I just couldn’t leave it could I 🙄 I mean at the beginning of the year my aim was to complete the Brighton marathon without injury or needing to walk. I achieved that and I was very happy, should I have left it there? Well, I didn’t 🤦🏻♀️ I saw an opportunity to take part in the Saltmarsh75 which in the past I have helped the organisers with and marshalled at the event, now on its 5th year here I am giving it a go. What is wrong with me, I’m mental! 75 miles over 2 days!! Am I completely stupid to even contemplate this? Let’s be honest here, am I seriously going to be able to do this?!! I’ve completed a couple of marathons (one successfully, one not so much) and now I think I should give this huge challenge a try – what is that, cocky? Stupid? Optimistic? Ambitious? I just don’t even know what to call it.
So, with two weeks to go this is where I am at mentally and the thoughts going through my head are very similar to those I’ve written above. All I can say is I’m going to give it my best shot and I can’t give anymore than that. The last thing I want is an injury and that is what I’m most scared of, possibly, marginally more than a did not finish. I think I could just about cope with a DNF as long as I am still able to run, don’t get me wrong I would be so gutted but I don’t want to be out for months. I’m also very stubborn and determined so I guess we just have to see how it goes on the day. Do you know what, no – I’ve got to stop these negative thoughts. It’s all in the mind and thinking I’m going to fail isn’t going to get me anywhere. I’ve put a lot (some) training in to this and I’m not gonna lie I’ve loved it, mostly running with friends on sunny Sunday mornings and I don’t want that to stop, so the spreadsheet has already been extended, come on guys – you love it 😂.
This week I decided to put a post out on twitter asking for any ultra runners to answer a few questions for me, I thought this could help anyone training for there first ultra. I’ve had a great response to this and plan to publish a set of answers every few nights in the lead up to Saltmarsh75. My first reply was from Louise McWilliams (give her a follow on Twitter – @ultralouweezy):
1) Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into Ultra running.
I work as a Store Manager for a large Food Retailer, and have lived in Cornwall for 6 years. I got into running when my (ex) husband signed us both up to an Ultra in 2012. It was supposed to be something we did ‘together’, I had only started running in Feb 2012, the race would be in August… A 32 mile coastal path race after only 6 months of running?? Hmmm.
2) When, what and how far was your first Ultra? Tell us a bit about it / add pictures if you have any.
First Ultra was, as I said, my first ever race, The Roseland August Trail 32 mile.
3) Which Ultra would you now put down as your favourite and why?
I have two favourites, for different reasons.. route wise, I love the Classic Quarter, a 44 mile coastal race from Lizard Point to Lands End. It has some stunning views, and is a hard,hard race. Secondly. I loved the Fire &Ice Ultra, 250k across Iceland. such a unique experience.
4) Do you follow a training plan?
When I first started out I roughly followed a training plan from ‘Relentless,Forward Progress’, but I havent used one since. Generally I race marathons and Ultras a few times a month, so its all kinda unique.
5) What advice can you give for those looking to complete their first Ultra?
I would say that the most important thing for first timers is to BELIEVE. Alot of the skill for ultras is mental tenacity. Posisitve attitude can help you through the low points (and there will be some!)
6) What fuel do you take on when running long and how often?
I use ‘Tailwind’ .. I cant take on much solid food when I run distance, so it provides me what I need in liquid form.
7) What is the best equipment / clothing you have every purchased for running?
Obviously I have a fair amount of kit hanging round my house,lol.. but old favs are Montrail running shoes, my Tribesports cap, and my Montane Fang 5 race vest.
8) What would be your dream race?
I’m working toward running the Yukon Arctic Trail 430 mile in 2019. If I complete it I will be the first british woman to do so.
9) In one word describe how we can expect to feel whilst completing our first Ultra.
10) Favourite re-fuel food?
Chocolate milk. Always.
Some great replies there from Louise, “Generally I race marathons and Ultras a few times a month” – wow!!!! Look out for another set of answers to be published over the next few days.