I'll start with the fundraising whilst I have your full attention. In light of the current horrors happening in East Africa right now with over 10 million people displaced and facing starvation, famine and disease it seemed only right to take the opportunity of my upcoming 100 mile race to raise money for the DEC Crisis Appeal.
So I have a website set up here - www.justgiving.com/ndw100 and to make it even easier to donate you can also TEXT a donation to 70070. Just send the following: STUB99 and the amount you wish to donate e.g. STUB99 £10. I've already raised £800 in just over a week which is being matched by my company. So if I hit the £1k mark then my total raised will be £2k! So please help if you can. Thank you.
OK so to recap on recent training. With just two weeks left to go there isn't too much big mileage to squeeze in between now and race day. After the 100 mile training week I put in in Hungary 2 weeks ago, I took it easy and ensured I recovered fully from the exertions I placed on my body. It would have been tempting to get carried away with my invisability cloak on and get injuried. Instead I took 4 days off after Hungary and eased back in with a mid week early morning 11 miler (last week), and session on the ElliptiGO, and a long 30 miler last Sunday. I used this run as a full dress rehearsal of my race kit using my 2 new camelbak handheld water bottles and waist pack which I will pack light for the 100 miler.
Out goes the backpack and water sloshing around with shoulder straps rubbing the neck. No Sir, this is the new lighter, faster, improved Ultra Disco Stu in body and kit! Essentials only made possible by a very short mandatory kit list which consists of only a mobile phone, emergency blanket, headlamp + spare batteries, and water. Together with that I will also pack some clif shot bloks, and a mule bar for nourishment, plus my newly purchased Montane speed lite H20 jacket (see pic) which weighs in at just 180g! I packed my existing Adidas Formation jacket on Sundays run held on the back of the waist pack by bungee cord but at 320g and a bit more bulky it seems too much for something I may not even use. The montane jacket is just what I need packing to the size of a large apple! But before you say that I going too light and not packing enough supplies its worth noted that the aid stations are every 10 miles (or 2hrs20mins apart) oops just given away by target time there! Plus there are drop bag points at 25m, 50m, and 75m. So plenty of opportunity to take on energy and carbs.
In the drop bags will be more cliff shot bloks, mule bars, savoury snacks, recovery shake, and slim-fast meal replacement shakes which pack a massive 500cals per shake! Awesome way to get calories on board fast that is easy to digest and run on with no dodgy stomach issues. The aid stations will also have other food stuffs, plus GU energy gels and GU brew electroltye replacement drink. So things are coming together nicely planning wise. Taking the whole family too with my dad acting as pacer for the final 25 miles of the race, which will be through the night so will provide a huge boost!
Training wise I got in a solid 20 mile run on Saturday morning with LBAC club captain Tom May. Tom is training for the Beachy Head Marathon so was looking for hills which suited me fine. We opted to run the Leighton Tough 10 course twice which is a 10 mile road run organised by the club to be held on Sunday 2nd October. As its name suggests its a hilly course so perfect for Tom and I. We also didn't hang around either finishing the 20 miles in 2h38mins which translates to a 7:57mpm pace! That's the fastest 20 mile training run I've ever run. The only time I've come close to that pace was in the London Marathon itself in 2010! So for a training run it was pretty full on, but it didn't actually feel too bad, and because Tom and I were chatting all the way(Tom doing most of the chatting!) the time and miles flew by.
This was a real confidence booster for 2 weeks time and I'm now raring to go. I don't think I ever looked forward to competing in a race as much as the NDW100. This is probably because of the long build up to this event. I plan to get in some major low impact mileage on the ElliptiGO this week with 2 or 3 rides to work and back. I've got a new route to work (29m each way) which is on quieter country roads and far more pleasant with some good climbs too which will do wonders for the quads. The key at this stage is to avoid injury and don't do anything stupid so the low-impact nature of the ElliptiGO ticks all the boxes.