After The Hill I have had a bit of crisis of confidence. In order to race at the level I want to I have to stay permanently fit and that is hard. So I have considered dropping out of racing altogether. I would instead just stay fit and be happy with that.
The trouble is that is not enough. Why do I think like that?
It is difficult to summarise, but here goes.
1) I want to be fit..for me and my family...I hate being fat and unfit.
2) To be fit I need a goal...a goal on the edge of my abilities to stretch me.
3) Racing hard ultras is one of those goals. It keeps me focused otherwise I flap about aimlessly.
4) Once I complete one I not only have my own validation... But other people validate it.
5) I like that validation because it proves I am not as shit as I think I am. The amazing feeling of achievement when I have completed the big ultras is something to look forward to
The trouble is why did that not happen on The Hill? I suffer from overconfidence. I do one thing well after training hard and then expect to coast into the next. It really does not work like that for a person of my capabilities.
It was undoubtedly a challenge and kudos for finishing that would be significant. I lacked the commitment, however, from the end of Spartathlon to the Hill.
It is fucking hard...avoiding all the crap. The shit food, the drink the ciggies and keeping up the training.
This makes me somewhat of a fitness freak. My best friend said 'Why not just do marathons?' I replied that I thought they were too easy. He shocked response was 'Don't you realise how ridiculous that sounds to a normal person?'
In reality no I don't. So I am a freak I have to accept it.
I focused on the Spartathlon finish and then thought that was enough to get me through the Hill. I suppose it would have been if I had maintained the fitness. I know how much effort it takes to prepare for a race physically and mentally beforehand. I concentrated on one race and forgot about the other. Mentally I was done after Spartathlon and the Hill came too soon. There was not enough recovery or preparation time. I didn't build a proper plan. I was too lackadaisical.
My conclusions are
1) The focus has to be permanent with no slacking. This does not mean I can't rest and enjoy myself. I just need to build the longer rest periods into the plan.
2)I need to schedule the training mentally and physically for each individual race well in advance. This plan should include significant downtime on a regular basis as well as time for race appropriate plans.