Monday, 17 August 2015

I am a sugar boy

Well that was a bit of disaster running  wise. Other than than I had a great weekend with Chrissy.

We drove across Germany to Leipzig on the Friday afternoon. We set off in plenty of time for the three hour drive with the intention of making the pasta party and picking up my race number that evening. Unfortunately a couple of road work and accident delays meant we didn't arrive until after nine pm.

We checked into one of the recently refurbished bungalows at the Campingplatz Auensee. These are basic but very comfy. The beds especially so.

The only issue was the mass of mosquitos in the room. We spent the first half an hour splatting them before settling down for a good nights sleep. 

I need the rest as the tight hamstring issue is really  bothering me when I have to sit down for long periods of time. I after thirty minutes or so I get a pain down the back of my leg. The only thing that eases it is to lie flat or to get up and walk around. So on the trip down I spent some time fully reclined.

We got up at just before five am for the six am start. It had been raining all night and the air was very humid.

After we had picked up my race number we went for breakfast. As I  planned to do this race on fat I had a boiled egg and a load of cheese.

Over to the start and we set up our refreshment point. I  had ten 500ml bottles. Unlike the last time I did this race only five were full of Sis Go energy drink. Not because of any plan, but because I  had run out of the sia go power. I also had one s cap per lap ready.

I had eight sandwich bags with a 250g of  Greek yoghurt, two muller rice, several blocks of cheese and a bag of  macadamia nuts. 

The nuts I placed in a pouch around my waist and off I went at a steady 10km pace.

The intention was to run an easy 100km and come in under ten hours, qualifing time for Spartathlon. Secondly I  wanted to do this all on fat. Young Nick has been banging on about fat for the last two years and had just finished a 21km swim in under eight hours. All by just using his body fat.  This appeals to me because A) I have a lot of fat B) It is a lot cheaper than buying gels.

The first lap I felt my hamstrings early on but by five kms they had eased off and that is when I ate the first bag of greek yoghurt. First lap done in 58minutes. So far so good.

The second lap was much the same. I  chatted to Marika Heinlein who has finished Spartathlon six times out of eight starts. I picked up a stone or two in my shoes and was grateful for the camping chairs we had bought to sit in as I emptied the  stones out. I had gain another two minutes. So 1:56 for 20km.

As the third lap started I was well into the race, feeling  comfortable and confident. Then I  made the second mistake. I was leading a group of five or six all going at the same 10kph and was mentally drifting thinking about our holiday when shouting interupted my dream.
I  ignored it.
Then realised the route ahead was unfamiliar.
I should have turned left 250 meters back.
I  lost a couple of minutes getting back on track. Not enough for it to be unrecoverable.

I  could feel the wall coming on early...usually I have a wobble between 40km and 60km as the glycogen runs out. I  usually get over this by refuelling on sugary gels...but this time I wanted to go all the way on fat.

Then a big pile of shit hit me...
I felt the need for a massive dump as I came to the end of the fourth lap. By the time I had finished in the lavatory I was feeling weaker and over fifteen minutes behind. Although several kilos lighter. I tell you Greek yoghurt just cuts through me like a knife.

I  went up Chrissy to pick up the next bag of Greek yoghurt and mentioned that I  wanted something else to eat the next lap...she then bombarded me with questions trying to figure out what this mystery food was. She got the wrong answer and I kept saying no, while trying to get the word out. In the end I grabbed the rice pudding and threw it out of the cooler bag.

Big mistake


Don't ever upset my wife. One glance from her can change even bronze statues legs to jelly.

I  apologised and set off again. I  was pulling  back  the time slowly. But not enough to get under the ten hour mark.

I finished the fifty km in 5:17 and was suffering from a lack of energy. I had the  rice pudding and finally succumbed to temptation and sucked on a gel...

This  gave me a short burst of energy. Unfortunately not enought and by 55km I was rationalising like this

1) Put the effort in to get under ten hours and knacker myself with only 40 days to go.
2) Finish in 10:30 and still be knacked and disappointed.
3) Drop and focus on the  final marathons and Spartathlon.

As I reached 56km I saw Chrissy walking towards me. That made my mind up. I explained my decision to Chrissy. She was ok with it.

We discussed my fat only plan and  she said why stick to one or the other why not try both at the same time?

Wise words.

I will live to fight another day and will mix the nutrition up instead of focusing on one or the other.

Oddly I feel  strangely relaxed about Spartathlon. This year has not gone to plan since February.

But I have still managed to lose weight and get some reasonable times in the heat. I have seen today that the course directors report was titled. Hitzeschlacht und Muckenterror, which translates at Heat battle and mosquito terror. To be honest I  didn't notice the heat or the mozzies while running. Which is very postive and I was holding my own when lots of people were slowing down and dropping.

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