Auviour Paris: So long and thanks for the cobbles

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21/06/2013 at 09:37

Have a brilliant time SB/Oscarr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

21/06/2013 at 09:49

Thanks folks - just popped online to see if the weather forecast had magically improved.  It has for here but not for there!!!  Time to pack the van and get this show on the road....

Have a great weekend all - will catch up soon

 

21/06/2013 at 09:52
Can't wait to hear all about it.

Can't wait for next year!
mcs
23/06/2013 at 09:10

Just been for a five miler in honour of SB and O in driving rain and head wind in 41 minutes so stil managing to keep generally fit but need to get serious for half training now. Been doing a couple of runs a week but not enough, my younger brother is taking me down now every run now. Work and age catching up at the moment. Need to train smarter me thinks. Hope our ultra team are coping with this bad weather.

23/06/2013 at 09:53
mcs I'm watching the whole of yesterday's athletics from Gateshead on the bike! That's not what I need to be doing particularly, but it's the best I can do for now.

The main issue for me when not injured is of course time, and I was a lot smarter this past marathon by including more shorter sessions and mixing it up, e.g. Half an hour of sprints!
23/06/2013 at 09:54
Wish we had attached a camera to SB though!
23/06/2013 at 12:08

After an early morning 10m run I kept my promise to my son and we went out together for his first ever run (he's just turned seven years old). I let him dictate the pace, of course, and we ran over the hills. It was a bit blowy! Including some walking, his pace for the two miles was 12:33 and 10:38 (190ft climb in first mile, descent on return). We ran a couple of short sprints and he reached 6:38 pace .  He asked me if people were really talking to him when they told him "well done" and "you're looking good" .

He really enjoyed it and wants to go further next time. I must have had the broadest smile I've ever had while running. 

Edited: 23/06/2013 at 12:08
23/06/2013 at 12:14
Awesome Ten!

(Into 4th hour on the bike now)
24/06/2013 at 08:50

Awwww Ten - that's lovely!

We're back!!!! 69 miles still being processed by my brain - thanks for thinking of us guys.

I will let oscarr tell his story - my side goes like this (I'll keep it brief).

Day 1 - best day in my opinion in terms of the scenery and terrain, with lots of pretty wildlflowers.  (Comedy Cape Wrath style moment of the run involved the wildflowers - with me pointing them out to oscarr as a distraction when we were near the end and me getting a "Do you think I give a *&^% about wildflowers?" Oh how I chuckled).  Setting off from Carlisle Castle was awesome and because we were being sensible we kept the pace easy and I finished feeling surprisngly sprightly.  Very glad we slept in the van - those in tents must have had a rough night when the wind got up.  We got away pretty lightly during the day given the forecast.  Played leapfrog for most of the day with some very chirpy guys who were great to banter with.  Really felt for some of the folks we passed who looked either miserable or in pain.

Day 2 - wishing I'd worn road shoes - sections of trail are such that my hybrids were useful but the overall distance on tarmac has left the soles of my feet feeling a bit tender.  The memorable highlights for me were a lovely forest trail, laughing in the monsoons (couldn't do much else so seemed a good strategy), paddling through a river (route marked!!!!), and a sudden, unexpected burst of energy 60m from the finish line.  The finish is on a bridge which you can see from, what feels like, miles away so when you do finally get there it's a big bonus! Big respect to those who set off on day 2 looking like they could hardly walk - if I'd been in that state I don't think I would have tried to go on.  Oscarr was enjoying a "maths" day at this point - I,on the other hand, couldn't/didn't want to look further ahead than the next walk break - the overall distance you travel between pit stops can be daunting (Usually at least 13 miles between the tents though there are checkpoints with a few sweeties every 6-8ish)

24/06/2013 at 08:56

Not planning any further ultras any time soon though 50k now seems much more achievable. 

Running as a pair made it for me - there are of course moments when you want to be by yourself and we had little patches of just running in our own little worlds but otherwise I was flipping grateful for the company - I was expecting at least one squabble but we didn't at all.  Just ticked off the miles.

My knees were the limiting factor - energy level wise and fitness - could we have gone faster - maybe.  Would I have wanted to?  No not really.  I'm more than happy with our time (15:47:22).  Would I do that race again? No - it involved more tarmac than I expected and I couldn't better the memory of it anyway!

The one day winner did it in 10:53 which is just incredible.  She was 25 minutes ahead of whoever was second.  Don't think I have it in me to care/want to push myself to aspirations like that but you can't help but to respect that kind of achievement.

A couple of days of sitting as still as possible are now on the cards! 

24/06/2013 at 18:54
Wow Ten was close!!

