Awaiting The Tempest

Alright folks, here it is: that rather predictably timed taper-meltdown blog post you’ve all been waiting for. And because this time I’m tapering ahead of a 55-mile run, I feel that I have a good reason to ponder such fundamental questions as “is there really such a thing as eating too many pancakes?”. On the plus side, the fact that I’m going to run a little less over the course of the next two weeks means that I should hopefully have a little more time to update my blog here and there!

Lady's Tower

(I’m sorry that I’ve been such a bad blogger lately – I’ve been too busy running in cool places like this.)*

But back to my taper-related ponderings. Although I genuinely don’t know how on earth it’s possible that I am tapering again already, I am really very pleased with how my training went. I remember two months ago, when every glance at my training plan was enough to cause a minor fit of hyperventilation. But looking back over it now, I can’t deny that it’s been a very consistent training cycle for me and I did pretty much exactly what I had set out to do. What is more, I really loved the training, especially the beautiful long runs, each of which felt like a journey in its own right. I always knew that tackling an ultra would primarily be a mental challenge, but I did not expect how much spiritual growth would also occur along the way and on the trails. I can only hope that it will be enough to see me go the distance on the day.

And this brings me to one of the most humbling aspects of all of this; for the first time in a very long time, I’ll find myself at the beginning of a road and genuinely not know if I’ve got what it takes to make it to the end of it. It’s thrilling; exciting and intimidating in equal measures.

In all honesty though, I’m very much looking forward to the challenge. I have prepared by body as best I can, clocking a consistently high mileage for the past few months. I think that’s all I really could do to prepare myself for my first ultra: run a lot and be open to learn what I could along the way. I don’t think there’s a formula for completion; for me it’s primarily been a case of getting used the idea of dealing with the unexpected.

I’m looking at the run itself as a journey in its own right. I’ll hopefully enjoy a lot of it, but I also expect a lot of weariness and don’t for a second think that I’ll be able to escape a certain amount of pain. I’ll just have to trust that my mind and spirit will be strong enough to keep going regardless.

I love how Becky has put it to me before: “Go forth and meet your demons”. I like the sounds of that.

And as for the pancakes (and in the interest of carb-loading), I’m think I’m going to put my original question to the test and find out exactly if there is such a thing as too much, and if so, how much is too much. Wish me luck!

*(I’m not sorry.)

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20 thoughts on “Awaiting The Tempest

  1. piratebobcat says:

    Good luck to you! And I love the humble-brag: “(I’m sorry that I’ve been such a bad blogger lately – I’ve been too busy running in cool places like this.)”

    • Thank you! 😉 I know the brag is a bit cheeky, but there’s some truth to it… I’ve been doing back-to-back long runs these last few weekends, and although they were fantastic, I really haven’t found time for anything as a result…

  2. Angie says:

    In terms of pancakes and ultra-running, I don’t think there is too much. It will be just right and not necessarily easy. Good luck!!

    • Thank you, Angie! 😀 I’m excited. And a bit worried. And then I freak out a little. Then I think about all the wonderful training I’ve done. Then I’m just excited again. Then I go eat some pancakes before it all begins again…

  3. Lily says:

    I’m excited for you, good luck! Go forth and eat those pancakes.

    • Lily, that has got to be the single most awesome comment I have ever received on this blog! 😀 I’m totally going to do that!! I hope you are well and that your travels are continuing to be awesome!

      • Lily says:

        Haha, I’m so glad! Maybe I’ll make you a shirt that says that 🙂 Thanks, everything has been great! We’re currently trying to figure out how we can make our way to Scotland, I want to visit so badly.

      • Oooh, if I can help at all, just let me know. It would be awesome to see you! 😀

  4. Kristin says:

    You can do it!!!! XOXO!!!! You are fabulous!! I hope you’re having a great day!!! XOXO!!!

  5. Chris P says:

    Good luck to you! I know you will succeed. As for pancakes, I’ve been eating a lot of them recently. Such an efficient way to carb-load, especially with a lot of sugar syrup. I prefer beer pancakes, it’s difficult for me to eat pancakes if they are not made from beer. I wonder how many you can eat. Take care and good luck again!

    • It’s great to hear from you. I will get back to you on the pancake question – I’ve got a personal case study planned for this weekend. Beer pancakes sound so cool… I guess I’m pretty boring, I tend to go with cinnamon and apple. So yummy! 😀

  6. Amy says:

    The pictures in your posts usually make me want to visit Scotland. This post is no different, except I also want to make pancakes for dinner. We’ll see if your race recap has me wanting to do an ultra. 🙂 I can’t wait to hear about it, good luck!

  7. Trails and Ultras says:

    I’ve been quoted! That’s a first for me! And um…why aren’t you hyperventilating into a paper bag right now like I am? And not freaking out that it’s ONLY TWO WEEKS AWAY? Caps necessary to signify shrieking.

    • I don’t know… are you saying I should be freaking out more? Maybe it’s because you’ve taken all the brown paperbags. Or maybe it’s because I don’t really know what I’m in for yet! In all honestly though, I’m in this zen state right now; I keep thinking that my training has gone so well and I’ve enjoyed it so much, that it doesn’t matter too much what happens on the day. I feel that I’ve already gotten more out of this than I had ever thought possible. Having said that, the next melt-down is probably only minutes away. 😉

      • Trails and Ultras says:

        Strangely I’m feeling calm now too…although I do keep swinging between panic and being chilled out!

      • That’s exactly where I am… swinging from zen state to meltdown about 5 times a day at the moment. 😉

  8. Laura Alonso says:

    GOOD LUCK! It really sounds like you are physically and mentally prepared. can’t wait to read about it. Great pic also, as always!

    • Thank you Laura – I really do go from thinking “I can do this!” to “What have I done?!?!” about five times a day at the moment. Oh, the joy of the taper! 😀

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