Lizzie Rosewell, one of our #Run1000Miles ambassadors, reports on how the extra mileage has been paying dividends
My legs were aching and my lungs were heaving, but I knew the steep section of this climb was only short and it was time to go for it. I pushed hard, up and up, past the lone tree and towards the small tarn at the top. I permitted myself a quick glance backwards to see the fells silhouetted against the night sky, with the occasional pinprick of light from the headtorches of runners below. Through the col I looked into the distance to see the lights of ships far away on the Irish Sea, then it was time to fix my eyes firmly on the tricky final descent to Coniston.
The Lakeland 50 holds a special place in my heart as the race that inspired me to start ultrarunning. It was my first 50-mile race back in 2014 and I loved the experience so much that I was hooked on both the race and ultrarunning in general!
Two years later I returned to run my first 100-mile race, the Lakeland 100 and, while it may be a while before I decide to tackle the challenge again, the weekend provides a race experience unlike anything else in the UK and I was keen to come back and run the 50 this year with the benefit of more experience.
After a well-earned rest following my 390-mile Footsteps of the Fallen Run, I ramped up the training again during May, June and July. I have now run over 1000 miles this year and am making good progress towards my personal target of 1500 miles. As well as enjoying lots of trail miles, I have also been incorporating some speedwork and plenty of strength and conditioning into my training and am feeling as fit as I have ever been. I was hoping that this would be reflected in my Lakeland 50 performance and was delighted to finish in 13 hours and 19 minutes, almost two hours faster than my first attempt in 2014!
After a lot of long events so far this year I am planning to mix things up a bit for the remaining months. I am going to be focusing on some shorter, faster running and supporting some of my local trail races. I will also be taking part in lots of orienteering competitions as the autumn orienteering season gets under way. I’m looking forward to having a different focus to my running for the next few months.