Friday, January 12, 2018

The Spine 2018 v7

This weekend the 7th edition of the Spine gets underway. It will be the 1st time that I have not been on the start line. Having steadfastly ignored a niggling groin strain, which initially occurred in Spine 2016, and a subsequent pelvic problem, I now haven’t run at all for over 2 months and am only now beginning to feel any improvement. Old age ensures that things recover much slower.

I have very mixed feelings about missing the Spine. Disappointment, jealousy…and relief.

I’m feeling really disappointed not to have all my kit all packed and be heading to Edale where the excitement and nerves will be palpable. First timers understandably nervous. Frequent fliers more relaxed, understanding that there’s little point wasting nervous energy when you will need every little bit of energy available for forward propulsion. I’m disappointed not to do my traditional, and ceremonial, sprint start. By the way, this is only seen at the Spine!

I will miss the camaraderie of all the Spine family, and I’m jealous of all those who will experience it. I will miss eating at Tan Hill and the fine dining at Greg’s Hut. I will miss having breakfast in Gargrave Co-op. They probably won’t miss me! I will miss crossing Cross Fell. Sorry but I love the sense of isolation up there…it can be a wonderful place. Can be nasty too!

But I am so relieved that I won’t spend a week in January on an emotional and physical rollercoaster. I won’t miss the cold, the rain, the damp, the mud. Definitely not the mud! I won’t miss the 15 hours of darkness – but I will miss the glorious sunrises and sunsets that can occur. I won’t miss the continual battle against sleep but I will miss the tremendous
boost of arriving at a checkpoint. 

And I definitely won't miss the painful toes!

It’s been nice not having the pressure of training hard through November and December and actually not caring about what I eat or how much I train over the Christmas period. My family appreciated having a non-Spine Christmas!

Jenny, I know, is very relieved. She won’t have to spend a week worrying about my well-being. A week dot watching. She will be able to sleep! But I fancy she will miss being part of the support team – she really does run a top-notch checkpoint, and loves looking after everyone.

So, whilst I will miss everything that makes the Spine such a great and unique event, I will enjoy my warm bed next week whilst trying not to feel very jealous of all those who are going to have a great experience.

Good luck to all involved. Stay safe and have fun…whilst we watch your dots.