It's questioning my ability to ever run the 75km Hillary Trail.
On Saturday I ran 32km from Arataki Visitor Centre to Karekare, but by the time I reached the beach my legs were smashed and I could only walk.
The steep Karamatura and Gibbons Tracks took it out of me, as did a slow and careful descent of Omanawanui Track.
I suffered from stiff and tired legs and had to walk most of the uphill apart from the gentlest gradients. Taking in plenty of food and water seemed to do nothing to fire life back into my legs.
After that run I fail to see how it's possible for me to run an extra 45km over the remaining four big hills of the Hillary Trail.
Sure, maybe I could walk most of that 45km, and maybe I'd have to allow for the whole run to take 20 hours or longer. But even then, at this rate, I would be ruined at the end and being so utterly destroyed as I would surely be is not a cause to celebrate.
Running the Hillary Trail is not about getting my name on the Hillary Trail Honours Board. In other words, it's not just about reaching the end and ticking it off a list of fitness goals come hell or high water. It's about having an inspiring experience after going through a life changing process.
Trail runner Craig Thompson and his twin 14-year-old daughters Ashley and Claire completed the trail in about 20 hours. Craig told me when he finished he felt good and even did a 5km run the following day in 23 minutes.
I'd like to complete the trail in around 15 hours and I want to feel good while running it and when I finish at Muriwai.
Switching my mind on
Switching off the brain and going into an empty state-of-mind is one of things I love about trail running. Maybe as a result I've resisted looking into the finer details of nutrition, technique and training. In life generally, I'm averse to numbers and details, the micro, and more drawn to macro considerations.
But after last Saturday I'm starting to think I can no longer get away with winging it. Like it or not, it's time to switch my mind back on. After all, ignorance - especially in this case - is not bliss. Applying mindfulness to anything in life always results in better experiences.
Up until now my training has consisted of three one hour runs in the week; one on Tuesday morning, one on Tuesday night and one on Thursday. On Tuesday, I do hill training on Mt Eden or Mt Wellington and Thursday is an easy run. I don't do any weight or exercise training.
I'm a relatively big guy - 95kg and 6'1. To keep my performance up while running, I consume one or two Balance energy gels every half and hour and drink about two litres of water. The gels keep me moving, but they're disgusting and artificial and I'd would prefer a natural form of sustenance and energy.
One of the reasons I bombed last Saturday may be because I didn't take any gels and instead ate muesli bars, dates, almonds, chocolate plums, dried apple, a protein bar and a peanut butter and honey bread roll.
In the coming days and weeks I'm going to research training and nutrition to find a better approach for myself. I'll let you know what I find and decide.
I might need a bit of help with this. If you're an experienced trail runner reading this please chime in. How do I go from running 20km in the hills, in terms of training and nutrition, to running 30km plus with the aim of running 75km? What changes?