A first for me last Saturday - a marathon walk! For a long time now I've said that I want to walk a marathon event and last Saturday it was the Christian Aid Walk right on my doorstep. I had planned to jog/walk, but a friend said she was walking it so I put my boots on (no way would I be tempted to run in those) and we had a fantastic day Beautiful countryside including some places I had never been, plenty of checkpoints and possibly far too many marshals. Good walking terrain and kind weather as well. Finished in 9h 14m and didn't regret a single minute of it.
Followed up on Sunday with Flitch Way Marathon. Ran with a friend at a comfortable pace and for 20 miles we also 'nursed' a youngish guy who was nervous about failing (he'd run Milton Keynes where he'd set off too fast, faded badly towards the end and didn't enjoy it). He was going so strong towards the end and felt so good, he was able to pick up the pace while we just plodded on and finished in 4:58 Good low key event - check out Challenge Running for more of the same around Herts/Essex/E.Anglia etc
Shades - an interesting pb there - 14k! Not many runners have one of those . Shame about the course, but the race director seems good.
mamafox - beware of badgers . They are not the little fluffy things most people think. They are big and have sharp teeth. In the olden days (I read somewhere - I wasn't around then!) - when villages went hunting badgers they tied string round their trousers at ankle height and just below the knees. The space in between they filled with lumps of coal as an angry badger bite can go through bone .
Halstead was my first marathon and so I've done it every year since. Then a few years ago I discovered the Ridgeway 40 which is now one of my favourites, so I do that every year too. Trouble is Ridgeway always falls on the Saturday before Halstead on the Sunday, which means marathon times are not too great - but last Sunday was dire
Had a fantastic time on Saturday on the Ridgeway. Weather was sunny and quite hot so I've got some interesting tan lines, but I didn't get caught in the short thunderstorm which hit some runners/walkers later on. Usual walk up, run down and shuffle the rest and I finished in 8hrs 14 mins ( which was 24 mins slower than last year when I had an exceptionally good run) and I was very pleased with that. Ground was very dry and hard so ankles felt a bit battered, but rest of me didn't feel too bad. Drove home late afternoon so I could sleep in my own bed, and then off to Halstead next morning.
Even when I woke up it was really warm so it was vest, shorts, hat and lots of sun cream. Lots of the usual crowd were there so it's quite a social occasion. Lovely road marathon, low key, perfectly organised, well supported, nice countryside - and always sunny . Whoever said that Essex is flat has never been to Halstead - and since they changed the course slightly last year a few more hills have been added . Started off not too bad as it's a short downhill, but then I found the long slightly uphill in the first mile to be even tougher than I'd remembered. The sun was blistering and there seemed to be no shade at all. I must have hit the wall at about 4 miles and then fell into a pit of treacle. Toasted, achy, feeling very queasy and finding it hard to breathe - especially when going past fields of rape seed plants (I'm sure those flowers suck all the oxygen out of the air )- I even thought about pulling out before I'd reached 6 miles. That's just as you go through the village with supporters sitting on the grass verges outside pubs . Fortunately a friend caught up with me about mile 8, he was also suffering but kept me moving, and so we jogged some, staggered a bit more and walked most of the very long way to eventually run a few yards from the last corner to the finish line. A pw for a road marathon of 5h 28m, but I was just so relieved to finish - I can't actually say that I enjoyed any of it . Best bits were going under the hose pipes that a couple of thoughtful villagers rigged up , but we had dried out again within 1 minute . Glad I did it though .
Weather changed completely on Monday - just warm and fresh, did Tai Chi but continued feeling nauseous until the evening.Then when we went for a gentle run/ walk on Tuesday we got soaked.
Lily - well done on finishing the Leeds half . Hope you're feeling a bit better now.
King Kenny - another parkrun pb. Well done . Which marathon are you doing?
Big G - when you next visit your doc see if you can get your ferritin level. Runners need much higher levels than non-runners, so when results come back with 'normal' or 'low end of normal' that's often far too low for runners. Low levels result in extreme tiredness.
If you fancy something off road later in the year I would recommend Salisbury 54321. 2nd Sunday in August it has distances from 10k to 50k, is multi-terrain and is a fantastic course through beautiful countryside (and everyone needs to go through the old yew forest at least once in their lives!). I'm not doing it this year as I have a LDWA event but I'll be back next year as it's one of my favourites. Enjoy your trip to Venice.
Shades - was great to see you again at North Dorset . Yet again I set off too fast (at least that's what my splits say although it didn't feel too fast, and I did have a chat to another runner for a mile or so). Inevitably with the hills I slowed a bit and again found it quite tough, but actually had a good run and finished in 4:04. In a day or so I'll have forgotten about most of the hills and be pencilling it in for next year . It's a beautiful part of the country and although it's a road race there are still some fantastic views. Cold start but it soon warmed up and I had to roll my sleeves up, clouded up slightly later but never cold. After half way I stopped at a few water stations (which inevitably adds on the minutes but also gives me a short 'breather') and melon at the second to last water point was refreshing. I don't mind the path at the end - at least it's flat and you know the end is near - and I actually managed to overtake a few runners here. I rather like the pink medal (and ribbon) and I would like the t-shirt but it reaches almost to my knees! What I didn't like was the drive home . It should have taken two and a half hours, but took 3hrs 50m due to 2 'incidents' on the M3 involving light aircraft which looked like they were having trouble staying on their trailers.