At the finish line..
I did it! I finished the Coast to Coast in a single day!
The challenge was nearly 2 years in the making after originally signing up at the end of 2015, this was the A race in both 2016 and 2017.
2016 was a fail.. so in 2017 it became the main focus for training once the Crossfit Open was done and dusted.
As you would expect for a long endurance race, there were times during the day when you just have to grind it out, and with most of these for me on the last run/hike, it meant it was only once I got to the bottom of the final descent I could finally contemplate finishing. Kayaking across the loch on a beautiful sunny calm autumn afternoon I was able to take in the journey I had been on and while I was paddling hard I was able to allow myself some recognition of my achievement and enjoy the moment.
I was lucky to have Kim and my parents at the finish this year and with a local B&B booked, within an hour of finishing I was showered and changed and back at the Isle of Glencoe hotel watching other finishers coming in.
Within a couple of hours I had heard from my kids and posted on social media and went to bed that night a happy man.
Waking up the next day, quite sore in places and a little stiff it was time to enjoy a few more days in Scotland with Kim as a short holiday.
Get my kit packed up, get the bike in it's bag and stick them in the back of the car, it's goodbye to Mum & Dad as they go down the west coast and we drive across to Fort William.
After a few great days in the highlands, we come back home and get back into the work and workout routines. I see a number of people at the gym about the race and talk to friends, and a new thread appears when quite a few of them ask me.. so what is next??
I find in the next couple of weeks back at home, that I'm a little bit lost and down in the dumps... nothing serious, but having spent so long focussing on a single event, not it is over I'm not sure what I should be doing.
I carry on training, but don't really have great motivation.
The nights are drawing in as well and I always find this time of year the most challenging. I have recognised that October/November nearly always gives as I love spring and summer, daylight and being outside.
I have read about post event blues before and it is quite a common occurance, but I've not experienced it myself until now.
So how did I manage the situation?
- Acknowledging the Issue
I am quite a practical problem solver and I tend to look at what I can do to fix things, rather than how i'm feeling but in this case I needed to allow myself time to think this through.
I realised that I am lacking a bit of motivation, acknowledged it and also said to myself that this was OK! It will come back..
- Start Looking for 2018
This seems a little obvious now, but initially I wasn't actually looking for an event (or 2) for next year. I've started looking more seriously across a number of places and while I haven't found anything, just starting the process has given me motivation to get out there.
- Pick a short term challenge
There are quite a few I've seen and I went for #runeveryday the challenge inspired by Ron Hill. A seemingly simple running challenge to run each day in a single month, I picked this to start in October.
- Mix things up
Before and after #runeveryday I have been deliberately mixing my training up, so I am doing a variety of training and fitness sessions. Gym circuits, boxercise, Crossfit, running (road and trail), cycling are all mixed up to make sure I'm getting out there.
Soooo... what is planned for 2018??
I still don't know... but I'm actively looking and in the mean time, I've got past my motivational dip.
Last week I did 4 runs, 4 gym circuits and 1 Crossfit session so I'm keeping myself ticking over pretty well across a number of activities.
One challenge I know I'll have is trying not to pick challenges that introduce conflicting training programmes... but I probably will (again) as there are so many great events out there!