Will it be easy? No. Will it be worth it? I hope so.

It’s 293 days until I (attempt to) run The Wall. 69 miles across the country. West to East. Carlisle to Newcastle. 9 miles short of the distance of three marathons…back to back…in 24 hours!

Running a marathon is one thing but 69 miles?! Holy crap! What have I signed up for?!?

I’ve only really ever ran marathon distance once before (but what a marathon it was); the Hardmoors 26.2 Roseberry Trail Marathon. Look it up. For someone who’d never ran a marathon before it was brutal.

The brutal, Hardmoors Roseberry Trail Marathon, 2014.

I have been trying to keep up my fitness recently and to get back into pushing up the distances and managed to get up to 15 miles in the last month but since dropped off due losing my father-in-law (which I am now fundraising in memory of over on justgiving; so go donate!).

I have got a number of events already booked up, but it’s not long now till they start to kick off so I guess the training really starts now.

I’ve got the first event in just 12 days time: the Run Durham Hamsterley Big 10 Miler. I can’t say I’m looking forward to it after ascending all the fire roads at Hamsterley last weekend.

I went mountain biking on the trails last Saturday with a couple of mates (a first for me). It was a total baptism by fire having never mountain biked, ridden trails or been to Hamsterley before. Parts of it were tough, parts of it were terrifying but I had some really good guidance (cheers Anders, Dave and Phil!) and it was absolutely mint! Can’t wait to get out again!

Spot the plump noob — Mountain biking at Hamsterley last Saturday

I’ve started mountain biking to help with building my endurance as part of my newly created training plan.

“What does a 69 mile ultramarathon training plan look like?”, I hear you cry. Well, I’m no expert (seriously, thats not modesty, I really am not an expert. Most of this stuff I ripped off the interweb), but my first week is pretty full!

My plan for this week looks like this:

  • MONDAY: REST 
    Starting with a rest day?! Well, I did do a load of mountain biking on Saturday and then did 6 miles of trail running last night and technically, I’m playing footy tonight but I’m not doing any big distances so its kind of a rest from that, isnt it?
  • TUESDAY: ONE HOUR CYCLING
    Got to build up those endurance muscles…
  • WEDNESDAY: BACK TO BACK 5 MILE RUNS
    Ah. My favourite…not. This involves getting up early and running 5 miles. Then doing another 5 miles later in the day. Its basicallygo for a run, have a little break, then running another 5 miles within a 12 hour period. Apparently this is one of the fastest ways to build up your running endurance without pushing distance too far too fast and getting injured…I’ll be the judge of that.
  • THURSDAY: HILLS
    These. Are. The. Worst. But really good for your strength, conditioning and endurance. Find a big hill. Run up it. Walk down it. Repeat until you feel like your calf muscles are on fire. Repeat again.
  • FRIDAY: SPEED INTERVALS
    Like doing hills without the hills. Sprint. Jog. Sprint. Jog. Sprint. Vomit. Walk. Cry. Awesome.
  • SATURDAY: REST
    Translation: a day where I justify eating crap and not going for any exercise whatsoever (pretty much what I have done every day for the past two years! Hence…belly podge!). If I’m feeling exotic, I might plaster my legs in bright blue KT tape to make me look like a proper athlete. Cool.
  • SUNDAY: LONG SLOW RUN
    Here’s where I run as far as I can without dying and aiming for a further distance than the week before then punishing myself for going further by jumping into an ice bath for 15 minutes (I made that sound like its awful, which it is, but I actually love this bit; bit of a masochist at heart I guess).

I look at my training plan and to me it looks horrid. I’m kind of a bit terrified as it means I’m actually going to start on a path towards actually running a full 69 miles! It’s going to be a tough first week but I reckon the first week is probably the hardest (famous last words).

And so the first week of real training begins. Sounds fun, no? Yeah, I’m ‘excited’ too…let’s see if I can stick to it.

As the week goes on, I’ll try to keep in mind and remember what a Single Woman once said:

“It’s ok to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.”

Will it be easy? No. Will it be worth it? I hope so.

Here’s to being brave…

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