Nowadays, with races filling up quicker than Take That tickets sell out, you really have to plan ahead if you want to get into a big ultra. So I’m trying to plan for next year but it’s hard because I’m injured and because I did my dream race in 2014, the UTMB. Where do I go from there?
Everybody seems to think that the answer is bigger, better, tougher but I don’t see it like that. I don’t subscribe to that ‘must do the toughest/most brutal races in the world’ mentality and I don’t want to collect them like badges of honour. The most ‘brutal’ race to me is a 10k where my lungs are screaming the whole time. 40 hours in the mountains is just pure bliss (but hard in a more pleasant way somehow). I want to do races that challenge me and offer an unforgettable experience. I like hilly, long stuff and I find the technical stuff really challenging and want to get better at it, so things like MdS don’t interest me.
Like everybody I have my list of races that I really want to do and I add to it all the time when I hear about races friends have done, read about races I’ve never heard of and new races. The Trail Team has been amazing for this and my list has grown and grown. I met so many inspiring people at the Trail Team day in London, on the Trail Team itself and the people who created the team, Simon and Julie, have introduced me to races in the Alps which sound amazing. Julia, our guide on our Trail Team trip to Chamonix, was a total inspiration to us with all of the things she had experienced and that trip definitely made me want to go out to the Alps and to some hut-to-hut running.
But I don’t want to plan too much. Some of the most enjoyable running I’ve done in the last few years has been on spur of the moment runs or races. 3 weeks ago I did TransMallorcaRun, which was an incredible experience but I only found out about it a few weeks before I went. I’d like to do more of that.
I’ve just read Amy Poehler’s hilarious book and she has two mottos. The first is the title of the book: ‘yes, please’. I’d like to say ‘yes, please’ to lots of fun looking spur of the moment running opportunities in 2015, whether that’s a ‘it looks like a nice day, grab a rucksack and head out for the day’ or a ‘shall we go to Chamonix next weekend?’. Her second motto is ‘good for you, not for me’, meaning ‘it’s great that you did that and good for you for doing it, but it doesn’t do it for me’. So MdS, road marathons, triathlon – good for you, not for me!