Over the last 9 days I have ran the Lairig Ghru mountain race , the Pentland Skyline and the Hawick Circular , everyone of them could be considered Epic runs and in between I have thrown in a few hard hilly half marathon length runs from my house and some long , long mountain bike rides … its been a very tough finale to my training and my groin which has hampered me for weeks is screaming for a rest but finally its here , my taper !!! time to cut back on my training to allow me to recover in preparation for whats coming up ,the Gobi race !! 5 days , 30 miles or more every day and across the Mongolian Gobi Desert , one of the harshest environmnets on the planet , far more remote than my Sahara run and with longer distances every day I am expecting it to be my toughest run to date , I am ready , I feel fit and right up for it !!! Unlike when I arrived at the Scottish Ultra with only 3 weeks rest from the Marathon Des Sable , exhausted and with feet full of tender skin , this time I feel 100% and I havent even tapered yet !! I hope that after my taper I will be fitter and better equipped for this challenge than I have been previously, I feel a madness coming and one that will see me through the first couple of days running before the real ” hurt “ begins !! ….. it all seems a world away from when I first went off road ….
I look back to November last year when I found out I had a last minute entry to the Marathon Des Sable , the realisation that I’d need to work so very hard to be ready , its been a long yet short journey , from non runner to road runner to Hill runner and then ultra runner , the throwing myself into every race I could in preparation , the madness and obsession that was needed to keep me running through a harsh winter and the hard decisions required in my life regarding my business ,then all of a sudden it was there !! the fantastic journey that is the Marathon Des Sable , an experience right up there with some of my best Kayaking epics , all the work was worthwhile then there was the Scottish Ultra , a hillfest of huge proportions and one where after 120+ miles of running bad luck caused me to DNF , best of all though has been the amazing people I have met on the way , some real characters , its been a pleasure , and now the finale to my hat trick the Gobi approaches , this time I am not nervous , this time I am confident ……… Bring it !!