The stand-out sessions included, on Wednesday, catching the bus out to Buttermere valley (not a journey for those prone to travel sickness) and running the Lakeland 100 route back to Keswick. The last time I did this route was with John Kynaston back at the beginning of March in the snow. How different everything looks now.
On Friday I did a sustained tempo run on trails for 1:15 hours. Having done no speedwork of any description this year, it was great to turn up the revs and feel that there was something in the tank, a bit of the old magic is still there. Interestingly, having spent the last four months improving my running style, I was pleased with the way I could cover the trails at speed but remain smooth. Regardless of fitness levels, I know I am running with greater economy than I was this time last year.
Yesterday was a longer, steadier affair, with 15 miles round the west side of Derwentwater, down Borrowdale valley to Rossthwaite, climb over to Watendlath and back to Keswick below Walla Crag. I would normally run every step of this route, however, I decided that I would treat each climb as if it were part of an ultra and walk, working on my walk to run transition over the top. I always try to give each session a focus rather than just running and I felt this made the run far more race specific.
Tracey and I had a walk this morning round Gowbarrow Fell, partly because it is a great trail with wonderful views over Ullswater, and it would give me another opportunity to check out a part of the Lakeland 100 route I'll probably be running in the dark; just making sure I have got all of the small turns visualised properly. Perhaps someone could answer this question; why does walking make me so tired? If I hadn't got up off the sofa to write this, I would have gone to sleep for an hour or so!
On just about every run now, I am thinking about the Highland Fling Race, how I am going to approach it, pace, clothing, nutrition, etc, etc. I feel that I am ready now and can't wait to get on the start line. The one decision I have made is that I am not going to run and simply smell the roses along the way; I want to try and get a new PB (sub 10 hours). My next job is to sit down in front of a spreadsheet and put together a rough plan of attack to at least put me in a position to achieve this goal without going off like an idiot at the start.