evening all :)

yes i am writing my blog thursday evening, and after all that jibber jabber about needing the adrenaline rush of having to deliver to the deadline last week.

well i have to do it tonight, as tomorrow at blog writing time i will hopefully be completing my biggest training challenge ever, yes ever.

coach coleman has me on a pretty strict regimen for marathon des sables in seven weeks time, and rightly so, it will be a pretty intense challenge, and hopefully tomorrow i will complete my 131st mile in five days, which to save you working it out is 26.2 miles a day, which for me has been a massive challenge, for many reasons, but one of the biggest has been finding the time to do it!

i am such a slow runner, and a marathon is taking me in excess of five hours, so where do i find almost six hours from daily, by the time i have prepped, run, and recovered?

well, i have changed my life pattern for a week, which seemed easier than taking a week off work, well so i thought.

so this monday i ate food at my normal time in the evening of around 7pm, hung out with the troops, and then moseyed on down to bed circa 9pm.

the rolling stones woke me with 'you can't always get what you want at 3am, rise and shine, but very quietly, strangely, i typed those last few words on the keys very quietly as if you would actually hear that :)

gear on, hydration tablets added to fresh water, snacks in my sexy running vest, i look pro, even if i am an old carthorse!

weather is dry, yay, electronic distance measuring paraphenalia switched on, and we're off.

the reason for the measuring devices is that as i step out the door i do not have a scooby do where i am going to run 26.2 miles, i literally just go with the flow, sometimes going places i've never been, it's a kind of a magical mystery tour of cardiff, which has only had one slightly scary moment so far, where i ventured onto what's known up here as 'the taff trail' which in simple terms is a trail that winds it's way alongside the taff river, and very picturesque it is too.

in daylight.

at night time, not so much.

as i ran around the windy trail, with little natural light, my headtorch proved invaluable, though seeing a flipping great badgery looking thing scamper off as i approached, i feel sure scared us both in equal proportion, and my whimpering 'errrrrrr' noise was not the most manly sound to have ever left my mouth, fortunately at approximately 4am, i felt sure i was alone.

or was i?

i don't scare too easily, but my mind did start playing games, which wasn't helped when i saw these two lights in the distance approaching me at pretty much ground level and moving independently, what the heck was it, my brain tried to compute, and what in jumping josephine's name was it doing on the taff trail at this time?

my senses really heightened, and did a really quick scan as i ran.

what was i looking for?

something to defend myself with that's what, as the only things i had on me to throw at this alien like creature of the night was a couple of granola bars and two water bottles that are secured on with elastic and would definitely have given me two black eyes to rival chi chi.

the creature approached, any ideas yet?

no, i didn't have either.

in the distance behind the creature that had both eyes still moving independently, i saw a more upright figure, with what was definitely a headtorch, so my fear subsided a little.

the creature of the night not came into vision as being creature's 'plural' of the night, and were in fact two small bulldog's with there own head/body torches, how cool, i mean how stupid, why oh why was this mentalist out at 4.30 in the morning walking his dogs, but i'm sure i overheard him asking himself out loud 'why was this mentalist out running at 4.30 in the morning', touche creatures of the night walker, if i ever get a dog i'm so getting it a head torch :)

so that was monday, and as i entered my house i felt satisfied my plan was working out ok, rested, showered, and then hobbled around the office with delayed onset muscle soreness or 'doms' for the rest of the day, by seven my head was like a nodding dog in the back of my grandads old austin 1100.

why don't you go to bed my gang suggested?

good point, so i headed for the land of nod, and woke to run, and nothing interesting happened, i just ran.

and ran.

repeat.

this time on my return home, i had blisters, great, this will test me.

oh my days, test me, with doms hitting me like a steam train, blisters galore, i would have won a dance contest going to the bar if i had ventured out, i was a bit of a mess to say the least.

hopefully it would heal for day three.

nope, that never happened.

i woke to mick and the boys, and attempted to take my first step of the day without wincing.

nope, that never happened.

as i wandered around the kitchen with help from thomas edison, i literally asked myself out loud 'how is this gonna work out?'

two ibuprofen and a drink later, and i hobbled like a comedy character out my front door, i laughed, and pushed on determined not to give up, and by the end of the first mile, i was shuffling rather than hobbling, and by mile two i was flying, well that's a lie, i was shuffling a little faster.

i ground out the miles, and felt a little better post run, but satisfied that i was over the halfway stage in my training week.

day four, last night, i ventured out, and two hours in, realised that i hadn't charged my head torch, rookie error, and had to resort to my phone light to illuminate the country lanes i was running.

one hour later, my phone died.

what an idiot.

however, i prefer to think how great this was as it will teach me not to mess up in the sahara, when a head torch is imperative, positive outcome i reckon.

as i sit here typing, my doms are easing, and flip flop wearing has eased the blister pain, and i am actually looking forward to day five, probably as it will mean i have three whole days off to rest up, but also, as it will give me great confidence that i can actually complete this race.

so, that is a very self centred, running orientated blog, but hopefully you will afford me this indulgence, and if there is a message possibly to take away, it might be 'there is always a way' or possibly never, ever, ever, give up.

have a great week, and i'll see you next week, if you're still subscribed that is..........

blue skies,

jeff


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