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The reality is of course far different. It's easy to write "3hr long run", it's a lot harder to get up early on a sunday morning, hit the pavement and then not look at your watch after 10minutes and think "only 2hrs 50 to go!". It's even more difficult to get mid way into an interval session, meticulously planned for maximum toughness, and not doubt your ability to finish, so easily prompting an early departure from the session.
One month in and I'm at the stage where training has become serious and i'm realising the difficulty of the challenge i've set myself. My legs are creaking and achy and my free time is depleting. This was never going to be easy, but there's nothing that quite prepares you for the mental and physical endurance that is needed to stick to the script and not wander onto an easier course.
Fortunately I was lucky enough to go to a training session by Active Edinburgh and subsequent talk by author and endurance hill runner Jonny Muir and British Uphill Mountain Running Champion Jacob Adkin (pictured above in case you were thinking I was looking a lot leaner!) earlier this month. It was really interesting listening to both recite their tales of their adventures in the hills, but what particularly resonated with me was Jacob talking so candidly about how tough training and racing can be and how much a 'Positive Mental Attitude' is key to making sure you reach your goals. It was encouraging to hear that even the very best athletes sometimes find it difficult!
This month throws up more challenges as i'm away every weekend in September apart from the last, which means some early morning or, more likely, evening miles, as well as making sure i'm not getting overly fatigued or burning out. PMA is going to be important!