Thanks for all the good luck and birthday messages- I had a fab weekend.
This was me on Sunday afternoon! (That is the lovely view from where we stayed). Hooray! I finished the 20 miler!
I am proudly wearing my race t-shirt (although you can’t see that from the picture)- I was so pleased!
Race report further down! And impressively, later that very same day, we even managed a bit of walking.
My legs were so stiff that I was worried I would fall in the water!
Anyway, we had a lovely weekend away- some walking, some tea rooms (of course), lots of relaxing! I actually woke up in the middle of the night and remembered safety pins, and then while we were there I nearly left them in my washbag.
Warning- long rambled and garbled race account coming up!
The race was about an hours drive away, so we were up early (7am) for porridge and lots of water before we drove there. We had seen there were showers available so we packed a change of clothes and towel too. The race HQ was in a leisure centre, and started very promptly (and there were pots and pots of safety pins on tables so I didn’t need to worry!). Now I was planning on going slow and steady, but within 100m of the start I was about 50m behind everyone else. There was a police car driving behind me for a bit, but then decided that I was too slow to be in the race (maybe) and so left me behind. I had a few minutes of panic as I had no idea where I was going, but then I saw some marshals who realised I was last, and so then I had a guy on a bike escorting me for the first 5 miles! As it was on roads (no pavements) for the first bit he had to go right behind me. So we had a nice chat for the most part. Then I was left to my own devices- where the maths and internal dialogue began. It went like this “all those people on the start line looked so professional, they all had energy gels and everything. Don’t be silly, you have energy gels, we all need them for this distance. But they all went so fast. Yes, but you can’t run that fast- you need to finish this- it is a training run not a race. OK, so I did 5 miles in 57 mins- I can do the other 3/4 in 3 hours, so I will be fine. Gosh, the showers in the leisure centre didn’t have curtains. Don’t panic- you can dash in and out really quick. OK, so 8 miles in 1.30ish- that leaves me 2 1/3 hours to do 12 more miles.You can do 13 miles in 2.20 so you will be fine.(At this point the lovely marshals started telling me “there is a guy up ahead, you can catch up with him”). Oh look an extremely steep hill- keep running, power through, (I overtook the man at that point)- woah you are not last any more. Yes but being last does not matter, you need to finish this! Look, I am halfway! Yay! Halfway in under 2 hours, you can manage this in the time. Gosh 13 miles in 2.20- oh if I had done a half marathon I could have beaten my pb (2.19) because I would not have to save anything in the tank for the next 7 miles. Half marathons seem a much more civilised distance. Why did I not sign up for a half instead? Who’s crazy idea was this marathon anyway? 14 mile marker- wow that is the biggest marker I have seen. Oh my legs hurt. I am thirsty. Drinking out of cups is hard work. 15 mile marker- only 5 miles to go, come on, nearly there. 16 miles, gosh it is hot. 17 miles, come on I can run 3 miles before breakfast. 18 miles- oh pants I thought I already saw that marker. Come on, only 2 miles. I see some more people up ahead! I overtook a couple more people (only never sure if they were in the race as I didn’t look back to see their race numbers). Oh, a baby rabbit, how cute. Pick up your feet. Ow, my back aches. I am so thirsty. I ran out of water. Pour the dribbles into your bottle lid and drink it that way. (Here the marshalls are telling me “only half a mile to go, not far”)- Oh look Andy is waving at me over the fence 🙂 I can see the finish line. No, actually that is a sign saying finish line this way. Only the field to go, past the tapes, up to the table. Can I stop now?
Gulp down 2 cups of water, eat an orange nakd bar, stagger to the changing rooms (I even braved the shower- sort of- there were 3 showers at the end with 1 curtain to share, so I went behind that), then walk like a cowboy to the car. Andy finished in 3.02 (although he really struggled and was a bit down about it after)- so he had showered and changed while waiting for me. I finished in 3.48.58, in the time limit hooray! I am glad that I managed to keep my pace up and get to the end.
We went home and had some lunch (I also had a banana and half a protein bar in the car), then went out for the afternoon.
We had a gentle walk by the river (plus an ice cream- yummy) and then went out for a pub dinner for my birthday. Fab!
My right thigh (front and back) is so sore today, but the rest of me is actually alright. Going up and down stairs yesterday was hard, but I managed it!
I got to open a present this morning;
A PB&Co cook book! (And a close up of the t-shirt which I think is pretty understated compared to most that you get). 🙂
I learnt a lot from the race at the weekend, which I am sure will pop up in here in the coming weeks. Although I am not sure where the last 6 miles will come from. I hope everyone had a lovely weekend, enjoyed the fab weather etc.