Grab a cup of tea and a large packet of digestives this is a catch up post as I seem to have been missing in action for the whole of June! Where did that month go?
I might not have been blogging but you will be pleased to know that that slacking has not spread over in to my running.
The beginning of the month say myself and my long suffering running buddy take on the Tsunami, 26 miles along the North Devon Coast, Clovelly to Bude. We knew it was going to be tough when we checked the elevation profile and last years results, when the winner takes 5 hours you just know you are in trouble. Sadly I under estimated how much trouble! The start was a Clovelly Harbour and was the first ever mass walking start that I have ever seen, which was a great relief as we had spent a great deal of time wondering if everyone else would run up the very large slope that is Clovelly’s only street.
After some research I knew that after the first 10 miles was the tough stretch, unfortunately I interpreted that as the first 10 would be easy miles, STUPID, they were hilly also. I struggled early on, too early on, but on reflection it was early on in miles but not in time as progress was slow. I should have taken on board more fuel and water, Kudos to running buddy fo just gently encouraging he to get that gel down my neck, rather than alternative wrestling me to the floor and shoving it down my throat, which I know he just wanted to do! Second kudos for not giving me a gentle shove off a cliff en route (it wouldn’t have taken much, just a nudge) I was not running happy, it was hot and I was on empty. Although I did smile a little when. fellow runner poured a jug of juice of his head, (he thought it was water) wonder how the rest of his run was! It was a marathon distance that took an Ultra time, I was very glad to get to the end.
These were a few of the ascents in case you think I am exaggerating! The scenery how ever was to die for……..
As we recovered with our feet in the Canal, we unaminously agreed that this was one not to be repeated. As I sat in the back of RB’s car on the journey back, with my eyes firmly shut trying to leave the contents of my stomach on his leather seats, I thought never again. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday my quads screamed at me NEVER AGAIN, fast forward a month and I am thinking about signing up next year. I need to do this one better. (I know, will get measured up for a straight jacket soon!)
Two weeks past and it was time for another marathon, this time North Devon AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) Marathon. This one started at Woolacombe went West along the coast for 6 miles then inland back to start and the East for 6 miles and then back inland. It was another hot day, it was very dry and dusty underfoot too. Simply the most stunning start of an event.
Despite feeding better and drinking loads at the checkpoints that were every two miles, I struggled yet again, for many reasons, 1) it was warm 2) having your team mates pass you even though they started 15 minutes after you is a real confidence knock and rude on their part too! 3)having that option to bail at half way was always going to be tempting for me especially with the threat that the second half was harder, but bottom line was my heart was not in it, so my marathon became a half and I waved RB off as he set about spending the next 13 miles passing 63 runners and collapsed in a sweaty heap on the grass.
Hate not doing what I set out to do, but really did not want another miserable run so soon after the Tsunami, it was the right decision but not one that sits well with me.
As Snowdon Marathon is around the corner these knocks have come at a bad time. Hills seemed to be my nemesis, time to address that so twice a week since the Marathon that became a half I have gone to the coastal path and run up and down the hills like a lunatic. Twice I dragged family members along to share the joy, why suffer alone and they only had to do the mountain once. Who knows if it is helping but I am actually quite enjoy it.
Yesterday I went back and did the Charmouth Challenge. I did this last year and had a shocking run really, it was hot oh and obviously there was hills, when is there not? This year it was also hot and yes the hills were still there, but I did manage to knock 7 mins off last years time, I will take that. It is a lovely run with a great goody bag oh and fireman that hose you down at the end, what more could you want? Less hills? Yes!
So that’s me all caught up with you. Next is Snowdon Marathon, I am really looking forward to four days away and if England are in the World Cup finals I will need to get those 26.2 miles done in under 7 hours! Nothing like an incentive!