I've had all the usual comments such as 'that's further than I drive' 'where will you sleep?' 'You are mental!' and one friend has even given me my own hashtag #nickiedwardsisbonkers!! (Thanks Richard)
Training is going well and I am determined I will finish, I often visualise crossing the finish line. I know it's going to be hard, it's going to hurt but that's one of the reasons I do this, I want to push myself physically and mentally to see just what I am capable of, and maybe what I'm not capable of but then you just have to keep trying, if at first you don't succeed etc!!
Last night I ran 15 miles on my own in the dark, and once I'd been going for a few miles and realised there wasn't a murderer lurking around every corner I began to relax and enjoy the darkness, the solitude. The moon was stunning and I was stopped in my tracks when a herd of deer ran across a field in the moonlight. It made me feel so lucky and privileged that I was able to be out there doing this. I had a couple of small navigational issues where there were no waymarkers and no obvious paths across fields but I kept calm and sorted it. Laughed at myself when my headtorch suddenly flashed red (had forgotten it does this to warn of low battery!) and I was convinced momentarily that I was about to be beamed up by aliens!! Yes I was the mad woman laughing in a field in Essex in the middle of the night. Have a couple more night runs to do before the Chilterns and they are definitely a worthwhile part of my training, just the confidence boost I needed to realise that I can run and navigate in the dark on my own.
This year has been a massive journey for me and my running, There are so many events I want to do the list just keeps getting longer (much like the races!) I also want to spend more time marshalling and helping out at events. I love the ultra running community, the camaraderie and support that is given to everyone whether you're and elite runner or like me just getting out there and giving all you've got. Long may it continue as I am still at the beginning of my ultra journey.
Thank you to all my friends and family for your support and sponsorship and if anyone else would like to help me raise much needed funds for Moorfields Eye Charity then please go to www.justgiving.com/UltraNicki
Have a good week and happy running xx