Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Getting Fitter

Going Long

ShoesI felt dreadful yesterday. Putting aside an ambition, especially one that’s been held for a long time, hollows you out.

Today I went for a run – further and faster than I’ve managed since I was in full marathon training at the back end of 2012. It was bruising, and exhilarating, and my legs hardly complained at all. The muddle in my head turned out to be a much less significant thing than I thought, slapped easily aside by the push to get up this hill and down those steps and through these woods.

At the end of the run I felt fine again. Not fixed, but fine.

I need some new ambitions now. Putting old ones aside sucked the purpose out of me, and that was a bit frightening even though it didn’t last very long. This week is all about new ambitions, in lots of ways. Some are behind the scenes, but I’ll share the maddest one here.

I’d like to run an ultramarathon. Not tomorrow probably (I’ll see how I feel after breakfast) – but in the not too distant future. I’m going to work towards it over the next two years, and see what happens. Later this year I have a half-marathon here in Glasgow, and then I’ll probably sign up for the Edinburgh marathon and a couple of other things next year. Then in 2016…

Well, I was looking at this. It’s the West Highland Way Race, and starts not too far away in Milngavie. It finishes 95 miles later in Fort William.

No harm in aiming high, I guess. I’ve had a series of chronic injuries since running the marathon in Mumbai at the start of 2013 (erm… probably wholly coincidental), so I probably won’t get very far into all this.

No harm in kicking off towards that though. Anybody else fancy it?

95 miles. Sounds impossible, but then 26 miles sounded pretty silly until I trained up and did it.

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