With one marathon medal hanging from my bedpost, I had approximately 11 weeks until I met my newest challenge, the ultra marathon, Race to the Stones. "What's an ultra marathon?" and "have you lost your mind?" were the usual responses. Well, an ultra is any distance over the marathon distance. Which to me was always dumb. Why not give people a clue by adding the number after the word "ultra", like oh my next race is an ultra 50 and no, I'm not mad, I'm just trying to be better than I was yesterday. I'm just trying to make sure the marathon wasn't a fluke. I'm just trying to see if I can do something I once thought was impossible.
Days before, my head was buzzing. The mental list of what I would need and the worry of forgetting something was ridiculous and so easily solved with that beautiful little thing called, A LIST. (In no particular order.)
1. BODY GLIDE. This is no time for inner thigh or armpit chaffing even if you've never experienced it before.
2. Suncream. I am a firm believer in using suncream, no matter the colour of your skin. Protect your skin fam, it's working pretty much 24 hours a day! And I wanna age gracefully.
3. Natural hair butter. I refuse to let my running habit ruin my Afro hair. I use Big Hair's Whipped Butter. It's magic.
4. Tried and tested energy gels, sweets and nut butters. Pip & Nut saw me coming when they made those handy palm sized easy, squeezy in the mouth jobs. 10/10 on taste and energy.
5. Running belt. One quick tug and you're releasing them from your holster like heroines do in action movies.
6. Pain killers. The word 'ultra' sometimes freaked me out.
7. iPod. With a playlist created before the morning of your race! Don't rely on your phone.
8. Earphones. Wireless and wired.
9. Spare hairbands. Obviously I had my race day hair already planned.
11. Lipstick (or your equivalent) I like to run looking and feeling like me.
12. After race clothing. One word. Comfort.
13. Check/cut toenails.
14. Paint your nails (for the same reason as number 11).
15. Shoes. And running shoes.
16. Mosquito repellent.
17. Race kit - shorts, vest, socks, sports bra. Nothing new!