I can run 21.5 miles !

12 08 2009

Sunday came and I was sticking to my plan. Pasta on Saturday followed by a good sleep on Saturday night followed by a hearty breakfast – potato waffles, sausages, eggs, baked beans.

I was to meet Simon my trusty cyclist friend at Hooton station, park the car and get on a train to New Brighton. It was a warm day (temperatures peaking at 23 degrees) and so I had over 3 litres of drink with me. Some glucose isotonic and some carbo loading.

I was determined to drink a litre of the carbo loading stuff before I started.

We got to New Brighton on the very tip of the Wirral an hour or so later. We made our way to the start near the Marine Lake and I reluctantly stripped down. I seemed to have picked up a mild cough but felt ok other than this. My stomach felt bloated though with the fluid and food.

I set off. Back to the mind games. Don’t even think of the distance. First target Leasowe Lighthouse (4 miles). My target time for the run in total – 3 hours 30 minutes.

I made a real effort to drink more than usual. At around 1 mile the sun came out so I stopped the watch and put sun screen on. I rarely burn but thought I wouldn’t take the chance (unfortunately I did miss a bit).

On I continued with my stomach churning, slushing and slopping. The lighthouse was reached in my target time.

The temperature increased. I started to sweat.

When I am running these long distances I am full of fear for the things that can go wrong. I just have to focus on the next target. The bigger picture is all to scary.

The worst part of the run was at 17 miles I had to run past home and keep going. I warned Simon that if I had hit the wall I might cry at that point (many men apparently do).

Shortly afterwards I felt a dip in form. My body was running out of energy. I timed my run from home to Hadlow Road station. I usually manage this in under 30 minutes at a jog. I took 34 mins.

Something had changed.

I asked Simon to slow down. Although I was feeling much more tired I was nearly as comfortable running at this slower pace as I was earlier. I just sought to conserve.

Once I reached Hadlow Road station I knew I was at roughly the 20 mile point. I was delighted to finish 1.5 miles later in good shape in a time of 3 hours 45 minutes !

Tired – yes, but on this occasion I could have continued at least for a bit further.

Wow ! I had run over 21 miles.

On Sunday evening I managed to put out the bins and had an early night. The following day I was extremely tired but not particularly stiff.

I may have “hit the wall” as there was definitely a drop in form after about 17 miles but I wouldn’t consider myself to have been exhausted. Perhaps I did and managed to continue but I’m not counting my chickens yet.

Last evening I ran another 5 miles and sprinted home. I am approaching Bordeaux on my virtual challenge. Fleetwood and my first marathon is less than 5 weeks away. I just want to do it now and then have a rest.

Finally a big Thank You to Simon. He has kept me company on my extra long runs and carried my cargo of fluids and never had a bad word to say. I couldn’t have done it without him.


21.5 miles – preparation

10 08 2009

It has been a little while since I have written but I am still making progress.

I thought the dead leg experience might be due to my trainers coming to the end of their life and so I have replaced them with a nice silver Saucony pair. This “hobby” does cost a bit of money though. Trainers last 500 miles tops and I am now on my third pair since I started running. At £60-£80 for a decent pair I worked out it is costing me 15 pence a mile or so just to run. I think I missed a trick here. Should have got sponsors for my kit.

I had a very poor run on Sunday 2nd. A shorter long run of 14 miles. If it had been my marathon I would have had to pull out. It was torment. I just felt exhausted from the start. The following day I was sneezing. Thankfully it was just a virus.

I decided to take Monday and Tuesday off and started afresh on Wednesday with an 8 miler. I ran extremely well again.

On Thursday I ran again and then decided to plan for a 20 miler at the weekend.

I just can’t keep up with the mileage required in my training programme. According to that I was meant to continue by running 6 miles on Friday then 3 on Saturday followed by 20 on Sunday.

The 20 is the longest run in the programme. My goodness if I was running a marathon on a Sunday I wouldn’t be mucking around running on Friday and Saturday as well. I chose to rest instead and went to see my beloved Wrexham FC.

To be continued…

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