What would you do? #Run #Ultra 

I’m signed up to the Leeds – Liverpool Canal 130 but several problems have arisen and I’m facing a choice about whether to run or not.

Ready? Training hasn’t been going as well as I would have liked and despite some excellent sections of training this year there hasn’t been enough of it.

I can blag 50 miles, I can even blag 100 miles – I’ve done it before – but I’m not sure I can blag 130 miles and I’m not sure I should. The LLCR130 was my opportunity to prove I can respect the distance and run well but life has simply gotten in the way. 

Life: It’s been a busy year and a bit of an emotional rollercoaster if truth be told with one thing and another and this has had an tremendous impact on the overall amount of quality of running I’ve been able to commit to. Now while my body is in a constant state of reasonable shape I’m simply not fit enough for the 130 currently.

Could I get fit enough in the couple of months remaining? Probably.

Skye: However, the Isle of Skye gave my feet a real battering and unusually they aren’t healing very quickly. Running is currently painful and anything over about 7km brings memories of stones cutting into my feet. I’m not able to return to more sensible training yet despite it being 2 weeks after the event.

Blues: This is all compounded by the fact I’ve got a serious dose of the post race blues, I can’t seem to quite get my mind back in shape – preferring instead to focus on the Tesco offer of 4 Topics or Snickers for just a single pound coin! I can hear my inner runner completely fucked off at me but he’s being kept at bay in favour of chocolatey goodness. 

Disagreement: Perhaps the killer things though are to do with the LLCR130 itself, after a serious disagreement with someone who would have probably provided aid and/or race support/places to stay/transport/etc the LLCR130 has become a logistical nightmare. Originally it was going to be quite a simple affair but now just a few weeks away it really feels like the challenges of the pre race and post race arrangements would be more testing than the run itself. I suppose I’m unconvinced that this is the best preparation for a race of this magnitude. Would I be better leaving this until 2017 when I can arrange the logistics to suit my needs rather than being reliant on other people? In an incredible gesture of support the always awesome Joe offered pacing and I’m incredibly grateful for that but think it might not be quite enough with all the other issues that have built up around this.

Priorities: Some of the running I’ve done this year has involved hills, climbing, mud, adventure. The LLCR feels like it would be a test of my capacity to endure but would miss out on all the things I love about running like scrambling up and down hills and getting filthy from knave to chops! With Haria Extreme as my year end ultra I feel like I should be competing in races that at the very least offer me the opportunity to prepare for this and also excite me. LLCR130 is a race I really want to do but I’m heavily conflicted because it simply doesn’t sit well inside the rest of the choices for this year.

So what do I do? If I go I’d give it my all and if I don’t I have a replacement race that I think would be more supportive of my year aims and less likely to DNF. The LLCR130 isn’t likely to disappear anytime soon and I wonder if I’d be better tailoring my running to focus on this race rather than as I have done this year which was focus on the Skye Trail Ultra and Haria Extreme. However, if I fail to race this then I won’t have run a hundred mile race this year and my thoughts of the 200 mile ultra across the Pennines would then surely be put back by another year. It’s a complex decision…

… so I’d appreciate your thoughts but as you can probably tell I feel like pulling out of the LLCR might be the right course of action.

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10 comments
  1. I am doing LLCR this year. Really looking forward to it – and I am making my plans at the moment – e.g. my crew/buddies etc. Only you know whether you want to do it and whether the reason will be strong enough when you face the demons during the latter stages of the race. Hope to see you there at the start line! (www.untrainingultrarunner.com)

    • ultraboycreates said:

      I think the difficulty for me is that i’m conflicted – I really want to do it but I’m not sure my preparations are quite right, I’m not running very well and the logistics have just become much more difficult. It feels like right race, wrong year. I’m going to take a decision over the next few days now I’ve written it all down and stopped burying my head on the sand. Either way – good luck with the race and if I do run then don’t forget to carry me the last 70 miles please!

      • I am suffering a hamstring / glute problem at the moment, and I am hoping that by having LLCR on the horizon it will force me to look after myself a bit more. I really want to do it this year because I plan to do the Centurion Grand Slam next year. If you run LLCR I don’t think there is any chance I will be in front of you – my plan is only to finish in cut-off with 10 minutes to spare 🙂

      • ultraboycreates said:

        You offer compelling reasons to run it as I’d like to centurion grandslam next year too – however, like you I have glute problems that have plagued me for more than 2 years now but that hasn’t stopped me at least attempting all the other ultras I’ve done – I just feel this is the wrong time for me to do the race. I’m pretty set on pulling out but I’ll give myself to the weekend to fully make my decision. I’ll still be committed to racing that weekend but I feel something like the ridgeway 86 mile race would be more in keeping with my aims for 2016 of trails and hills.

        If I do pull out though I may well consider entering for the canal double or as Roz Glover called it once the ‘Dickslam’. But that’s once I’ve thought carefully about what I want out of next years running.

        Best of luck with the race – I’m sure you’ll finish well before the cut off – it’s a generous time limit and I’m confident that you’ll do it, I’m just not confident I’ll manage it 🙂

      • ultraboycreates said:

        I decided that no decent training, injury and a desire to focus on more mountainous stuff means I’m going to run the 86 mile ridgeway which my training and eventing has been more geared to – but best of luck, I’ll be thinking about your efforts!

      • Best of luck with Ridgeway. Fancy it at some point. Planning on Centurion Grand Slam in 2017.

      • ultraboycreates said:

        I should really want to do the centurion grandslam but for a myriad of reasons I’m not sure it appeals. I think it’s the popularity of it and I’m focusing on smaller races that are less high profile. Centurion also are over subscribed for their events so I figure i might be better supporting a less well known race. But if you do it then it’ll be a barnstormer and best of luck. I am contemplating the Autumn 100 next year as I had an injury plagued DNF there in 2014 and I feel as though I owe it to myself to go back and resolve that one

  2. I personally think, if your mind is not up for it, you shouldn’t do it.
    You could have the best training, but if you do a race and think, you (probably) won’t make it, a DNF is likely.

    • ultraboycreates said:

      I’d hoped to be able to focus on this race this year but it just hasn’t happened for one reason or another and I don’t want to scrape in just before the cut off. I know I can run this well, probably in 30-32hrs but not at the moment. I feel like this might be right race but wrong year and you’re 100% right if I feel I can’t do it or only just do it then I’m likely to fail

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