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 →