The Ultra season now defines my calendar. And with 12 months of races available these days, the calendar and opportunities are endless.
Yet for me, ultramarathons are truly defined by Spring and Summer. May to September, when the real events are held. It is no secret that I loathe winter. For the last few months my runs have been following a patch of light illuminated from my headlamp. There is no view or scenery, just montotony and grinding out, as some say, ‘winter miles for summer smiles’.
And so with the lottery gods once again not being on my side, my race calendar is finalised for 2015, bar the odd last minute race I may go in for. Whilst all of the races this year I am doing are new to me, I don’t have the same level of excitement that I have had for previous years. None of the distances are unknowns for me and they are all in the UK, which is a shame but gives me something to work towards for 2016 when I will either get lottery-lucky or save up for a big US or European race as the focus of my season.
So whilst the distances are not unknowns, the times, positions and scenery are and I will no doubt start to feel the excitement of a coming season soon. Just a few more weeks until daylight returns as the clocks change and I can run home from work in sunlight, not torchlight.
But two things that ultrarunning has taught me is patience and resilience. Patience to get the work done over winter when I am not inspired, knowing the result will be worth it and resilience that I can achieve better things this year than I have so far. It is all still about learning and experiencing something uncomfortable that is altogether worth it.
My recovery from Brazos Bend has been fantastic and I am now returning to longer distances at weekends. My first race, the Green Man Ultra, is just six weeks away and this is preceded by the awesome Cotswold Way 50k the weekend before, where I hope to see a lot of friends, old and new. I can’t wait for the new season now, not just as a runner but as a fan, and I hope everyone is as excited as I am to see what 2015 brings racing wise. Not long now…