My first, and one of only two races I have entered this year is the Hoka Highland Fling at the end of April. It's only 9 weeks away and I feel completely behind in my training despite my best efforts. With all the things life has been throwing at me lately I've been struggling with my health, my time available for training and general motivation.
|Support crew modeling race apparel.|
I have tried a few new things to try and maximize the benefits from what I am able to do with my training time but I think it will take time before I can see if these are working or not. The main problem I have is sleep, or lack of it. The past 3 1/2 years have been a constant struggle against sleep deprivation and sleep disruption of varying extremes. Such is the lot of some parents. It's not for a lack of trying to get sleep via sleep training of the wee ones but even the health visitors were at a loss. On top of your own tiredness, you get really tired of people passing comment or 'blaming the parents'. Sure, sometimes it is through bad habits, but sometimes it can be a medical thing, and sometimes you just have children who are resistant to 'training' and will sleep through when they are ready. This is a perfectly natural state of affairs. Those parents (like us) just have to try and plough on through and hope it gets better sooner rather than later.
Unfortunately for us ultra-runners sleep is crucial for effective recovery, and therefore crucial for effective training. When your physical and mental batteries are never above 70% max, you are not going to be able to produce the best results because you cannot train for the best results. I have a time target that I would like to achieve at the Highland Fling but given my current circumstances I know that realistically I need to reevaluate this target. It's hard to do that though, and I fear I will be disappointed even if I do set myself a new time. Perhaps I should look at this year as a transition year - doing what I can, when I can, and hoping to come out the other side a stronger runner ready to tackle new things in 2016. It's hard to know how best to move forward at the moment.
The key is obviously to enjoy my running and when I am on the trails, in the mountains, or running with my friends I am having fun.