It is just over a week until the next ultra on the circuit, the 43 mile 'Devil O'The Highlands' footrace. At this stage I should be in the middle of a relaxing taper, looking forward to a 'short' run less than half the length of the WHW, and generally feeling great. I should be planning my splits with great enthusiasm, and working out how I am going to come storming home over the last few miles, leaving others such as JK in my wake.
But I'm not. I'm sitting here wondering what on earth has happened to my body, and why it has chosen this moment to rebel against my perfectly reasonable demand to complete another ultra race. A visit to my massage lady Amanda on Wednesday evening confirmed what I already suspected: my legs are not in their best shape. In fact they are very close to their worst shape. The general condition of my body has not been helped by yet another heavy fall when I was out training on the WHW last Sunday, something that is starting to occur with depressing regularity. It was an almost identical fall to the one during the WHW race, with me landing once again on my left knee and elbow, resulting in a gaping hole in my knee which has throbbed for much of the week. To compound my embarrassment 4 lady walkers witnessed it, or at least witnessed my expletive loaded cry for help and turned around to find me lying face down in the long grass, just off the main WHW path.
In case anyone is wondering, however, I am not considering withdrawing from the Devil O. No chance. I will be there and intend to finish. I'm going to have a few days off running, and expect to feel considerably refreshed after that. It is the first ultra since Dario's death, which will make it an emotional, unmissable event; all the more so as allybea and I backed up Dario in last year's race.
In the meantime I am off to have my last gin and tonic before beginning a self imposed alcohol ban for most of the month of August. Something tells me that is going to be a more difficult challenge than the Devil O... :)