In 12 weeks, I would like to be finishing the Autumn 100, right about now, at around 7.30am on Sunday 16 October. The Autumn 100 is a one hundred mile continuous footrace on the trails of the Ridgeway and the Thames Path. I know both of these trails well, having completed the 87-mile Ridgeway Challenge in 2014, and 95 miles of the Thames Path 100 in 2015. Yes, I had to drop out five miles before the end. You can read all about that experience here.
So, I have some unfinished business, both with the Thames Path (although not that last bit in Oxford, just yet) and with the 100-mile distance. In many ways I am an archetypal ultrarunner. Male, middle-aged, trying to stay vaguely fit while seeing what adventures are still out there. I am never going to win a race but I’m determined to give it my best shot. And while 12 weeks isn’t perhaps the typical training block for a 100-miler, it’s probably more than enough to record what I’ve done each week and how I’m feeling about the forthcoming challenge.
MONDAY (0 miles)
Rest day. Had planned to do an upper body workout but realised when I woke up that I hadn’t quite finished cleaning the oven from the night before so did that. Which was an upper body workout of sorts anyway.
TUESDAY (8.9 miles)
Ran home from work which is Tower Bridge to Fulham via god knows where but it was longer than expected. Managed to pick up the pace for the last few miles.
WEDNESDAY (9.7 miles)
Meant to do an easy 4 or 5 miles at lunch time. Took a wrong turn, then another, then found myself in a wood. Signage was hopeless. Finally got back on track and the police had closed Tower Bridge. Finished knackered and absolutely starving.
THURSDAY (0 miles)
Decided I wasn’t going to do myself justice at track so did some yoga. Nice way to start the week first thing in the morning.
FRIDAY (5.7 miles)
Got up at 6am to run to Barn Elms track and did 400, 800, 1200, 800, 400 in the puddles. Felt good but my pace is not there at all. Have paid for 10 sessions (£30 – bargain!) so will be going most weeks until the race to help improve that.
SATURDAY (4.6 miles)
Skipped parkrun in favour of a much-needed lie-in and did a couple of very mediocre mile reps. Did overtake a girl who was walking though so that was something. Also did some foam rolling as my calves are a bit of a shambles. Must remember to do my quads as well.
SUNDAY (9.9 miles)
Went up Wimbledon Common for some hill reps with Andrew, for whom I’m doing a training plan for his first marathon. He is annoyingly quick but a good bloke so I forgave him as I chased him up the trail gasping for oxygen. Also managed not to get lost. Miracle.
Weekly total: 38.9 miles
Overall, a decent week. If I can figure out the logistics, I’ll do a 20-miler next week. Feeling excited and optimistic about the race. Also a bit worried about my old body falling apart (again) at some point during it but let’s not dwell on that for now.