Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The UTMB beckons

So this time tomorrow, I’ll be in Chamonix with Team Lendon – Jenny and my parents – for the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB)

The UTMB is one of those iconic events; probably the biggest and most famous ultra in Europe. Circumnavigating Mont Blanc for 168km (105miles) and with 9600m ascent, it’s a tough old event. It sits on many ‘bucket lists’; it’s an event that begs to be experienced.

To be perfectly honest, I haven’t really given it much thought until this week.  With only 5 weeks between the Lakeland 100 and the UTMB, recovery was always going to be key – both physically and mentally. My plan has always been to ‘race’ the Lakeland 100 and just aim to enjoy the UTMB with no pressure on performance. Just enjoy the journey.

I’ve never been very good at the rest and recovery thing. After the L100, I had a full week off, followed by an easy-ish week, then really hammered myself in The Lakes for the weekend taking in as many peaks as I could. And that completely trashed my calves again requiring a few more days rest. However, I had 2 great runs last week which was a real boost. Calves are still a bit heavy but hopefully a good massage yesterday has sorted that out.

More importantly, in my opinion, is the mental recovery. Readying my head for another tough outing. Readying my head to want, and thrive on, another tough outing. This is why I haven’t given it much thought – keeps the pressure off.

However, after packing my kit and with all the traffic on Facebook, it’s now fairly hard to ignore the fact that there’s a biggie coming up!

Dave Troman’s blog from last year and his great video have definitely got the adrenaline flowing.

Anticipation and nerves are kicking in. I slept poorly last night which isn’t ideal as we have to leave for the airport at 03:20 tomorrow morning. Yawn!

Goals? Well primarily to finish, enjoy and not suffer a death march. Beyond that, I’ll be really happy with anything around 32-33 hours, which by my reckoning would be around top 200. I have a mega goal...but that's a secret!

So I’m ready to go and looking forward to an amazing journey. I imagine it may hurt a little at times but I fully intend to take in the scenery which I’m sure will more than compensate for any minor discomfort.