47.5 Miles – Running from Poole to Winchester

On 1st March this year (2014), I’m doing my first official ultra marathon – the 46 mile Green Man Ultra in Bristol.  Over the last 4-6 months, I’ve clocked a few 50+ mile weeks, averaged about 40 miles per week and pretty much every run is at least 7 miles.  I’ve done some back-to-back runs and quite a few 20+ milers too, but up until yesterday the longest run I’d ever done was 30 miles.

Now I know there’s no need to run more than about 30 miles when training for a 50 (ish) miler, but the reason I’ve got into the distance running is because I love the thought of getting somewhere in a run – going from home, and completely under your own steam ending up somewhere quite a long way away.  You get the time to look around and enjoy the journey and the satisfaction of getting there all on your own.

Back in October, I had the idea of running to a distant train station so I could get home again.  I live near Poole in Dorset, and I’d run to Christchurch a couple of times (17 miles or so) and got the train back, but I wanted to push it further.  I looked at Brockenhurst but it didn’t add that much distance on, and then Southampton, and then slightly jokingly looked to Winchester.

It takes the fast train over 1 hour to get to Winchester, so it really is quite a long way away.  However, I’d had previous experience with the city of Winchester, having cycled 75 miles to work once when I worked in North Hampshire, going a nice (ish) route through the New Forest, Romsey, Winchester and on to Basingstoke.  So that was it then – I had a destination, I had a route, and I had just about enough lack of sense to seriously contemplate it. Continue reading →

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Quick Update!

Wow, it’s been over a month since I wrote anything on the blog!

Quite a few things have happened since then, and I’ll go into some more detail in posts over the next few days as I catch up.  Here’s a rough idea of what’s coming:

  • I’ve entered the Green Man Ultra.  I’m not entirely sure that’s a good idea, but it’ll now be my first ultra ever!
  • I’ve also entered the Pony Express Multistage Ultra, which I’ll be running with my sister.  She’s done it before, and I’m so inspired by her running so it’ll be an amazing experience to run with her.
  • I got a new watch for Christmas – a Garmin Forerunner 620 – which I love.  I can fill my brain with even more useless numbers!
  • I also got a new pair of shoes – some Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 (that’s a mouthful) trail shoes.  I’ve only done 1 run so far which seemed OK.
  • And finally I got a handheld GPS with OS mapping (a Garmin eTrex 30), mainly because I’m panicking about navigation in the Green Man, and it was at a fantastic price so I couldn’t resist it!

I’ll be back shortly with some more details about the stuff above, but right now I have to go and wash SmallBoy’s hair in the bath!  Back later…