Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The Final Hour...

In just three days Run Around Mull will be upon us!Amid the final throes of manic preparation and obsessive weather checks (they are ALL different - which do I believe?) I thought I'd outline my last minute plans and hopes for the run, to give me something to reflect on post-event.

Preparation
Despite getting my mojo back in the training and back-to-back run department in Feb and March, things haven't gone exactly to plan during the last few weeks - I've been on antibiotics for a kidney infection which has stopped me training for the last week. Fortunately it was already taper time, but I did want to keep in with some light training sessions beforehand, so I'm thinking of an easy 5km run tomorrow evening after James and I arrive on Mull. Over these next few days on Mull I also hope to focus on getting my fuelling bang on, going for some gentle walks and getting heaps of sleep!

So back to the forecast - earlier today it was looking less than ideal but all the forecasts seem to have updated this evening, and I'm choosing to go with Metcheck and its hopeful spring sunshine. In any case I've never had any illusions the weather will be perfect - it's Mull! Plus the amazing Footworks has provided me with a beautiful piece of waterproof kit I most definitely want to wear at some point.

Daily Mileage Plans
I originally planned and hand-measured the route using old OS maps - with all sections totallying 127 miles. But now my clever friend Liz the geography whizz has mapped it with her software and it is 130 miles! See the new route maps here.

So the sections I'd planned earlier now work out as 43 miles on day one, 54 on day two and 33 on day three. My intention is still to aim for 50 miles on days one and two, so the start and finish points will be flexible. I aim to be ready to run at 7am each day and finish by 7pm at the latest - splitting each day up into 10 mile sections, taking up to 2 hours for each with walking and fuel breaks in between. This too is flexible, and I'll do whatever I can to complete as close to the intended distance each day (bar jumping in the support vehicle!). My two cousins are coming up from Bucks to run with me for the full final day - a fantastic motivation to complete the prior mileage to plan. They may well kill me otherwise!

Fuelling
My nutrition and hydration plan is the same as for other ultras, and the West Highland Way race in June - to keep eating 'normal' savoury meals/food for as long as I can, such as pasta & pesto, peanut butter & jam sandwiches etc, supplemented by chia seeds, electrolytes, flapjacks and fruit. When I absolutely need to I'll swap to the gels and the like. We shall see how this goes - I'm trying to keep it as simple as possible.

Diversionary Tactics & Updates
I'll be on the road all day for 3 days so it'll be good to have a few extras to think about - I've decided to take a loan of James' voice recorder to record the speciifc thoughts and experiences I'm having, as well as the wildlife and sights we see around the coastline - many parts of which I haven't been back to since I was a child. I have a truly awful memory and hopefully these notes will be interesting to reflect back on and write about.

I've also been asked to review some products by Belkin, who produce running accessories such as armbands - so podcasts and music will be a must for a while. Both myself and support team plan to tweet/FB throughout the weekend to keep folk up to date with happenings around the coastline and how it's going - and I'll have my phone on me throughout so any messages will be received!

And when it's all over...
Will I still be able to stand up? It will be interesting to see how a 3 day run affects me, and if my feet survive better this year than they did last summer running in California, after all of the trainer-testing and preventionary measures I've taken since. One thing I know is that we'll be celebrating the end of James and I's 40 alcohol free days with a champagne or two!

On a final note, thank you so much to all my friends, family, friends of friends and absolute strangers who have donated to and supported the run so far, and huge thanks to my supporter friends and family in advance for giving up their Easter weekend to join me on this madcap trip! What on earth am I going to do with myself after?!

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