Over the last few weeks I have had a few panic attacks about my run across America that kicks off on the 7th September – just over 2 months. Sometimes they are during a training session but mostly I wake up during the night worrying about things that on the whole are easily sorted in the morning! I can hear you say “but you only brought it on yourself” – I agree and it’s still something that I’m passionate about but every so often everything becomes too overwhelming. The organisation of the event, spending huge sums of money (although HWMBO would laugh at that one). In an ideal world I would like to go and do it without anyone knowing then there would be no pressure, but a world record attempt doesn’t work like that!
For the past 4 weeks I have had two long runs and 3 shorter ones. The long runs have been week one 35km & 20km, week two, 40km & 30km, week three 45km & 35km and week four 50km and 40km. So far all the runs have been done and I feel very proud of myself when on occasions at the end of the run I have run back towards the house but unfortunately still have 4km or so to go to reach my goal distance. It would be so easy to simply stop at the house and end the session but I know the second I stopped I would feel totally disappointed with myself so I do the remaining 4km THEN return home feeling rather smug.
On week two while out running my 40km session I had one of my melt down moments so I stopped my watch and sat in a field where I promptly burst into tears and gave myself a good talking to. ” Whose idea was this anyway? it was mine – so STOP moaning and get on with it”. In America it’s going to be way worse, I will be covering a larger distance each day and feeling exhausted but if I want this record I have to keep going. Having finished feeling sorry for myself I picked myself up, started my watch and continued on my journey.
During my 45km session last week the weather was having great fun. It began with sunshine then about half way the sky darkened the rain came pouring down followed by massive lightening strikes and thunder claps, right above my head! Funnily enough I didn’t mind this as the rain cooled me down. The run finished in bright sunshine again!
The majority of my running is done along roads but every so often I sneak off with my friend Caroline for a lovely off road run – simply glorious especially in the glorious weather we have been experiencing.
HWMBO keeps telling me that I have to eat more as I’m loosing weight. I felt that I was eating enough but obviously wasn’t so have been making a conscious effort to eat more during the day. Eating during my long runs is something I’m finding very difficult, whatever I try I don’t enjoy so end up not eating it, however the one things that does seem to work are the Chia Charge flapjacks but I can’t eat those for 3,000 miles (I could end up looking like one). Because I spent 15 years obsession about my weight and at one stage weighed myself many times a day to check I hadn’t put any weight on. If the weight went down I felt happy but if it went up I would feel disgusted with myself. So silly but at the time that was my reality.
I haven’t owned any scales since I was 30 (early 25 years!) as I don’t want to go back to that time. My doctor probably thinks I’m slightly bonkers because when I have to be weighted at the surgery I close my eyes and tell them not to tell me what my weight is. Unfortunately about 2 years ago a doctor who I don’t usually see told me my weight – it’s difficult to describe how I felt and I was shocked that it still had such huge an impact on me & how I felt for the remainder of the day. As HWMBO was worried about my weight I actually went to the gym and weighed myself. Now I know the chances of these scales being accurate were pretty slim and probably weigh under rather than over but I was OK with what I saw and this made me feel “happy” for the rest of the day. A few days later I had lost a few more pounds so again felt “happy”. I was angry with myself that after all these years that my state of mind to a certain extent is governed by my weight so have made a note to myself that I’m definitely not going back on the scales again, I don’t want to go back to how I was many years ago. My weight, size is fine – I don’t want to be any thinner but I know if I continue to weigh myself it could become a competition as to how many pounds I get loose each week. I have increase my food intake to make sure my weight remains stable or even put on a few pounds, otherwise I will struggle with my training.
Later this week I’m chatting to my coach Ray Zahab to go over a few things and get my training for the next 4 weeks – I know that the mileage is going to increase as I get closer to America.
On Monday my RV gets paid, the flights are booked for myself and the crew (very exciting) and the maps, forms etc are in the process of being printed – it’s all systems go. The crew have been sent their information pack by Jenny Davis (Head crew) and Jan is putting together a list of supermarkets along the route so we can plan when we need to stock up with supplies for a few days.
Getting insurance for the trip is proving to be rather difficult as I can’t go through the mainstream insurance companies as they won’t insure me so I’m in the process of getting quotes from brokers. I think I may fall off my chair when I’m told how much it will cost! (more money!!)
Even though I keep having panic attacks I’m very excited about the run and can’t wait to get going. I have a great crew who will come out and look after me and some amazing sponsors who believe in me which is marvellous. I’m looking forward to sharing my journey with everyone, raise money for Free to Run and Marie Curie and through my Mimi & Me for 53 campaign encourage people to get active – watch this space!\
I’m very excited that on the 10th August my book “Beyond Impossible” comes out. You can pre-order here. Beyond Impossible