Awesome report SB, I'd still really love to do it, ideally with someone fab like you guys, also who had done similar training and had similar goals. I mean what are the chances!?!
24/06/2013 at 18:55
Would you have worn different shoes Day 1 v Day 2 then?
24/06/2013 at 19:14

I would have worn road shoes for both days with hindisght reiki - even the trails are pretty good - the slidy bits were few and far between!

Oh I definitely think you should do it - even if just the once!

Downloaded my watch today - ave pace inc walk breaks was 12:55 on the first day and 14ish on the 2nd.  The terrain dictates it for most of the way but a lot of the hills are rollie and can be run merrily as long as you keep it steady.

oscarr is now home - am sure he will chip in his twopenneth soon

24/06/2013 at 19:21
cheers SB!

I know I want to.
24/06/2013 at 19:44

Yep, back home and still basking in the memory of an awesome achievement and a great time.  For an event this long and challenging i didn't really get to grips with the enormity of it all until we were running on day 1 - you can read stats and numbers all day but it only hits you in the face when you are right in the middle of it which was one of the magic things about it.

Our result shows we did really well - 143rd out of 290 and a time well up the field (15:47 compared to first 10:32 and last 24:24).  BUT the real winning was the fact that both of us were able to run steadily in all of the preplanned running sections, we finished strongly, recovered very quickly and above all we had great fun and kept smiles on our faces for most of it (see Sleepy's "wild flowers" moment!!)

Whichever way you cut this, it's an awesome undertaking - basically, 2 ultra marathons on consecutive days and long ultra's at that.

For me, that is my Ultra box ticked.  Would certainly recommend the event to anyone wanting a real challenge above the marathon.  Key to the enjoyment for me was the significant training miles and hours you have all seen us do - that meant we both enjoyed the whole thing and apart from a small dip on day 1 by me we didn't struggle - it's too long a journey to start struggling so prep and staying at a slow pace are key.

More about the last 2 days in the next post.

24/06/2013 at 20:10

Logistics worked really well and i got picked up from Scotch Corner by SB and Ben - after pizza and a night at the Travel lodge we were at the iconic start inside Carlisle Castle - across the drawbridge and we were on our way.  Plan (we had both practiced a lot in training LSRs) was 25 run 5 walk which we kept to all the way on day 1.  Lots of different patterns by others from 5/5 to 20/4 (work that one out!!) to 50/10.  I ate something the night before which gave me chronic bloatedness and a real fear of nasty upsets on the run (!!!) Didn't have much of an impact on the time but meant i didn't take a gel near the end so the last 2 miles (out of 32!!) were a struggle for me hence the "wild flowers" moment - still laugh at that now!  Sorted myself out overnight so no issues on day 2.

So pleased i did B&B overnight instead of camping.  Thanks to Ben for lifts.

I started to have doubts about finishing because of the tummy upsets but told my legs they had done the training so we were going to get to the finish OK.  Still had some doubts until half way through day 2 when i knew i was going to be able to run well all the way - that was a critical and euphoric moment !! These are some of the challenges you may be hit with on these long events and you have to be strong to deal with them in your mind.  Sleepy looked comfortable both days and at the finish - awesome lady.

We started day 2 with same run/walk pattern but near the end we reduced it from 25/5 to 20/5 which made a big difference to the energy levels and the mindset.  The irony was that it made little difference to the overall pace cos we ended up running quicker for 20 than we did for 25.

Its hard to describe in print the feeling as we came in sight of the 5 bridges at Newcastle and then across the millennium bridge to the finish - after 69 miles, 2 days, hills, river crossings, styles, all sorts of terrain, vast quantities of choc covered raisins and 15 hours of good hearted banter we had made it - still running strongly said all the training hours were worth it - what a feeling, what a feeling, what a feeling........tears don't come close!

So, a month off now including 10 days on a beach in Kos then 7 days diving in Azores.  Somehow the memory of The Wall transcends all of this.  Cheers!!

24/06/2013 at 20:17
Cheers is right!!

Did you stay at a B&B after Day 1 then? That sounds err appealing!

Do you mean a month totally off running?!
24/06/2013 at 20:42

got to book the B&B real early to get a room - other options are YHA and bunk hostels but need get a lift from/to the event site

yes, no running at all !!

25/06/2013 at 07:06
Wow!
25/06/2013 at 09:20

He's such a rebel!  I on the other hand am planning just 10 days but then stickingto zone 2 til the end of July when I'll start trying to work on getting a bit faster and losing a couple of kilos.

So who's racing next....

Ooooh forgot - didn't check the sweep - Ten - 15:48:32-33!!!  Jaffa cake eating rights are all yours mister! Have one for me will ya!

 

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