Its just over 2 months ago I set off to run 7 times around the island of Jersey in 7 days – 48 miles per day, 336 miles in a week. I initially dreamed up this challenge because 7 marathons in 7 days had been done here and I wanted to up the ante.
It was a crazy crazy week, with some real ups and downs taking me to the limits of my endurance and what I thought I was capable of. 2 months later the overwhelming feeling I have from the week is the way it brought so many of us together, people came to support me, crew for me, run with me and it really fed into a massive positive experience for me and I hope for all involved.
I remember setting off on the Saturday on the first day which was the actual Greenlight: Round the Rock Ultra which is in its 4th year here in Jersey, I had 7 days ahead of me but it just hadn’t really registered with me at that point how much work I had ahead of me. I think part of my way of coping with the challenge was to not register how much lay ahead of me and to just take it bit by bit, which was a strategy I seemed to employ for most of the week and served me well. By day 3 things got hard, I was tired by the Monday and just under a 100 miles of running had started to take its toll on me. I had 236 miles to go was feeling like I still had a mountain to climb, but I got through that day by just putting one foot in front of the other and 24 hours later I was nearly half way through the challenge and looking at the week through a completely different filter.
The big take away for me from the week was the lesson of sticking at something, things do get better, bad times do pass and if you persist you will succeed, a lesson for life perhaps as well as ultra running?
I did a little video of the week here which sums up a lot of what went on that week and the experiences of such a massive life event for me.
I am currently trying to get the whole thing down on paper as I would like to document this challenge fully so watch this space!
At the moment I am recovering, I misjudged the effect the challenge would have on me, 336 miles in a week is a long way and I thought I could come back to training after 2 weeks off running and get back into the groove quickly. I am due to be running a marathon on Sunday which I am in 2 minds whether to do as I am not fully recovered and I know this in my heart of hearts.
I was trying to find precedents for this type of challenge and the effect it has on the body and how much recovery is needed and it seems there is not a lot out there unfortunately. I am listening to my body though and trying to rest and address any issues as they arise, having had a hip flexor problem for a while I have been strengthening my flutes which has been a revelation, I feel more balanced in my stride and other issues that stemmed from the hip flexor problem seem to have subsided which is great news.
So next up for me is the Marathon Des Sables in April 2015. I have entered the XNRG Druids challenge in November this year to get ready and I am working towards this as a nice finish to the year. I know that I have endurance in my legs so my goal now is to make sure I am fresh for the race and that I can enjoy it. I also had the amazing news that I have been accepted to compete in the Dragons Back race in June next year, this race is an iconic legendary race that has only been held twice before. It is 200 miles across the mountainous spine of Wales and being Welsh myself I cannot wait to take part! I know there is a lot of preparation to do between now and then but I am up for the challenge 100% and look forward to standing on the start line in June.
Lots to look forward to, lots to be happy with hopefully 2014 has been as good for you and 2015 looks as exciting!