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  • Heather Lawson

Gearing up for Race DAY!

Updated: Jul 31, 2020

It has been tough recently in the UMR household, so there has been little blog activity because I didn’t want to be a Negative Nelly!


Over lockdown I have been rehabbing a hip injury, so seeing the Ultra Marathon Runner (UMR) lace up his Brooks or HOKA’s or whatever new pair of running shoes he is deciding to wear, has been a little tough. I have to admit I have been a little jealous at times, and although there have been offers to me to join in, and even one day I was going to walk as he ran the trails it wouldn’t have been the same.


And talking of running shoes– for a man that doesn’t like shopping, he’s been addicted during lockdown! There will be a totally separate blog on his new addiction - buying running kit!


Badgers, Bats and Foxes

The alarm has been going off at 4.30am in the morning and he has been pinging out of bed, clattering around in the kitchen, downing bowls of porridge before heading out to the Kent or Surrey hills for ‘just a short run’ …. Meaning 20 miles plus of course!



The UMR comes back detailing stories of being dive bombed by bats, or describing his encounters with badgers or telling me about how cows, sheep and fox eyes are all different colours in the dark, and doesn’t really get that I have been stuck in the flat not being able to run.


He’s addicted to running, of that there is no doubt – he needs to run frequently and he does. Sometimes furtively he closes the flat door, like a drug addict going out to get his next fix, and does a quick 5km around Blackheath before I even notice he has gone.


Ultra Marathon Races


The running activity has been gearing up over June & July, because after the disappointment of having so many races cancelled when the COVID crisis hit, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and the UMR has his sights set on 8 races between August and November. He is one of a very small bunch of loons (my definition and no offence is meant by this!) who chose 2020 to be the Grand Slam year, completing four 50 mile races and four 100 mile races, all organised by Centurion.


Now that for some people would sound hellish, but add in the complication that these races were due to have been run between April and mid-November, but due to COVID, that window has been closed and all 8 races are now being run between August and November, you have to be a little bit of a loon to consider that this is ‘fun’ … but the UMR does.


Some of the races will be run back to back, with just 5 days recovery - a 100 mile race followed by a 50 mile race the following weekend – I mean why would you do that to yourself!?


At the beginning of the year there were around 13 individuals who had signed up to the Grand Slam, that has dwindled to just 3, and yes you have guessed it, one of those loon is the UMR, and his stalwart running buddy Jaco. He is revelling in the fact that 2020 could be a very special year, not only for completing the grand Slam, but for being one of a very few number who even tried – not that he is competitive at all! (insert large belly laugh!)


MRS GRUMPY


So even though I will admit that I have been Mrs Grumpy during lockdown due to the fact that I haven’t been able to run, I have been trying to keep the UMR on the straight and narrow, which has proved a little tricky since Boris decided to allow the pubs to open up the pubs again and his favourite pie & mash restaurant is now giving out a 50% discount on deliveries!

(And on the note of being given the green light to run - I would like to give a a major shout out to my Chiropractor Rob Cooper www.robcooperchiropractor.co.uk What he doesn’t know about body mechanics isn’t worth knowing, and I am now primed and ready to run due to my session with him yesterday)


With the UMR Clocking up around 70 miles a week, this has meant that I have had to clock up increased mileage too trying to keep the fridge stocked. No sooner have I left the little M&S Food around the corner from our flat (always coming back with apple turnovers for a quiet life) than I am back there again the next day.


The running machine is also an eating machine too!


I have been trying to educate the UMR in to eating other colours other than beige - pie & mash and apple turnovers being his favourite beige foods. Pizza apparently Is not beige due to the tomato sauce, and fish & chips is not beige, it is golden brown!


This is rainbow food !

To be fair , the number of miles the UMR has been averaging over the last 4 or 5 weeks means he can in essence eat anything – which is obviously more than a little annoying for someone like me who has probably put on a few pounds during lockdown (has my little green eyed monster reared its head!)



So the training has been happening in earnest, the kit has been bought, I am trying to keep the nutrition on the straight & narrow, the planning is in full swing – all the UMR needs to do now is hit the trails and get the races done.


North Downs Way - close to Wrotham

There are the beginnings of Ultranoia creeping in to the UMR household mixed with a fair amount of excitement. 100 miles of the North Downs way are waiting and It will be interesting to see how the first race on the 8th and 9th of August plays out…fingers crossed for bats, badgers, cows and sheep and no tumbles.



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