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  • Writer's pictureAlan Percival

Ramble on........

Wow - not blogged for a while, so thought it would good to give a little shout out. This may seem a little self indulgent, but it is fair reflection and of my current thoughts, hopes and how how I have got on.

A few weeks ago, I had a bad weekend, and I mean really bad. Was moody, snappy with people who I should not be snappy with and generally felt grouchy and borderline if I was falling into the pit of depression. However, a few days after this particular bad few days I managed to sit down with a running friend of mine, John, and we just sat and chatted for 2+hrs about life, the universe and everything (which of course the answer is 42!).

John asked me why and what had kicked off this bad weekend, and as I said to him, 'I have no idea what it was, it just hit me.' John, bless him, didn't push the matter, thus allowing me time to reflect and if I did come up with some idea, then he was sure I would have said, During this same conversation we talked about him, and why he took up the challenge of running the NOMAD. This is a 50mile race/ultra near us - ok the main race had to be cancelled, but he took it up with others from our club (along with a support crew). John told me, he wanted to do something where he felt he was in control of it. It was his decision to run this challenge and no one else was going to tell him NO! (OK, maybe his wife ;))

I know from talking with John during that conversation, the positive good having that goal, that challenge and the feeling that he was in charge all made on John. Up to that point, I had coped well/ok through the lockdown, but this at a time where I was sort of in work, sort of working from home etc., and maybe that feeling of half in/out was getting to me. So, looking back at John and the reasons for the ultra, maybe that's what I need? A goal for me to run, a new challenge - ok marathon running as out but I could do a self set ultra.

I didn't want to run the NOMAD route, so looked about. A few years ago there was the National Forest Way Ultra (36 and a 72mile race), and it was meant to be my first ultra. Sadly it felt through, but I had the routes on the phone, it was local, 36miles -- yeah that's do able! So, the idea was planted and I then talked it though with one of the runners who works with me, and he then pipped up, 'Can I join you?'

So, here we are some 5 weeks later - and in that time we have ran 5 of the 6 sections we plan to run, experienced the beauty of the Derby/Staffs countryside - and it is beautiful. The biggest thing thou we both commented on was, all this countryside was only a 20min drive away. A place close to home, yet we felt as though we were all alone out in the fields - just us (ok, a few cows, sheep and dog walkers :)).

So, all things being well, in late October, we will start on our 36mile adventure following the National Forest Way - 36miles of trails, hills, grass, corn fields....just fab!

So, back to messers Page, Plant, Jones & Bonham as Marc and I will Ramble on!

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