I completed 87ks in training last weekend - just two runs, 37ks Saturday and 50ks on Sunday.
I only have one weekend of hard training left before the Great North Walk 100 - today I'll run 24ks home, tomorrow I'll run 40ks (via the new Chermside parkrun), then on Sunday I'll run 50ks on trails.
I am trying to remind myself that this has become a new normal for me... but I keep thinking about the dude that passed me on the trail early on Saturday morning, and grinned back at me over his shoulder, and said, "normal people are in bed you know."
I've thought a bit about this during the week... what exactly is normal?
Many would say that attempting to cover 175ks on foot in 36 hours is not normal. But I have many friends who have done things that probably aren't normal.
One took up cycling just a few months ago, and last weekend rode 100ks back to back on the Tour to Conquer Cancer. A couple of other friends have thrown in their regular jobs to live a life of adventure. They're currently cycling across Europe.
I have friends who studied full time in their 30s and 40s to change careers. Women who used to be legal secretaries, HR professionals, marketers and web professionals have become (or are on their way to becoming) school teachers, career counsellors, midwives and nutritionalists.
I have a few friends who are currently stay at home mums, having given up high paying careers that they thrived upon, to put their family first. I even have a single friend who opted to go it alone in motherhood, sperm donor and all.
I have another friend who married a Frenchman, moved to the other side of the world, and has taken up mountaineering for fun.
I don't know whether it's because I'm fortunate enough to have an exceptional group of friends, or whether I see things differently to normal people. I admire these friends because they've taken a look at their safe, comfortable lives, and upped the ante. In doing so, they've chosen a path that throws more challenges than life needs to.
If normal is sleeping in on a Saturday morning, I'll tell you what normal is. Normal is safe. Normal is accepting what life does to you.
That's not what life is for.
Let the "normal people" sleep in. For now, I'll be up running trails.