It's the day before the day I catch a train to Kemble, to the start of the river Thames. And I'm feeling apprehensive. There are a good few unknowns and the weather is being unkind.
The last couple of weeks have been very light, training-wise, busy and stressful work-wise and having made an error at the Clapham Common race last weekend, I'm even lower on miles than planned. The last few weeks have seen 38 miles, 20 miles, 28 miles, 17 miles... so, of course, I feel under-fit right now. The usual fears are surfacing, but it's madder than usual as this is not a race. There are no cut offs. I've run a reasonable chunk of the route recently.
Conversely; I've not run the section from the source to Cholsey and the earlier sections seem like they're going to be tougher navigation-wise. The first large-ish section there's not even a river to follow, there are sections that are just running across a field, then there's a bunch of streams and lakes to get confused by. I've not run more than three days in a row before and certainly not averaged 30 miles a day for even three days in a row, or even two. So I have no idea how my body is going to respond to that, but my gut feeling is that it'll actually be pretty OK.
I've not run with my full pack for over 3 weeks now either, so that'll be sub-optimal when I start on Saturday morning with it on again. But, I ran my fastest 10K to date this last weekend, so I think underlying "stuff" is pretty strong, so I should be OK.
Let's see how many cycles of "yay" and "argh" I go through in the next 40 hours to the off from the rock in the field in Oxfordshire!