I'm torn on this one. Do I do the 53 mile Highland Fling next weekend? Obviously my head wants to do it, but my body is dragging on the idea some what. I know it's a bit of an ask considering the 100K was only five minutes ago - a race, which incidentally, pretty much broke me - but it ranks pretty high on the wish list.
I'm sure I've recovered or at least on the mend. With less than five weeks between races, there's about a 20 minute window for training in between recovering from one race and tapering for the next next. With this in mind, I probably tried to get back into running quicker than my legs would have liked. I attempted my first run four days after the race. Officially the most ungraceful run ever. I liken it to drinking a bottle of wine and trying to run for a bus. My arms and legs felt like they weren't connected to my body and my eyes were rattling about in my head. And I don't know where to begin with the aches and pains. My calves were a mess. I lasted four miles and walked the last one. Broken. And back to square one.
After that I took another few days off and started back on the Monday. A easy week and then a cracking run on the West Highland Way. I wasn't sure if my legs were up for it, but it was so good to be back on the trails that I loved every minute of it. Twice up and down Conic Hill gave my quads a good kickin' too. It had only been two months since my last real off-road run, but it's amazing how quickly you become un-hill-fit.
Last week, I did my first speed session and it wasn't as nasty as i anticipated. If anything, it was just what I needed. That coupled with a great 18-mile run on Kilpatrick Hills on Friday and my mojo is resumed.
So, as it stands, I'm about 80% sure I'm doing the Fling.
This year - the UK's biggest ultra - will be the UKA Trail Championships and the Scottish Ultra Trail Championships. Looking at the starters list, the men's field is quite spectacular. It will be really interesting to see this one unfold. The Highland Fling is the perfect race to separate the men from the boys, so to speak. It's long enough that you can't wing on marathon training. It's short enough that you can't rely on luck and good fuelling. Hilly enough to knee-cap and road runner and flat enough to disadvantage the mountain-goats.