Bit of a gap since my last weekly update, but normal service should resume from now on. Rather than summerise all the runs in this period I am going to just focus on yesterdays run, my first Marathon.
A lovely sunny day for a run, I knew I wanted to go long and with the intention to hit the magic 42.19km, or 26.3 miles. As it was a hot day (for the time of year) and I was unsupported I would have to carry all the fluids and nutrition I would need for the run, so with that in mind I had 2 litres of water in a hydration bladder, 400ml of electrolyte drink in a bottle on the shoulder strap, both on the OMM Ultra Pack. I was also wearing my Salomon waist pack with another 400ml bottle, giving me just under 3 litres of fluid which I hoped would last me. I also was carrying an energy gel, some Cliff Shots and a pack of Jelly babies so I felt I had enough to keep me going.
Armed with a camera to capture some of the journey, and a very loose idea of where I wanted to go I set off at 08:25. I followed my standard route via Lloyd Park, Addington Hills down into Addington, then heading up Featherbed Lane to get to the trail that leads up to Warlingham.
I got to the end of the trail that runs through the Golf course and rather than my usual turn right, I decided to head left towards…well I wasn’t sure. At this point I was over the hour and had started to mannage my pace and mix in more walking, given it was my first Marathon I was intending to do, and that I am training for the Ultra I wasn’t too concerned over timing it was more about making sure that the distance was done.
There road I was travelling down was long, and just seemed to go on forever. That and it being lane with no path meant I was on constant lookout for what I soon came to realise the biggest risk, cyclists. Cars are ok, you can hear them coming so if one is behind you there is ample time to move out the way with bikes, no chance, silent up until you start hearing a faint noise of tyre on road and on this road travelling super quick I was on constant alert to avoid getting a bike up the arse.
Once I got to the end of the deathtrap of a road, I realised where I was and started heading to Titsey Hill as I knew there was a good trail that I could take, I was at about 18km when I arrived so the 6km route was the clear winner as I needed to get the mileage in.
This trail starts off as a nice downhill followed by it levelling out for a about a km, before another downhill. Obviously what goes down must come up and I wasn’t disappointed, it was hardwork! I was starting to feel the hills more and more so it wasn’t welcome, but one I got it out the way I knew it was a fairly level run back into Warlingham. As time wasn’t at the forefront of my mind and despite all the fluids I had onboard was starting to crave more carbs I was going to head into Botley Hill Farm to get a pint of orange and lemonade ( a decision I had made on the Titsey trail). To my disappointment the pub was closed and my craving went unfulfilled. That said I was running low on fluids so had a stop at Aid Station Sainsburys to get a bottle of water to put in the hydration pack (on a side note, why to people on a self checkout decide to to a trolly full of scanning!!!).
Sainsburys was the 30km mark (18miles) and generally this is considered to be the point where the body starts to suffer, most commonly known as ‘The Wall’. As I had never experienced this before I was uncertain how I would be effected, I would like to say I didn’t notice anything and just carried on but that would be a lie. The first thing I noticed was the feeling of sickness, I wanted to throw up, I knew I had to keep eating and drinking but I just couldn’t, every stride started to become harder and harder, with me focusing on a point ahead, such as a tree, and telling myself to get there then I could walk for a bit. This feeling carried on for about 3 miles (3 painful miles) but after that I bizzarly started to feel better. When I was on the home straight around 24 miles I was just giggling to myself as I ran because I knew I was going to do it.
The feeling of hitting the distance was amazing, and one I will want to repeat. More so it was a mental achievement, I know I can do this distance so the challenge of the Ultra seems that little bit more manageable. I did have a lessons learnt from this training day, hydration. I thought I drank loads, I had to top up my water at the shops, yet I only had to pee once, and it was not the pee of a well hydrated individual coming out the colour of lucozade. This is a concern, you get your hydration wrong your stuffed and is somthing I am going to look into in more detail with a structured plan for my long runs probably being necessary.
Anyway, summary of the 2 weeks in distance, time and calories followed my some more pics
Distance: 98.32km, Time: 9hrs 55mins, Calories: 8,205