Sunday, 19 June 2011

Getting There

I was unsure what to name the post this week, 'Nearly There' was an option, but after 20 tough,tough miles this morning, 'Nearly There' felt along way from the truth at mile 16 and 'The Run from Hell' was feeling more appropriate at mile 20!

This was probably my toughest run to date, 20 miles consisting of 2 circuits of the route I ran last weekend, titled in my last post as 'My favourite Run'. It still is my favourite place to run and the weather was perfect this morning for running, overcast but the odd spells of sunshine to lift the spirits.

I don't like to run repeat circuits if I can help it on long runs, I find it hard to know on the first lap you've got to do this all over again, but this is a great course to get some tough hill training in, as well as dealing with the undulating terrain on the way.
Today's Fuel
I forgot to purchase some Gels beforehand, I wanted to try something different rather than the Lucozade ones that I don't really like. I had my faithful Camelbak with about a litre of water in, and I thought I would try taking a cereal bar with me. That really went well, the thought of having 'real' food along the way worked as a motivation tactic. I broke small pieces off and rewarded myself after completing a hill. So not to suffer any stomach problems I made the bar last for probably 45 minutes in the middle part of the run. The only problem was it was quite a small bar and didn't give me enough energy for the over 3 hours that I was out, but is definitely something to work on.

I got to half way round (10 miles) feeling quite strong, I took the hills steady and my pace slower than usual for a long run. Mile 12 and slowly but surely the breakdown begins. It's amazing how one moment you can be feeling strong and within minutes struggling. I finished my last piece of cereal bar which renewed some energy and over the next few miles kept me going but once I hit the main hills for the second time round I was reduced to a staggering mess, looking like a boxer at the end of round twelve and trying to hold on.
A tough hill in the distance (The Photo does not do it Justice!)
As I approached home I realised that my distance was going to be nearer 19.5 miles rather than 20, and there was no way that was going to happen. I was not going through all this to still have a '1' in front of the distance, this was going to be 20 even if I had to crawl in. My mantra of 'Push' (I was saying this out loud on each breath!) seemed to do the trick and get me to my door in 3:08:39.

I'm hoping that I am not peaking too early, I still have a few months to go to my first Marathon, but it's a tough one and I want to be at that start line knowing I prepared well.


  1. The hill does look pretty bad from where I was sitting! Well done!

  2. Now why is it hills always look so innocuous in photos yeat are bluddy b*st*rds in real life?? Had a couple of those myslef today, well done for completing such a long run tho, and having to face that hill twice!

  3. Well done! 20 miles is excellent.

  4. great run, I was scaring the runners in last weeks 10k by talking out loud, "go" & "be strong" all the best for the marathon.

  5. Good on ya for getting it in Ian. Give yourself 3-4 weeks before doing it all over again :-)
    It'll be easier the next time...probably!