After a slow January the running is slowly starting to come back together. A good 6 miles running with Steve on Thursday was followed by an 11 mile trot out on the Deeside Way today in the snow and on ice. The pace was OK, not quick, but at 9:13 minute average miles was quicker than most of my prep for the Glen Ogle 33 and is also only around 5 minutes of the pace for my non downhill half marathon PB. Not bad for my first run over 8 miles since GO 33. I averaged a run a week through January, my two runs so far in February have already exceeded the total January mileage!
There are times in January where I have felt that the D33 in March looked a stretch too far. It has taken me far longer to come back from my bout of Bronchitis than I thought that it would. That said I’m fairly confident after today, and the last couple of runs, that I can be ready in the remaining 7 weeks. Albeit, I probably won’t run the D33 as fast as I would have liked. I think 5:00 is achievable, but being more pragmatic, and taking the above into account, I will be aiming to hold 10 minute miles which would come out at 5:30.

As for the remainder of the year. I had been intending to complete 4 of the SHR championship races, but diary commitments mean that I am now unable to do so. I have been trying to find a way to squeeze in another ultramarathon. I think the Highland Fling in April is too close after the D33 and would also put at risk the Cape Wrath Challenge week in May. I had also considered running the Cateran Trail in May rather than going up to Durness. I think I will probably stick to my original plan which is to run the Lochaber Marathon after coming back from Spain in April, and then to head up to Durness with a tent for the Cape Wrath Challenge. I have already entered the D33 and the Clyde Stride in July. I will be entering the River Ayr Way Challenge (September) in the next week or so now that entries are open, and hope to round the year off with a revisit to the Glen Ogle 32/33?
There are a few hill races along the way that I am particularly looking forward to. Most notably the Pentland Skyline race, The Glenshee race, and the Scolty and Fungle Hill Races which are a little closer to home.

2012 = Monkeys’ year of the ultramarathon…..