After the disappointment of missing out on a place through the lottery last year for a place in UTMB, I was over the moon last week when I learned that I’ve been successful this year. Chamonix here we come!
I’ve struggled to get moving over the past six months since the West Highland Way race. Family, work and everyday life have all take priority and my running has been slow and infrequent. I won’t lie, it’s impossibly difficult coming to terms with not running frequently. It has such a positive effect on my physical and mental health and it’s only when it goes away that you realise how strong an influence it is.
With a place in the UTMB I now have the motivation I need to get out exploring again. Family life will still have to come first so I think the volume of running this year will be low, but I’m hoping for high quality to make completion of UTMB the simple goal. No time pressure, no push to get within a certain percentage of the field, just an experience to remember and enjoy. Aye, right.
The other good news is that a bunch of my running buddies have got places in other UTMB races (CCC and TDS mainly). That means a bunch of us will be in Chamonix again in August flying the flag. Sadly my mate Scott didn’t get in which I’m gutted about. We’ve run so much together, it would have been amazing to run it together (in preparation for PTL next year?). What? Did I really just write that?
So here we are; mid-January and already pushing 70km a week with 2000-3000m of elevation. I’m hoping to ramp that up through to a consistent 100km a week by end of February with a mix of hills and speed work to build a decent foundation. If that goes to plan, then Spring will be about increasing the amount of elevation to get some mountain legs built.
I’m also trying to get in yoga a couple of times a week again. I always feel better for the flexibility it delivers and by adding in a couple of strength sessions a week as well as squats and lunges after every run, I’m hoping I’ve got the basics covered. Watch this space for updates and adventures as we go through the year.