#UltraBoy – a runner in the making

I’m a big comic book fan and if I were a superhero then I’d be Batman obviously (you never see us in the same room do you?). The great thing about Batman is that he’s timeless and you can tailor his origins to best fit the needs of the audience. UltraBoy is a bit like that, he is the alter ego I’m aiming to be, he’s the one who runs on race days, the rest of the time I’m just boring old me, grinding out the miles. UltraBoy is the one who can run big distances in a single bound and occasionally leap oversized gates in the fields of Kent.

UltraBoys origin comes from when he was refused entry into the London Marathon for the third time and he immediately signed up for his first ultra, he then saw something called the UTMB and thought that sounds fun and so signed up for two more qualifying races. Race 1, UltraBoy was learning about his powers and when he was severely injured he managed to pull through and save the day and claim 2 precious UTMB points. Race 2, UltraBoy was in his stride and threw himself into the race, finishing more than 8hrs before the cut off time, therefore claiming a further 2 UTMB points and a decent performance. Race 3 and UltraBoy met his kryptonite, his Joker, his Darth Vadar and after running more than 50 miles on heavily blistered feet, dreadful conditions and without having done enough training he pulled out of his first 100 mile race. But UltraBoy is made of sterner stuff, he used the Twitter community and some rest to recover and re-energise himself and now he’s slowly but surely returning.

2013 was year 2 of running races and although it’s not over I’ve not got any real challenges facing me, well unless you count the Snowdonia Marathon in a few weeks, so perhaps I have one last challenge this year. The rest of the year though will be a collection of rag tag races, found probably at the last minute, and only up to marathon distance, this primarily because I didn’t sign up for the Brecon Beacons in time and I don’t think I can really be bothered with the waiting list. Therefore 2014 is going to be my biggest year of racing a I prepare properly for an assault on the all getting entry to the all singing, all dancing UTMB. I’ve pinpointed a couple of 4pointers (just signed up for the NDW100) and a couple of 3pointers as well as several other practice ultra marathons – I’m going to super power myself to this one and I will not fail.

There are things I’m doing differently now too – I’m not a gym bunny and can’t bring myself to do it really as I find it boring but having invested in a mountain bike earlier in the year I’ve now added a road racer for shits and giggles and I’m perhaps adding a folding bike into the mix to give me options for getting into work and therefore increase my overall activity. I’ve also added swimming and completed my first two open water races earlier this year but I’ve been a little inconsistent in the pool and need to ramp this up a little bit to ensure that I’m maintaining my body and performance. Even superhero types need to keep in trim.

Perhaps that’s been one of the big realisations I’ve had this year is that I’m in my mid30s and stuff doesn’t bounce back the way it used too and my injuries have at times been quite severe and stupidly I’ve just kept going. My key hope is with the addition of extensive cycling and swimming atop my running I will be able to maintain better performance and stay injury free.

And now …

I’m looking forward to blogging and discussing my running/superhero-ing experiences with my fellow tweeters and more importantly fellow runners, hoping to be inspired and perhaps even inspire a little as I grind out long runs, short runs and stupid runs.

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