I once had to dive under barbed wire through a hedge into a ploughed field and the pursuing "cow" proceeded to run down the other side of the thankfully substantial 7ft hedge I was sprinting along to get the hell out of there leaping up to check where I was every few strides! Evil indeed!
Great schedule Becca. Good luck for Kosice/Leicester
jar - excellent idea; we need a wiki type app so we can all contribute
I was chatting in general about what a fine life it must be for an elite athlete runner with some running mates the other day; "massages on tap" was one of the luxurys we thought they must have access to; the merest niggle taken care of by concerned hands. And here are we, planning to mount an attack on one of the big challenges in ultra running but access to such essential care is not a cheap thing!
I'm very good at producing knots in my calves. When I first discovered the horrors of massage some years ago I was 6 weeks out from running the Buenos Aires marathon but hardly able to move due to calf pain. The physio that got me to the start line called me a "little girl" as I squealed my way through several session of returning my knotted calves to smooth tensile muscle.
Because of that nagging hamstring issue (still with me) I entered this weird world of low effort running combined with weekly leg massages, the fear of something worse befalling me always in the back of my mind. I ended up only running 3 days per week all aimed at ensuring I could build that Sunday long run which rose by 2 miles per week to the giddy heights of 28 miles before taper. I have never had such a careful build to an event. On the big day I was as measured as I had been in training, but prepared to "die" if I had to push it to whatever extreme to get home in 12 hours. It was the most rewarding run of my life. I picked up the 12 hour bus about two thirds in as it cruised past me and never let it go. I felt like I could run for ever, even going over the finish line. I thought I would be a stretcher case the next day but had the most remarkable of easy recoveries, so much so that I ran a marathon a fortnight later in 5 hours (although it was a bit of a "comedy event" - I stopped about 50 times to take photos and wasn't trying to break any records).
I have consequently taken 3 full weeks off and am now back in training (with nagging hamstrings) but I feel full of running, no fatigue. In dialogue with my physio we think its time to "bully" my hamstrings back into submission, so I am on a sub 4 hour marathon training programme with 5 running days per week and some speed work.
What am I trying to say? I must be right down the bottom end of the scale on how much I put into last year's prep, consequently I didn't need much recovery time and feel full of beans. I think last year took a lot out of a lot of you, more than you might think. Make sure you recover well!
F2D - you need to write a book called "Your Comrades Trip" brilliant stuff. Although you need to let Jelly Bean do a chapter on pre-race curries and Slow Duck a chapter on during race dining!