Tomorrow is the Deeside Way 33 mile ultra. It will be a big day for me: the 20th anniversary of the day I realised I had turned into an unfit, overweight 24 year old slob, and started running in an attempt to do something about it. That was on the 3rd of April 1990, just a few days after we had moved to Troon. Prior to that I had run a couple of marathons in the mid 1980s (Glasgow in 1984 and 1985), but hadn't done anything in the intervening years, a fact you could tell very easily by looking at me. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I enjoyed getting back in to the running and feeling fitter, lost 3 stone in 2 months, did a half marathon in June of that year, joined Troon Tortoises in the October, and have never really looked back since. I'm now approaching my 500th race (488 completed so far); I've run well over 30,000 miles, with every one of them recorded in my training diary; I've been a member of 5 different running clubs in the 20 year period; and assuming I finish tomorrow it will be my 75th completed marathon/ultramarathon. I've also met a huge number of great people, many of whom I consider to be very close friends. A lot of them will be running tomorrow so it will be a great chance to catch up, even if a 0530 departure time on Easter Saturday morning may not be everyone's idea of the perfect way to spend a holiday weekend.
Despite the fact we are now into April and the clocks have gone forward, we had another heavy snowfall this week. I'm hoping that's the last of the year's snow as I'm completely fed up with it now. I was out a run on Tuesday lunchtime and it's a long time since I've been as cold as I was that day. It was absolutely freezing with horizontal rain and a biting wind, all very unpleasant. To add to my misery I couldn't get the car out the drive (again) and needed to get a lift to and from the station. Bring on the better weather.
On the whole March was a good month in terms of my running. I managed a total of 213 miles (making it 573 for the year), including 2 half marathons in successive weeks and a 38 mile run on the WHW. I also succeeded in my 'more non alcohol days than alcohol days' challenge for the 3rd successive month, yet again by a 16-15 margin. Although that may sound close it wasn't really - I was 15-10 ahead after 25 days, so was able to have a few more 'relaxed' days as I approached the end of the month. To be honest 16-15 is ideal - what would the point be in achieving it by a bigger margin?
Good luck to everyone running tomorrow, especially Graham and Kenny from Strathearn Harriers who (I think) are taking part in their first ever ultra. I'll try and post some thoughts about the race over the weekend.