Since 1st January, I’ve logged only 36 runs, with just two runs of any distance, a 20 mile run on 21st January and the 33 mile D33 Ultra on 11th March, a total mileage of 274 miles and an average mileage of 7.6 miles (or 6.44 miles if you remove the two exceptional 20 and 33 mile runs). Far from ideal in terms of running, let alone in terms of ‘training’ for the impending 53 mile Highland Fling. Whilst 2017 started off well enough, physiotherapy on my ongoing back issues resulted in a change in my running form which, in turn, likely caused the very painful Ischiogluteal Bursitis that has restricted my training quite so much.
As such, whilst I will line up at the start line of the Highland Fling on Saturday 29th April, I fully expect that this will be DNF #2 rather than ultramarathon finish #26. The intention is to keep going for as long as physically possible and to try and beat the cutoffs along the route. With a bit of luck, I might just make the finish in Tyndrum, some 53 miles along the West Highland Way. However, I’m keeping my expectations realistic (certainly no expectations of a PB!). If, by some stroke of luck, things do fare better than expected, I may well ‘have’ to add in a couple of additional events between the Fling and the Salomon Ben Nevis Ultra on 16th September. Should the Fling go as expected, however, the plan is to focus on rehabilitation without the pressure of an impending race, and to hope that this facilitates both the recovery and the training required.
It’s always good to have a focus and, over and above my goal of completing Fling #5 (My 1 and only DNF to date came at the 2010 Fling), I’m hoping above all else to add to the collection of father/son Fling finish photos. The 2015 and 2016 photos of me crossing the line with Harris are amongst my favourite photos of the two of us.
All the very best to everyone running the Fling this year. See you all in Tyndrum (hopefully!)