With the Lakeland 100, the Trans Britain stage race, the Run24 24-hour event, the LDWA 100 and the Great Barrow Challenge all out of the way, things should have been getting easier. Instead, I'm struggling to find the physical and mental stamina to keep going at the moment. Apart from anything else, this is all so damn time-consuming!
I've learnt that it's a lot less difficult motivating yourself for the big ones than it is to keep on going, clocking up the miles week after week - particularly when, instead of getting fitter and faster, I'm getting more fatigued and slower because there's not enough rest and recuperation time. Yesterday's LDWA Founders Challenge, on a beautiful autumn day in the Surrey Hills, was a case in point. I'd tried to run a fast parkrun the day before - in an attempt to prove to myself that I still can, as much as anything else - and I paid for it in my legs and overall weariness levels. By the time I reached the first checkpoint after eight miles, I felt shattered.
My mental tiredness was reflected in the fact that I'd managed to forget both my watch and my phone. The phone at least would have come in handy to let people know that I was running late when it took me more than two hours to drive the 16 miles across London from Sutton to Holloway on my way back. I could have run it in less time.
Still, I have knocked another 95 miles off the 2012 since I last wrote here: the Round Ripon 35, the Nottingham Ultra 50k, Saturday's parkrun and the Founders Challenge. More than three-quarters of the way there: 460 miles to go.