Gah. There are so many posts that I want to write about Winter 100, that I find I can’t write any.
I could write a whole post about Andy Bailey, a man I spoke to in passing at a parkrun once, who has become a good enough friend that he was prepared to take two days off work and sacrifice a whole weekend to refill my water bottles, remind me to eat and generally look after me during the race.
I could write a whole post about James Elson, a man with the logistical skill to stage seemingly flawless events, and the interpersonal skills to persuade my inner sloth off the sofa by creating a training programme that is challenging and fun in equal measure.
I could write a post and a half about the Centurion Army, who embraced me from the moment I arrived in Goring to the moment I left, at every checkpoint and often (as many of them run as well as volunteer) on the route itself. I don’t think I was ever more than an hour away from a “Good Job, Louise” and I spent a good chunk of my race feeling incredibly lucky to have such lovely chickens coming home to roost, and humming “somewhere in my youth or childhood…”
I could write a whole post comparing my experience at Thames Path 100 with my experience at Winter 100, or more specifically, comparing their aftermaths. One week on from Thames Path, I could barely bend my knees. Two days on from Winter 100, and I was pain-free and running up stairs without thinking.
I could write a whole post about the emotional rollercoaster of the last 12 months which has had some incredible highs (such as being part of the Race to the Stones team with some truly incredible women), and some incredible lows (such as DNFing at Thames Path).
I could write a whole post summarising the set of distances I’ve run this year. 5km (PB), 10km (PB), Half Marathon (PB), Marathon (tuuuuuuunnels), 50km (Mud!), 50 miles (PB), 100km (1st ever) and finally 100 miles (yay!).
I could write a whole post about my journey from non-runner to ultra-runner and how much of that journey has been inspired by Janathon, Janathoners, parkrun and parkrunners.
I could write a whole post describing the course, or the aid stations or the scenery (OK – I couldn’t really describe the scenery because that would require some observational skills) or my rationale for choosing my kit. Or my training or the pain or the simply overwhelming level of support I’ve had from friends, family and virtual running buddies via Twitter and Facebook.
But that’s the thing. There are so many blog posts I want to write that I can’t write any of them. So instead, I will write the following.
I am a sloth, never happier than when on the sofa with the cat, but two of the proudest moments of my life have been earning the following two t-shirts, and the chances are that if you’re reading this, you have played a part in those achievements. Thank you.