Tuesday, 30 September 2014

I beat Jon Steele

Well that didn't go as planned.

Twenty km in 01:49: too fast

Marathon in 4:12: too slow

Corinth (81km) in 9:13: Dangerously close to the cut off.

Nemea (120km) by 22:57: On the cut off.Way, way to slow.

Timed out at 132km at 1:00am

So my initial pace was 5:35/km, dropping to 6:16/km between 20km to 42.2km. Then 8/km between 42.2km to 80km and finally 9:20 between 80km to 123km

I just went slower and slower.

Was it the the weather? No the weather was ok. Not too hot. In fact it rained so much at one point I needed my Montane minimus rain jacket.

Was it the crew? No Nick and Yannis were great crew. Nick always had food sorted and even changed my socks at Nemaea one hundred and twenty kilometers in and covered my feet in Sudocream, This is not a pleasant at the best of times, but on swollen sweaty stinky feet it was an unenviable task.

What about injuries? Only one tiny blister under a toenail so that was no bother. I did get a shin splint at around thirty kilometres that hampered flexing the right foot as I ran and contributed to the slowing in pace. But I know Mark Cockbain had run most of JOGLE with shin splits, so I kept laughing out loud at it and it's attempt to stop me.

Was it my head like last year? No it was in a good place all race. Even as things went wrong I didn't panic and kept calm. I knew I was slowing but set myself a goal of getting to Corinth in time. Then when this was reached I went for getting to Nemea. I was right on the cut offs but kept going.

So that was a positive and I went further than a lot of people including Jon Steele :-)

Another one will be the film that was made of four runners attempt to complete this race. Dean Karnazes, Mark Woolley, Angie Terzi and myself. Of those four only Dean Karnazes finished. The film is in post production and I will publish any news as I get it.

Essentially though two things made this a disaster. Firstly on the day of the race I went off way too fast and burnt out in the first two to three hours and the rest of the day was spent hanging on, eating to get the energy levels back and trying to get the mountain where the cut offs become easier.

Secondly I am way too heavy and this makes me slow. I said last year I would lose the weight and I didn't. This was the biggest mistake. The Fat Unt needs to be replaced by a Skinny Unt.

My current level of fitness has plateaued. If I repeat the training I did this year and don't lose the weight, I will still not get to the mountain. To paraphrase Martin Bacon, I need to change things otherwise I will get the same result.

I now have a hernia operation and then a month to six weeks off any exercise. I have to reflect and see if I want to put the effort in to lose the weight and speed up.

At this moment I don't want to, but come January, when registrations open, I may have changed my mind.

If these things were easy they wouldn't be worth doing. I really hate failing at something and will keep trying until I succeed. I failed my driving test at least seven times before I passed. I failed my foundation course on my MBA but retook it. Even though I hate writing and learning languages I keep doing them because I know it helps my dyslexia.

The hardest races take the hardest training.

Most of all I feel incredibly guilty for letting people down. I have had masses of encouragement and support from all over the place. The list is rather large but some of them are

Chrissy, my wonderful wife and our kids for letting me go this far.

Mark Cockbain for the training plans and fixing my head.

The Unts, Mark Woolley and Nick Papageorge for the early morning runs.

Paddy Robbins, Robbie Britton, James Elson and James Adams for the hints and tips.

Masses of people for their encouragement, there are bound to be some missing, sorry for that

Anne Weichert ( my sister and Number one fan)
Bridget Brady
Bryan Rudd
Claire Shelley
Clare Barnes
Dave Fawkner
Dave Urwin
Drew Sheffield
Gary Jacques
Gavin Patrick Felton
Jonathan Spencer
Kerry Maelicke
Kevin Marshall
Lindley Chambers
Natasha Farid
Neil Brie
Paul Ali
Peter Leslie Foxall
Philip Smith
Phill Turton
Rich Cranswick
Richard Fish
Richard Lendon
Stuart Shipley
Tim Lambert
Tom Jones

It has been great knowing you all.

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