Race Training and Accountability

If you want to make sure you do something then you need someone to hold you accountable, and that’s what I tell my BizWhizz clients. Of course, there’s accountability and then there’s accountability…

My accountability coach crossing the line at the Chester Marathon kids run.

My accountability coach crossing the line at the Chester Marathon kids run.

I believe in self-esteem, I believe in challenging yourself. From my perspective the whole point of life is to reach outside of my comfort zone and test myself just that little bit more each day, month and year with new goals and new challenges. That’s why I want to do the Comrades Marathon, and as part of the run up/training for Comrades I planned on doing Race to the Stones.

But there’s no getting out of Race to the Stones now because daughter the younger, Izzy, has taken accountability to a whole new level. Ever since the Chester Marathon she’s been telling the whole of the school playground and the teachers at Giles Brook Primary School that, “Mummy is going to do an ultramarathon!”

Race to the Stones is a 100km (or just over 62 miles if your brain works in old money like mine does) race along the The Ridgeway. The Ridgeway is recognised as the oldest path in the UK. Along it’s length there are traces of generations stretching back over 5,000 years. It’s lined with Bronze Age hill forts, neolithic burial chambers, Roman river crossings and culminates in the largest neolithic stone circle complex in Europe at Avebury.

The route starts in Chinnor in Oxfordshire and passes up and along the high ground between there and the Thames crossing at Goring. From this point the route rises up onto the North Wessex Downs before the iconic finish between the towering standing stones of Avebury. There’s a non-stop option and a two day option. I’m going for the two day option, whilst some of my friends are attempting the non-stop version – I would say that based on this I’m not as mad as they are but that is probably debatable.

To help me on my journey I have a coach, Emily Harrison, to help me with the training and everything else that comes with running your first ultra marathon – including holding me accountable as well. I completely trust Emily, after all it was her suggested race strategy that got me my new PB at Chester Marathon – if it had been left to me I would have set off a bit faster and therefore probably finished a bit slower, but shh! don’t tell Emily that ;-). Plus I have some good friends who’ve done ultras before, including Race to the Stones so I have plenty of brains to pick.

However first things first, Race to the Stones is in July and there’s the small matter of back to back marathons (and hopefully a new marathon PB) in April 2015 as I’ll be running the Greater Manchester Marathon on the 19th April and the Virgin Money London Marathon on the 26th April – race place courtesy of the Adidas 26rs.

Until next time…

Kassia Gardner

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