Out on the usual 10-mile MT route this morning, and boy was it hot, hot, hot.
Due to two particularly good episodes of Frasier, the run was later than planned and I wasn't able to avoid the midday furnace of the unshaded sections. Luckily a few dabs of factor 50 beforehand made the sunlight bearable. If I sound like a vampire, it's only because I tend to avoid direct sunlight after several years in foreign climes gave me an aversion to the lobster look.
Couple of things have happened in the last month. Cheltenham Circular Challenge came, then went. A disappointing 4:20. I made so many mistakes I'm surprised I managed to turn up dressed! But lessons have been learned that won't be repeated. Bonus was that I managed to get some help from the winner Austin Blackburn. A very nice chap who pointed me in the right direction after I got lost for the 4th time. He set off an hour after I did and steamed past on his way to a 20 minute win and new course record. Proper Job !
As a result of the "truffle shuffle" that I adopted to cope with training 15-20 miles per run (see previous note on "doing everything wrong") I also developed a problem with the right hip that lead to a Martin Crane style limp while walking, though a two-week self-imposed holiday has hopefully cleared up the problem.
In the meantime I've been vacuuming up ultra books from Amazon (good) and enjoying a diet based on pies & beer (bad). I believe they balance each other out so I shouldn't have lost much fitness when I return to normal duties. On the book front Jurek, Karnazes, Ulrich, McDougall & Finn have dropped through the letterbox & the next batch are already on order. All have proved informative, though as expected "Born to Run" really stood out as gripping throughout. I finished that one in a day.
As for LeJOG, I have a provisional route set out on Google Maps, and it turns out the shortest legally runnable point-to-point comes in at 823.6 miles. The next point to consider is the danger involved in running certain routes with no following vehicle, so I intend to "walk" the whole route on Street View and divert any sections that look too dangerous. It means extra distance, though with the budgeted distance being 875 there's a fair bit of leeway.
There's also the possibly one or two other people starting at Land's End on 21st. To keep it "solo unsupported" all participants will have to set off at intervals and (if we can) meet at the end of day. To beat the current 17 day self-supported record it has to be all DIY, which excludes running in a group or pairs. Or we could just forego that rather arbitrary goal and run it as a rather long social jog. So much still to decide.
As a bit of prep, and while surfing some cheap airline prices, I managed to book a bargain return to Faro to have a go at the Rota Vicentina. Apart from seeing a small part of the trail this spring, it's a total unknown. Should be good as a kit check, and the winter temperature is around 8-15 centigrade so similar to a UK spring. Flights are 13-23 Dec so I guess 9 days for 300km should be OK. More on that one later.
Next race is in 5 weeks - the "Dorset Doddle" held by LDWA and priced in at £6 entry and £6 for the return bus. Amazing value. I've also heard that the event name may be a bit misleading but hey, how hard can 32 coastal miles be? It's all flat sandy beaches, right?