Next Steps...

Over the last few weeks I haven't been happy with a number of things in general, and now wonder whether perhaps its time for a change in direction.

For a while now I've felt that my blog has just been treading water as of late and is coming towards the end of its natural life cycle. In essence the majority of my posts have been repeating the same thing time and again and I suspect its as boring to read as I find it to type. The last 16 months or so have been a big journey and I never thought for a minute I would have improved to the level I have from a starting point of nil, eventually culminating in a 2.53 marathon.

Although I started my blog in December 2006, I never knew at the time that the MdS would soon become my focus. To begin with my only reason for training was with the MdS in mind, with every event used as progression towards the big one in March 2009. However as time passes my fitness level has far exceeded my wildest expectations resulting in the MdS goal becoming progressively less of a target and just another event to do. In a round about way I've become a victim of my own success as I now realise I have some genuine road running talent. Ok, I'm never going to be an Olympic athlete or anything but I can see myself running some pretty decent times and no longer need the MdS as motivation. In fact the MdS now comes fairly low in my list of priorities and perhaps I'm not giving the event the respect it deserves. At its worst I see the event as a distraction if I'm brutally honest. Perhaps I'm just going through the mid training blues that everyone gets at some point and perhaps the recent injuries are making me feel pretty low. Who knows?

I think this has come to a head recently where my training has become pretty confused. Am I a 10k runner, half marathon, marathon, ultra, cross country, or Mountain/Fell runner, as clearly if I want to succeed I can not be everything. I really want to be the best at my chosen event rather than be ok at everything. The culmination of all this is that I feel ready to move to the next level and I have some ideas of where I want to be and what I want to achieve.

I don't regret doing the blog as with over 2,000 hits its shows that it has been a worthwhile exercise. I still intend to continue here for the next few weeks until some of my outline plans become a bit more concrete at which point I'll probably park this blog (or archive it to a sister site) and start afresh. That said it might still be possible that all I need is a few weeks off to reinvigorate myself and I'll come back as if nothing ever stopped! Maybe I'm just being a drama queen over nothing!

As for the MdS? I have several opposing views at the moment ranging from 1) I've already paid £500 so may as well do it as I don't want the money to drain away. 2) I've already paid £500 so now is the time to pull out of something that is going to cost me another two and a half grand 3) Its going to be a hindrance and just interfere with other stuff that I want to do in the build up to and the event itself. 4) It wont interfere as much as I fear and the thing will be a blast when it actually comes to doing it. Anyway, I still have plenty of time on my side and I'll make a decision when it comes to the crunch later on in the year.

What ever I decide I know that I deeply care as its taken me quite a long time to write this much and I feel quite emotional over it all.

Anyway, Adios for now.


  1. Hi Lloyd, I think that you are being very honest with yourself which is a good thing. I think you will just need to weigh up all your options and see where it leads you, only you can make the decision as to where you go from here. You definately do seem to have some real racing talent, totally unlike me!!
    Whatever you decide, it would be good if you do update or maybe start a sister blog as you have made a lot of friends online and we will want to follow your progress whatever direction you decide to take.
    As you say, you have got plenty of time to see how things pan out.

  2. Steph, thanks. Nothing changes at the moment so at the moment I'll still be on the start line come March 2009.

    I actually view this in a positive way. At the moment all I'm going to do is to take a step back, evaluate what I've done, where I want to go and then how I go about doing it. For me its about the journey to become a better athlete.

  3. Some sensible words Lloyd, hope you get everythying sorted out with what you want to do and where you want to be mate. Also I hope to see you on the start line, and brewing the tea in our tent, as you'll be first one back each day, so we'll leave the tea making duties to you for the rest of us :)

    Seriously though, whatever you choose , hope you stay in touch in the cybersphere!

  4. Lloyd, First off delete that last comment from 'Home Broker' it's an unsafe website that spams blogs.

    Only you know what is best, so I guess it all comes down to your long term goals. Since completing the MDS, I'm now going back on the road to improve my speed and avoid going stale with one-pace ultra training. I think I gave the MDS too much respect and trained and ran at too slow a pace. So even when I felt good I would still stick to one very slow running pace. After seeing the first Brit romp the MDS marathon stage in 3:48 at 48C, then the London Marathon in 3:11 just a week later I realise that the two disciplines don't have to be exclusive. A fast road athlete can perform well in the desert, providing they put in some off road/hill training and carry a pack for some runs too. Benoit Laval, owner of Raidlight and 8th place MDS finisher says he only trains with a pack for the last 6 weeks before an event. The rest is filled with 'normal' training with plenty of speedwork.
    Even if you never do another ultra in your life, the MDS will be a nice box to tick and something to look back on.

    You are probably right to focus your efforts elsewhere for now, and just shift training focus to the MDS in the last 3 months given your athletic ability.

    The MDS was such a way off I had to find other events to keep me interested. Since I have got back I have had zero motivation to do anything. It's only now I'm choosing a new challenge it's starting to come back. You definately need short/medium term goals and push the MDS to the back of the list for at least 6 months.

    Good luck, and thanks for sponsoring me too!

  5. Lloyd, Did you decide to do the MDS, or focus on other things. I assume you will have made a decision now the second payment date has elapsed?


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