I had spent the day watching my kids faces alive with wonder and amazement as they cuddled up to Mickey Mouse and Goofy in the glorious Florida sunshine when my phone beeped with an incoming text.
“Have you thought about next years races yet? I quite fancy Canalathon.”
I replied to Chris Lawson saying I’d let him know when I got back from holiday but that the 50k ultra marathon was on my agenda. I put my phone down and headed for the pool.
A week later I was back to grey rainy Lancastrian November skies and reality. I needed something to look forward to, something to focus on and train for. “I’m going to enter Canalathon” I sent the text to Chris. His immediate response was “Excellent, I fancy the 75k, you up for that?”
I didn’t take much persuading, a conversation with my coach Gobi about what would be needed and the longest running race of my life was entered. I was excited about running 46.6 miles along a canal from Yorkshire to Lancashire and back in March. Now I just had to do the training.
Now five months on, the race is tomorrow.
I feel calmer this morning than I imagined I would. I’ve put the miles in, consistently paced 50+ mile weeks have seen me arrive at this point healthy and strong. And that’s all down to Gobi’s planning. My friends take the piss out of me on Strava for running slow but I have a tendency to race too hard too early which in a race of this distance would be fatal. I’ve learned discipline and will hopefully apply this successfully to my pacing tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong I’ll be racing but this isn’t a balls out 10k or half marathon. This is the equivalent of Lancaster to Warrington (just without the trip to Ikea).
I’m the right mix of excited and nervous as it’s the unknown, Chorley last year saw me run 32 miles, this is an extra 14. It will be a learning curve and possibly a mental battle when the fatigue fog descends.
“Just keep MOVING FORWARD”
“Don’t fall in the canal”
Oh yeah and I’ll be telling myself
“It’s all Lawson’s fault!”