Friday, 17 December 2010

The Trials of Miles


Things have happened this month which will certainly change my future-for good or bad is yet to be seen.Three weeks ago I sold my share of our family business to my brother.I now have no job and no income.In the space of four years I have gone from working 60 odd hours a week to none at all.Some see this as the ultimate act of madness,the culmination of my mental decline.I prefer to see it as a rebirth-a chance to start again and do things I truly want to do and which I enjoy.My life has simplified beyond belief.Choosing to live in this caravan affords me the luxury of small bills and gives me a time scale to put plans into action.Steve Jobs in his famous speech at the Harvard Graduation Ceremony mentioned that if you wake up in the morning,look in the mirror and realize that you hate your job too many times,it's time to change.The banality of most work has weighed on my shoulders,especially during the last two years.I have no aspirations to be rich and only long for basic material possessions-so whats the point of working too much.I want excitement,change,risk,adventure-and I wasn't going to get that stuck in a factory day in ,day out,constantly struggling to stay awake...and most days failing.

The day of my departure coincided with my brother and ex-business partner finally lending me his copy of 'Once a Runner' by John L.Parker.I read it quickly and realized that the action of the hero of the book,Quenton Cassidy,who retreated to the solitude of a cabin in the woods to train,echoed what I wanted to do for the next few months.To forget about work,earning money,maintaining a certain standard of living and concentrate doing something I loved,to the exclusion of much else...run.I'm only an average runner ,but want to spend the next six months or so running big miles,enduring my own trials of miles.

The start of The Trials have been ok.I wanted to spend a few weeks just getting into the swing of running everyday,doing perhaps 100 miles or so a week,and then build it up from there.My immediate goal,race wise,I have decided will be the East Hull Harriers 24 hour race.Originally I was thinking of the Hardmoors 110 mile Trail race,but want a challenge that will test pure running ability.Not having ran in many trail races I wanted to exclude the chance of navigational errors,and the lure of the 24 hour race,with its immense heritage,appeals to me-a 400m track,a runner and a classic battle of endurance.

The weather these last few weeks has been cold.The first day of The Trials saw the first snow of the year in Skegness,and this has continued,virtually unabated since.I hate the winter-the cold,the short days and long nights.Therefore I have decided to decamp mid January to Gran Canaria.Theres a network of free state run campsites doted around the mountains,so the plan is to take a tent and spend the warmer days running the mountain trails,relaxing and reading.I'm not exactly sure how long I will spend there.I have decided to run the Camino De Santiago at the start of March.This should take approximately two weeks if I can average my target of 50 miles per day.If all goes to schedule that would result in me being back in the UK for my pre London Marathon race,the Friskney Half Marathon on April 3rd,then it will be the marathon itself on April 19th.The 24 hour race is the start of July.

The middle of the summer the strap on my watch broke.I quickly mislaid the actual watch,meaning I have been without for the past few months.I never use a watch in training.I have a rough idea of the pace I am running and that will do for me.I used to always race with a watch,but this has not recently been so,and in some ways has been liberating.No longer am I checking splits every mile or km,and my race performances have not been affected at all.I like the idea of running free,using your instinct and soul to guide you.I doubt whether I'll ever use a watch while running again.

Week One: Friday a.m 13 miles
p.m 10 miles

Saturday a.m 13 miles

Sunday a.m 30 miles
p.m 10 miles

Monday a.m 13 miles

Tuesday a.m 13 miles
p.m 5 miles

Wednesday p.m 5 miles

Thursday p.m 5 miles

TOTAL FOR WEEK 117 MILES


Week Two
Friday /

Saturday Race 10k X/c 10 miles total(inc warm-up/cool down)

Sunday a.m 7 miles
p.m 10 miles

Monday a.m 13 miles

Tuesday a.m 15 miles
p.m 7 miles

Wednesday p.m 21.5 miles

Thursday p.m 13 miles

TOTAL FOR WEEK 96.5 MILES


Week Three

Friday p.m 13 miles

Saturday p.m 7 miles

Sunday p.m 13 miles

Monday p.m 13 miles

Tuesday a.m 13 miles
p.m 5 miles

Wednesday p.m 13 miles

Thursday a.m 13 miles
p.m 5 miles

TOTAL FOR WEEK 95 MILES

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