Monday, 29 October 2012

Jedburgh ultra

What the hell was i doing on the start line of an off road ultra, well it was for chairty The Margaret Kerr Fund. It seemed like fate that the race was giving some of the entry fee to the charity and the money would then go to build a purpose built  pallitive care unit for peeple with cancer. While my dad was in hospital he often talked about this and said how it was such a good idea. I felt it was a fitting tribute to my dad to do this race and I had raised 600 pounds in sponsership.

I knew the course would be hard as we had to go up the Eildons not just two but all bloody three of them. I am not known for my down hill running!! You would never guess i was a junior international scottish hill runner, how things change.
The race started alright on my favourite surface road then onto a tree leave covered path's. This was soon to change when we hit the mud. I was slipping and sliding At one point i was doing the splits and am not normslly very flexible. Runners all around me where falling, the whole time i was thinking please don't let me fall. Having never really got over the cold from the marathon my paced was dictated by my breathing. If i ran too fast i couldn't breath so at least that way i didn't go off too fast.

One of my main concerns of the race was the route, and not getting lost. I have no sense of navigation and really shouldn't be let outside without an apporate adult. Thank godness I managed to find loads of them during the race. I often found mine in the trees looking for tape. It is not often you are so glad to meet people in the under growth of a forest. I have to give a special meantion to Phil who looked after me for a while and stopped me getting lost.
What can i say about the Eildons, they hurt and i really did think my lungs might come out of my body. The down hill off of the second Eildon was intersting and saw me swearing, praying and shouting for help. My decent was completly out of control and it made me feel as if I was going head first down this hill.

I can promise you this i will never be up those hills again. Poor David Knox got it tight when i got to the third hill, asking me if I was ok i just about killed myself i told him.
I felt i was running steady and eating loads. The mud was making it hungry work.  I was dreading the really muddy section the second time round again but this time round my legs wouldn't be so fresh.  Also this time the mud had got worse and i was doing the splits in all directions.I did walk abit towards the end it was easier than falling on my arse when the mud got too bad.

I was so glad to see the finish on a good day with firm ground this would be a great race. But for me I am not an off road runner, so i was always going to find it difficult but i had a good reason to do it so I tried to put the head down and run through it, I would recommend this race if you like off road. The views are amazing.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Chester Marathon

This tapering lark before a marathon really didn't work for me, it made me feel slow and  i just kept thinking i was coming down with the cold. Stevie said this was the tapering effect well it felt like the cold. The wrong thing to do in the lead up to the marathon is to keep running you should be easing back a little  but i kept running in the hope the legs would start to feel better. The legs by Saturday morning felt better but the lungs, i was struggling to breath. Hey who needs to breath when you can still run.

The trip down to Chester was fine in the fact i got on all the right trains and only got lost trying to find my b+b. Thank you to the drunk man outside the pub who pointed me in the right direction.
Pre marathon tea was in a pub, burger washed down with pint of the flying scotsman. I felt i should drink this as it could be a good sign for tomorrow.
I really didn't have a good sleep as I spent most of the night waking up, so i was glad when the alarm went off to get up for the marathon.

The actual race day i didn't feel great but i had felt worse during the week so at least that was a good sign. Once the gun went off all thoughts of the cold disappeared. The pace felt ok but according to the garmin i was running too fast. This was the first time i have ever raced with the garmin, but i did what i felt right and carried on.
The miles ticked by and i was feeling alright until around mile 22, not bad considering i was running at a pace that i don't normally run at. Head down and i felt like i was working but the pace was slipping but i didn't feel like i was losing too much time.
I started to cramp up in the last mile, and as i hit the race course my legs just went. It felt like i was in a cross country race, i was looking for the racing line and attempting to miss all the mud. As soon i attempted to sprint for the line the cramp kicked in even more and stopped any thoughts of a final sprint, and i sort of fell over the line. Then the first aiders kept wanting to put me in a wheelchair, they kept pushing the bloody thing behind me offering me it several times. I kept telling them it was just cramp and i was fine.

Looking back at the race I am pleased with the fact i ran a pb! But am angry at myself for not doing the correct training. If i want to go faster and run near that 3 hours then i need to apply myself to the correct training. The distance is not the problem but the speed that i want to run the marathon at is. The Marathon training started well but then i got into ultra mode and started running the miles at no real pace. What speed work I did do was not often enough to have an effect, so i have only myself to blame.
I know i can go faster as i feel that i tired like you would do in any race but my pace only dropped a little. So with some longer paced runs and more of the dreaded speed work that faster time will come. Roll on the London marathon in April.