Worth it for that Rocky moment – running up Mt Guaza and building for SDW100

A very short blog post because the two video clips summarise my feelings well as SDW100 training continues.

Last year I tried to find the way to the top of Mt Guaza on three occasions and failed. This year I found it on the first attempt…..

Eight runs and three successful times up Mt Guaza later I had a full on Rocky moment……

Amazing how some consistent running, warm weather and stunning mountain views can affect your stage of mind. I’m now feeling so much more confident about running 100 miles in nine weeks from now. I know it’ll be very, very hard going at times (I went into it with my eyes open to that). However, having read the stories of real adventurers and the adversity they coped with in Bear Grylls’ book True Grit, read about mental strength training for runners, listened to podcasts about mental training and ultra running really helped me to conquer Mt Guaza and, more importantly,my own limits.

After uploading my Garmin data I was delighted to see the statistics show that in those eight runs I managed over 10,000 feet of climbing:

Now I feel ready for the next challenge, the Malvern Hills Ultra in three weeks from now. 52 miles with over 8,000 feet of climbing. No course markings, just maps (I’m doomed!). It’s going to be fun. Then onwards to SDW100.

When the going gets tough I’ve previously used a number of mantras, reassuring words spoken (inside your head or vocalised) to calm the nerves, keep momentum and regain perspective. These have included such ‘gems’ as “Come on GC! You can do this!” and the more standard “Keep moving forward”. Now I have a new one and think I’ll be calling upon this several times during SDW100. When things get tough I’ll remind myself of what I’m capable of and chant “Guaza! Guaza! Guaza!” in a Rocky style. You never know, it might just work. Trial run of the new mantra at Malvern Hills Ultra. Bring in those rolling hills.


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