Tuesday, 29 January 2019

It has been a long time

It has been a long time,  but I aim  to restart this blog on running with post once a month.
Last year end well with a Marcothon of 361km, only one DNF and my weight under control.
This year was supposed to start well with a 100km qualification at the Flitch way.

This is run by Lindley  Chambers someone I have known since my first attempt at Spartathlon in 2012. Lindley has set up some fine races and is leader in the Trail Running Association.  A fine chap in all.
He picked me up from the hotel at six am along with a couple of other runners one of whom is race director of a trans France race that goes past my sisters home in Brittany. All the runners gathered under a large awning to shelter us from the rain. Darren Stachen was there who has taken over kit design and printing for the British Spartathlon Team from me. I had to quit the role as a key element is the Facebook BST page and have closed all my social media accounts as I find the amount of anger on there far out ways its usefulness.
For food I had two gu gels and a snicker per 10km lap for the first 50km going up to three gels and snicker for the second half. I had a 500ml bottle of water with one scoop of tailwind in. I ran in a Care keep warm bottom lay, a t shirt, a warm upper layer and Montane Minus rain coat. A pair of shorts and seals kin socks with Asics gt2100 completed the clothing.
We started in the rain and dark. The course is flat, if you ignore the bridge over the A420 and the diversion around a broken bridge and  the slope up to the three km point and drop down to the turn
around at five km  before the return to the start. The more eagle eyed will notice it is only 26m total difference from lowest to highest point.

It became light just after the turn around point at around 7:30 so as we were all bunched up I had no need to use my defective hand torch.
The first 10km resulted in a time of 55mins and all the food and drink consumed.
The second loop seemed ok and by this time the rain and snow had stopped and the sun came out. A time of 57 and food all eaten was a good sign.
The third loop was when my problem started on the run up back from the turnaround point my thighs started complaining. I continued to eat and drink well and 58 mins was the result.
By the start of the  fourth loop I was really struggling with the pain. I liberally coated them with volteren. It didn't work, my time for that loop dropped to 1:04. I resolved to keep going and hoped the pain would ease off.
It didn't, it just got worse and finished the tube of volteren and resolved to complete the 50km.
By the time I was coming back my left knee was alternatively giving  way under any weight and then locking up. 1:30 and the qualifier was blown.


I was greeted by Ian and Gill Thomas. It was really nice to see them. Until Gill started telling me to go out again. Just because Ian can run at speed with an injury doesn't to say we all can.
I really have no idea wi have lost the ability to run long distances without pain. Age might be a factor and/or the lack of long runs in my training block. I have another 100k race in May and I will add similar 50km monthly runs into the training block to build up this endurance.

Pictures from  Gill Thomas & Lindley Chambers

Post Script : Yes I know I could have battled on and finished.  I might even have got under the cut off. But as a contractor I really can not afford days off sick.  The race already cost one day's billable and finishing would have meant more than a day off. As it was my legs did not stop hurting until Thursday. 

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