Wow, three blog posts in a month!
This one is not going to be long, or witty, or insightful though (not that my posts usually are). This is for me to look back on and realise what a bloody numpty I am!!
Last year you may remember that it was my first ultra and I didn’t make cut-off (soft cut off meant I still got a medal). 2013 time was 7hrs 17mins so I set my sights on a time of 6hrs 30mins for this year. Now most folks would train and be 100% ready on race day. Let’s be honest though, we all know that in the last year I have totally lost motivation for training so have literally just been showing up to events and slogging my way through them. Occasionally I would go out and jog a few miles but that was it!
However, recently I have found myself excited about running again (due to my entry into Lakeland 50). Still not remotely excited about that pesky 100 miler though.
Nice start to race day was getting in the rental car to find a present from them (gels, bars etc) and a good luck note. Seriously good PR – they basically had picked up chatter on Twitter (I assume via a key word fishing programme) and saw that I was planning on using a Zipcar to get to the race.
I show up to race HQ for registration, get my number and say hello to lots of familiar faces.
Fiona McNelis and Ian Brazier had offered to run with me which I hoped would force me to not walk so much (I am the queen of walking). My hip seemed ok and I haven’t suffered much with it in the last few months so I thought all would be good.
After doing my customary dash to the toilets after the initial two laps of the field I caught back up with Fi and Ian who were laughing at me. Then we set off at a nice pace but Ian had to keep reminding us we were going to fast for our plan. It’s annoying to slow down when you feel good but I really do get the logic behind it.
We spent the first half having an absolute blast. We settled into a good walk/jog combo (I am refusing to use the word ‘run’). I kept at the back of our threesome as I do better when following instead of having someone on my heels. We met the lead runner (Craig Holgate) at the 10 mile checkpoint. It was great seeing the runners who had got to the turnaround all coming back the other way. We gave hi-fives, words of encouragement etc. However we got bored with “Well Done” so tried to throw some variety in there. Fi wins for originality by saying “You’re looking comfortable” although I like to think my telling someone “Nice legs” was winner! I have to also say there were some impressive looking beards in the race.
We got to halfway (15 miles) in 3 hrs 28 mins. I got a bit disheartened here as I knew there was no way I was going to now beat the 7 hour cut-off. I was in pain, my hip was on fire and I had drank so much that my belly was literally sloshing and this made me feel a bit uncomfortable and sick. Also I just couldn’t eat anything. I struggle to eat if I’m not hungry and then by the time I’m hungry it’s too late.
After sitting for a few minutes we set off for the return leg. Ian was honest with me and said he didn’t think we’d make it so we now set our sights on getting me in before last years’ finish time. At least get me 50k PB. I don’t remember too much of the second half except Fi and Ian were like relentless drill sergeants. I walked way more than I should have. I slowed right down. There were a few good spurts were I managed to pick up the pace but these were few and far between. Simply I had just given up. Ian hadn’t though. He kept on screaming from his spot at the front that I could do it, that I didn’t want to miss it by a few seconds, get a move on, no walking etc .
I hated them both. In fact at one point I think I screamed at them to “Please just shut the fuck up”. I immediately felt utterly horrified and apologised. I just couldn’t see the sense in now killing myself over a time that was already past cut off. I totally refused to even attempt a jog once we hit the road section right at the end.
We finally, finally made it to the field for the last lap and one of the marshals told me I’d missed cut off by 3 minutes. What!!! I thought they were bullying me over last years’ time. I didn’t realise we had actually managed to have an almost near even second half of the race and they were working to get that cut off. It honestly felt like we had gone so much slower. I was a bit gutted at that point and a bit teary that I had totally let my own childishness win. So I walked the lap composing myself, telling Fi and Ian how grateful I was to them, and apologising for being so annoying. We ended the race at 7 hrs 7 mins (unofficial).
The day ended on a good note though as I had an email waiting for me with my first weeks training plan from Eddie. I am going to follow it to the letter and just be honest with her and most importantly myself.
2015 is going to be the year that I see what I can do.