This time next week I will be well into the epic challenge on the Isle of Wight, heading for the darkest hours as night falls and the walk continues into the small hours.
Whilst I have trained as much as I possibly could in preparation, walking for hours at the weekend, spinning and running, nothing can possibly prepare me mentally for the challenge that is fast approaching.
A few weeks back I embarked upon the longest training walk yet, 36.7 miles with fellow team mates. Two thirds of the way through I hit that “wall” and willed it to be over – and I was no where near the mileage I need to cover next week.
I always thought that the London Marathon was the toughest challenge I would ever have to face, until I started to rack up the miles of the Isle of Wight Challenge, with Ultra Challenges.
There is very little I can now do at this stage to prepare. Like most races, you do have that sense of panic and feel that you should start cramming in more training. But anyone who has every partaken in a endurance race will know that the best thing for you to do in the lead up to any event is trust the training and pull back to ensure you are feeling your best for race day itself.
Easier said than done. With my final big walk, of 20 miles, taking place in the morning I am already trying to juggle my diary to see where I can fit in more long walks.
As with any lead up to a big challenge, I am also starting to doubt my ability. Trying to understand how I am going to find the energy to get through those additional 30 miles. Unlike most races I have taken part in of late, I have trained and complete the event with friends. I am hoping that I will draw strength and comfort in experiencing every mile together.
The unknown is the biggest fear, you never know how you are going to feel on race day, how your body is going to react when you reach your threshold and living in the country we do – you just don’t know what Mother Nature will throw at you.
So, it is safe to say I am terrified of what lies ahead – praying that the weather is good to us and I find the ability from within to keep going.
Failure is not an option.