Jordan Running Ultra X

Preparation for my First Multi-Day Ultramarathon- 7 Months to go

I’m training to run Ultra X Jordan– a 250km multi-day ultramarathon across the Wadi Rum desert. If you missed my first post about this challenge you can catch up here.

February was a great month for training, everything is starting to come together. I did my first ParkRun, met with my Personal Trainer for the first time and spoke to my Chiropractor about the plan for the coming months.

My first ParkRun

At the beginning of February, I did my first ParkRun. ParkRun is an organization which hosts 5km runs in parks, (didn’t see that coming, did ya?!) all around the country. The runs are held each Saturday morning and all start at 9 am. There are 3 ParkRuns held within 5 miles of my house, so I’m spoilt for choice! I had a great time and made some new friends, everyone was so welcoming, friendly and supportive.

That first ParkRun was the point where I realized that I much prefer running outside to running at the gym. The plus side of running at the gym is that it’s dry and warm, but I get SO bored. 5km around the park was really enjoyable and seemed to past in the blink of an eye. 5km on the treadmill is a chore. Running outside is much more interesting, there is so much to look at and listen to. We had some great weather in February, so I got quite a few outdoor runs in. Another bonus of running outside is that my dogs can come too, so its a 2 birds, 1 stone situation!

My first gym sess.

On the second weekend of February, I met with my old friend and Personal Trainer, Steve Tinsley. Steve is married to one of my best friends and they live a couple of hours away from me. I don’t get to see them often very often, (because y’know, life!) So this was a great excuse to visit for a gym session and dinner. Steve has put together a strength training program for me, we went through both the upper and lower body workouts. On the drive home I felt like neither my arms nor my legs belonged to me anymore.

For now, the plan is for me to do 2 strength sessions per week; 1 upper body and 1 lower body. I’ll be doing 3 runs per week, including ParkRun where I can. I work the odd Saturday mornings, so this rules out ParkRun some weekends. Eventually, I will be looking to improve either time or distance on each run but I’m not thinking about this for now. I’m not overthinking my running technic at this point either. For now I am just letting my body do what feels comfortable and comes naturally.

More hours in the day, please!

As well as gym and running sessions I am also trying to keep up with my yoga practice. I used to practice yoga every day without fail but since I started training for UltraX this has gone down to 3 or 4 times a week. *Insert sad face here* I love yoga and miss my morning routine of rolling out my mat while the coffee brews. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. On the days where I can’t practice I’m making sure to stretch for a few minutes before bed and do a 10-minute meditation with the Headspace app. (I’d highly recommend Headspace if you’re looking try meditation.)

I have exercises and stretches prescribed by my Chiropractor to do too, as well as ankle strengthening exercises recommended by the physio. To fit all of this in I’ve been trying to get up 2 hours earlier in the mornings, though I’ve never been a morning person. If you’re following me on Instagram you’ll know that the struggle has been real!

All things considered, my body is adjusting and feeling well. I’m not without my physical problems due to a lifetime of work, play, inheritance, and the odd misadventure! (I’ll write about this another time) But with the help of some seriously kick-ass professionals and dedication from myself, I’m confident that I can nurse my well-used body 250km across the desert.

Time for Brave Pants!

In the middle of February, I shared a blog post announcing my plans to take part in this race. It was met with mixed, but mostly supportive relaxations. Putting yourself out there is scary as hell! I felt more nervous about telling people of my goals than actually putting the plan into action. Pressing ‘Share’ on that post definitely made me more nervous than actually entering the race. I signed up for the race in December but didn’t tell anyone about it until 2 months later.

So far, so good.

So that’s about it for now. All in all, everything is going well. I’m finding my way. I miss my daily yoga practice but love spending more time outside. (I work outside too, so I basically only come into my house to eat and sleep these days!) I’ve been telling more people about my goal and trying not to let the doubters get into my head. I’m eating like a horse and sleeping like the dead. What little social life I had before has well and truly gone. Did I mention that I miss yoga??

Kat 🏃🏼‍♀️

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