This entry is a week late. I've been too busy to write because I've either been running, working or, very infrequently, sleeping.
I promised 18 blogs, but they don't have to come once a week. Better, I think, to wait for something to say.
This week was the hardest so far. The training volumes are creeping up, so I ran a total of 62 miles this week. The weekend two days back-to-back meant that between sundown on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday I ran 32 miles.
This week was the hardest so far. Having missed training on Boxing Day in order to see my family, I've been running a day behind schedule ever since. I chose to catch up this week, so instead of running three days, resting a day and running another two days, I ran a consecutive five days. I don't think I've ever done that before.
This week was the hardest so far. I arrived at my desk at work at 0645 on Wednesday morning and left at 0430 the following day. I managed two hours sleep from 0500 to 0700 before I had to be up again to take my computer to be fixed when the shop opened. During this 22-hour working day, I ran in my lunch hour, and I ran again the following afternoon. I found that running for less than an hour does help with drowsiness.
This week was the hardest so far. As I set off on my 22 miles on Saturday night, it started to snow. It fell through much of that three and half hour run. The following morning there was a firm coating and my shoes didn't get purchase so I was sliding a bit and it took me nearly two hours to run ten miles.
I've bought myself a head torch. Not only does it make me feel a bit safer running in the dark, but it makes me run a little faster - I've observed repeatedly that I run more slowly when I can't see where I'm going. It also has a thousand uses around the house. I'll never look cool wearing it.
Fundraising has more or less plateaued. This is to be expected with the cost of Christmas, but I'll be rattling the tin more loudly in a week as people's January salaries get paid. If I can get to £3000 by the end of January, I'll need to raise £1000 a month for the next two. I think I can do that by individually contacting people and perhaps getting some cards to hand out to people I see regularly but don't know on-line.
I can feel myself changing as I do this. I think my body has got used to the idea that it's not getting as much rest or recovery as it used to. I may be flirting with injury. Two yoga sessions a week are now essential rather than a luxury, and at least five runs a week means five post-run stretches.
Last night I ran eleven miles of what will be the route of the ultramarathon. It was just 20% of the whole route and I let that fact overwhelm me. I forgot that when I run it I will have tapered my training, be rested and have the company of other runners. I have a choice - I can avoid training on the race route or embrace it. I think I'm going to embrace it and cover as much of it as I can. Perhaps in coming weeks, rather than running out and back, I can run out to Linlithgow and get the train home. After all, the course itself is the best training route.
I am too busy and tired to summarise my mileage so far here and now.