When I started planning for Trailstoke I had 6 months to prepare! How has that so rapidly turned into 6 weeks?

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Lately I have been having those moments of panic. The concern that I have not done it right, I won’t be prepared, or that I have missed something huge. This fear hits me most when I am out on the trails and most often when I am slogging up some hill feeling painfully slow and well… just painful.

But then, I come back to my breath. I reflect on how much running I have done, how many hills I have climbed, and remind myself that if I keep putting one foot in front of the other I will get through it. I keep thinking about how many amazing days I have had on the trails and just how much of this island (and a few others around it now too) I have been able to explore because of my training.

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I think this is the first time in my life I have set a goal that I have not been certain I can achieve. This has forced me to truly be present, all I can do is focus on the moment I am in and move forward. I realize this as I watch my heart rate climb when I start to wonder off to race day. When I pause and just breathe and look at the forest surrounding me I come back to a calmer place…one where I can actually start moving up the hill again. I am confident in my training and in my running, but there is something about race day that always has an unknown quality. My body could choose to stay in bed or my mind could get the best of me, or a whole number of other things, and that is what makes this challenge and goal worthwhile for me.

Each time I run a trail, I still feel butterflies of excitement and nerves in my stomach. I am getting more and more excited to see where this adventure takes me, both over the next few weeks and on race day. I have recently been exploring new trails and pushing myself to do more climbing than I have before. This week and next week are my peak training weeks where I hope to be doing about 15 hours per week, with a few hard effort days and a few long climbs. I am curious to see where my body and mind go over these challenging weeks, and know a few of my runs will toughen me up for race day.

Today is Tuesday and between today and yesterday I have done 3 hours 45 mins of my 15 for this week and 1200 meters of climbing. With 11 and 1/4 to go I am sure I will gain over 3000 meters of elevation this week …which in 6 weeks time I will do in a day!! But that is not for me to even think about for now 🙂

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