It’s go time.
Eighteen months of preparation, of training, worrying, pushing myself to the limits of what I could handle, racing, test runs, kit checks, faffing with paperwork, all of it, has been for this.
When I first thought about running the Coast Path, my reaction was that it was ridiculous – too big, way too scary, it was something for real adventurers and runners to do, not people like me. But then I thought about it more, and my stomach dropped and I realised that I was going to try and do it anyway.
Now I’m looking at the backpack which will be coming with me through 630 miles of hills, clifftops and beaches, and it’s feeling very real. And weirdly, very calm.
I know that I will have some incredible people behind me, supporting me from home, and periodically joining me on the trail and I’m feeling very lucky in calling these people my friends, partner, and running family. Sure, a lot of this adventure, if not most of it, will be run solo. But as I’ve written about numerous times, the community around me has been one of the huge driving factors in making me believe in my own abilities and in encouraging me to take risks, push myself further and make that leap of faith to take on those big challenges that would have scared me off before, so in many ways it feels apt that they’ll be with me from time to time.
Let’s face it, nobody does cheering on quite like the Advent Running crew. It’s what we do.
Added to which, this May marks the 10th anniversary of my father’s death. He was the one who taught me to love the outdoors, how to dance on trails, how to grit your teeth and push through when it hurts, and most of all how sometimes you just have to sink into yourself and find the calm place in your mind that says ‘hey, you know what? You can do this, and you will‘.
So really, with all that strength and excitement and joy and support behind me, what is there to really be scared of?
Maybe it is too big. Maybe I’ll fail. But looking out at the long trail ahead, the biggest thing I’m thinking now is, what if I fly?
Logistics note: I will be posting updates as and when I can, but they will be periodic depending on signal and phone battery. Los geht’s!