out and back run to Cocking.

I was expecting hills aplenty and I wasn’t disappointed. The route profile makes for interesting reading:

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I loved it. The planned run was 14 miles but I ended up carrying on beyond Cocking and ended up running 17 miles. Why not, on a sunny day when I’ve nothing to worry about? I want to run more of the South Downs Way. I’m very, very tempted to embrace the challenge of the South Downs Way 100 in 2014. When you’re running along trails like these, with rolling hills and awe inspiring views, time stands still. As long as you don’t look at your Garmin. Well, time does stand still when you accidentally stop it and don’t realise until you’ve run about 1/2 mile….

Here’s a flavour of what I saw. Want to join me next time?

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