Up a hill, down a hill. Repeat for 45 miles. In the coastal cold and wind of British December.
The Endurance Life Coastal Trail Series Dorset Ultra Plus (catchy I know – ELCTSDUP for the cool kids) seemed like a hard sell in October when I suddenly thought that I might be able to qualify for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc in 2016 (after forking out the registration fee I realised that I couldn’t qualify).Now after three months of sub-optimal training including police, hospitals, a month of concussion and a holiday in the US, I am on a train bound for the not-so-sunny South coast to take on 8000ft of elevation gain.
In October, I sensibly decided to postpone my entry to a different CTS event in 2016 but was so slow to decide that I missed the deadline for postponing and also getting a refund.
I was allowed to drop down to either the Ultra, Marathon, Half or 10k for free so I spent a while deliberating which.
And of course then missed the deadline for swapping so I will be lining up for the full ELCTSDUP with my minuscule preparation.
This sounds like madness and a surefire way to get injured but in reality, it just means that there is no pressure to finish and I can drop out at any point, comfortable with the fact that I didn’t have the chance to prepare properly.
I will try to complete as much as I can but know there is no reason to risk damaging myself.
It’s actually quite liberating.
If I’m not feeling it, I could stop at the first check point which is 6.3 miles in.
Job done, December streak and Marcothon continued, off to the wonderful pubs of Dorset to console myself and take it easier.
Or if I am in good shape, I might aim for something a little bit longer.
The first goal is a half marathon and everything after that is a bonus.
The full course is tough enough that I need to complete 16.5 minute/miles in order to get in before the cut off but am I mad to think that this seems feasible?
So long as I run a bit and walk most, is it possible just to get round the course and pick up those treasured 2 UTMB points.
My mind is flip-flopping constantly between pushing for the big ‘un and getting out early and enjoying a ploughman’s and a pint.
Wish me luck or if not, recommendations for pubs near Lulworth Cove would be equally appreciated.