Marathon Distraction No 1 - Thank you Berghaus!

The taper...

That two week period where you reduce your mileage and generally feel like crap... The temptation to try and cram an extra couple of miles in is huge, you remember the runs that didn't happen or didn't go brilliantly, you focus on the negative...

Is it any wonder sports psychologists are in such demand?

I have a couple of friends who are either qualified to strap me into a jacket that ties up at the back, or are training to be qualified; which is great apart from when they play with me head... (They don't that would be unethical... though as one pointed out - fun).

So with professional help a mere call away, but at a significant cost (my sanity), I tend to do the distraction thing... In previous years this has involved booking the next challenge, up to and including the next marathon or ultra...

Err this year they are booked... and I do need to think about the fun for next year, but not quite yet. 

I'm up to date with my OU reading...

Bugger...

At which point an email arrived from Berghaus, I'm 1 in a 100 - Berghaus have a small team of Trail Runners they're taking out to Chamonix for training, a shedload of kit and a chance to run bits of the Tour de Mont Blanc.  The UTMB is possibly the pinnacle of Ultras - the one you have to get points for to get into the ballot, and one of those that the realist in me knows will be a spectator sport - so the chance to run bits of it is in my top 10 (sporting) bucket list.

So the 1 in a 100?  Berghaus (and the other sponsors) have sifted through the applications and picked 100 of us to go to selection days... The first in the Lakes clashes with my next insanity that small matter of walking for 36 h, over Yorkshire, but the second I can make in London.  

The first has names I've read about in awe and near disbelief - Steve Birkinshaw and Helene Whitaker - from the Dragon's Back through KIMM and madness's many. "Feet in the Clouds" and "It's a Hill Get Over It" have been companions and inspirations for as long as I've been trying to combine my love of the hills with trying to move more rapidly than walking...

So I hope that the second can give some of that magic.  What I do know is that everyone of the 100 will be worthy of the trip out, I've not met a runner on the hills who wasn't amusing, potty and had a love for just trying things that transcended anything mundane like pace.  The 100 will have speedies, and others who like me aren't as speedy but all will hopefully have tales to tell and stories to share.  Because whether I am lucky enough to get to Chamonix or not, I am lucky in that I'm going to meet some more people like me, who inspire me, and challenge me to be what I can be not what I've been told I should be...

Who needs a sports psychologist when you have distractions like that to look forward to?

TTFN

Paul

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