Things are getting pretty busy and focused at the minute, since I'm within the final five week countdown to my Cool Impossible; my 130-miler from my home in Barnstaple to Bristol. I wanted to post something up to keep anyone who's reading my posts updated, especially since from here on in, I'll probably not be posting too much until after the big day.
Since I ran the 44 miles of my last post back in May, I've been managing to keep up a pretty consistent amount of running and (philosophical Ben alert) I've been finding more of the runner I'm supposed to be, I guess. Form-wise, I feel like I've never been more in partnership with my body - half due to Coach's 'remote' advice (as I figure it should be), half due to molding my own attitude and approach to training. Instead of feeling like running is an enemy to be conquered or a skill to be mastered in becoming a runner, I feel more like I'm treating my running as something that now lurks within me for me to gradually discover. Sort of like when Spiderman first gets his powers and learns exactly what he's capable of.
I raced another very undulating marathon a couple of weeks ago and finished in around 4:42 (placing around 80 out of 160) - comparing this pace with my total time to run 44 miles (around 8 hours), they both match up pretty consistently with the pace that I'm aiming for for Bristol and I'm actually starting to feel more confident about the 130-miler. I guess it's three times the maximum that I've run up to now, but it's also going to be a lot flatter - I'm hoping that these two factors will cancel each other out, but that's just my best guess crossed with instinct.
I'm starting to add that to the list of things that I'm going to find out on the day - in fact, now that we get closer to the day and more people are starting to take an interest, I'm starting to notice that there are more questions that I'm being asked to which the answer is "I'll find out on the day"... Luckily, there are lots of factors I can plan at least a little for and I've started to put together my 'idiot lists' for the day - including checklists for each stop to make sure that I'm checking water levels, checking my feet, etc. This is also (maybe kind of pleasantly) highlighting to me that there aren't actually that many things to get ready - I know that each thing (like water monitoring) could be make-or-break in its own right, but the list just seems pretty manageable.
Something I've definitely had to take on board for this run is to not worry about the outcome. Whether I finish or not (and, once that's taken care of, how quickly I manage it) isn't going to affect the effort that I put in and the training that I'm doing now. I'm going to keep running until I either get there or collapse in a heap, so what's to worry about?
P.S. It'd be ace if you could take a second to check out more details about why I'm running 130 miles: www.justgiving.com/benonfoot