Posted: 28/10/2013 at 12:06
Carl - Gutted for you not getting there. I'm tracking Ricky and they are predicting 3:33 for him currently.
Stort30 yesterday, a 30 mile out and back along the river something or other in Bishop's Stortford and I have to say a really beautiful course, very tranquil and scenic, it's just a great shame that I spent the vast majority of my run staring at the ground.
To make up the distance we did two laps of the field we were in at the start and one lap at the end before heading out along the roads for about a quarter of a mile before joining up the river walkway. So off I set with the field of a 150 people that included 6 others from our running club, which given that we are an unaffiliated loose collection of 99 trotters is pretty good going.
The first section of the course was mainly grass verge and due to the weather was quite muddy, not a quagmire by any means but enough to be skiddy and after doing the initial two laps with friends I set off faster on my own and with a few well selected manoveres managed to pick off a few runners ahead of me over the first couple of miles or so. In the main it was pretty much single file for large sections of the course but just about enough room to nip by people although not run two abreast. The first checkpoint was approx 6.5 miles and was going great guns, part of me was dreading doing that section on the way back as I figured it would of been churned up by the time I returned and I did think that it would be te time I'd need to dig deep. How wrong I was......
Around this point having necked a couple of chicken nuggets, jellybeans and some flat coke I set off again. as an aside I hearitly reccomend Ultras if you like your food, it's a totally different mindset, these guys loiter at checkpoints chatting away and eating so much. I fell into conversation with a couple of guys at a further checkpoint who explained that most Ultras will stick to their routines whether they are doing 30 or 100 miles, it was quite fascinating chatting to them and almost seemed a pity to have to get on with the actual running.
It was around mile 8 my day changed. About 6 weeks ago I had to stop running for two weeks with tendonitis in my ankle and it's been moderately niggly since, I suspected at some point that it would play up a little during the run but was resting my hopes on it being later rather than sooner, well around mile 8 I felt the first niggles but it was manageable, more irritating than dehabilitating the downside was i was chopping my stride and my calf and buttock were tightening considerably as I was overcompensating. The plus point was that checkpoint two came around the 10 mile mark and we had a few supporters there cheering us on and taking pictures and the actual checkpoint was manned by two of my friends so this came as a great boost and was the perfect tonic as I was just starting to get a bit irked with how things were going. So I ploughed on.
This section was entirely a paved area and I actually managed to find a rhythm on the flat surface and this in turn seemed to ease my calf and glute and I actually felt quite good, putting weight on my ankle wasn't too much of an issue but any uneven surfaces or slopes were really sore so it was just the occassional shooting pain and seeing the runners returning the opposite way and to a man acknowledging you at urging you on gave me a bit of determination. At mile 15 there was another checkpoint and we turned around after yet more food and chat! Psychologically being homeward bound carried me for another mile or so but I now couldn't ignore the pain in my foot, it felt like my whole foot was in a vice and my heel felt bruised on contact, my running style became even odder than it is usually is and it was at this moment I really didn't know if I could do it and it wa