I often get asked why would you want to run 100 miles and it's a question I always struggle to reply to.
Seriously how do you answer this when the person asking has probably never even set foot in the fells.
How on earth can I even start to explain to this person why I would want to put myself through 100 miles, and what would they think if they realised how many like minded people there actually are that would also join me and my yellow army team on the start lines at the Lakeland 50/100 event this year.
Couch to 50 miles...
September the first... what a crazy morning with all our potential 50 runners taking on their first challenge -battling the computer system to try to secure their place at the event in July...
9 'lucky' people got themselves a place and so began their couch to 50 mile training package with the aim of building fitness, confidence, strength and endurance through long hard days in all weather conditions on variable terrain.
It's as much about mind as it is body- and the training is vital to test and push their mental ability helping them build resilience so they can endure the endurance events. By spending long days out during the winter in horrendous weather conditions, with early starts the team had to dig deep and ask themselves how much they wanted to do the 50 mile challenge. Often the mind fails before the body.
In December a new member joined the group, by may 2 members broke and left the group,
8 members reached the Lakeland 50 starting line along with some of last years yellow army who returned for round 2.
There was 100 percent success rate from all yellow army members, and what great feedback we got-
"I can't count the number of times during the race I reflected on how fantastically well prepared we were, thanks to the advice from Kayleigh and Daddy Dave"
This year after swearing I would never attempt the Lakeland 100, knowing it's a totally different beast of a race altogether from the lakeland 50 miler, I was persuaded and took on the challenge with my dad aka Daddy Dave.
Already committed to training the yellow army it was essential to get extra days for our own training when we could. Our 50 training package is fab but it's designed to get people around 50-60 miles not 100 miles so we often did back to back 12 hour days in the lakes spending time on our legs building stamina and strength.
At times it looked like the race would never happen for me, 12 weeks out and I was struggling with my planter and a spur on my heel. Then I really badly sprained my ankle on Scarfell decent and had to carry on for another 6 hours back to the car with my ankle nearly as fat as my head! No pain no gain.
So why do you want to run 100 miles?
As I said I never really know how to answer this, I'm not the best with putting my feelings and emotions into words, so I just say because I can!
But really why not? I have enjoyed being able to spend weekends in the Lake District meeting new people, building friendships and seeing my yellow army work as a team and grow and progress whilst having fun and a laugh.
I work part time in a carers role and before making the leap to be full time with the yellow army I worked full time as a carer for a little boy with complex medical and physical needs. Knowing that they will never have the chance to experience this why would I not have a go if the opportunity is there?
I'm rubbish with words, but the feeling I experience whilst being in the mountains is just life lifting, all the worries and anxiety in everyday life just doesn't seem to exist, time is irrelevant, no one cares if your make up has run, or your not carrying the latest designer handbag it's a liberating experience.