Monday, 4 May 2009


Ah, it's lovely to have an extra day off on the weekend. And especially nice when you feel you've earned it by doing plenty on the preceding two days: this weekend was my biggest running weekend so far, with the plan being to run 66.2 miles over 2 days.

On Saturday I got a train up to Henley-on-Thames for the Oxon 40. This was another LDWA event with the pages (5 sides of A4) of intricate instructions to follow, as opposed to using a map of the route or having markers on the course. It was absolutely beautiful, an off road route through lots of bluebell woods, all carpeted in vivid purple, as well as stunning views from the tops of hills. I wished I'd taken my camera. It was slow going as, after getting lost for a mile and a half very early on, I was careful to take time over reading my sheets to get the rest of the course right. I actually twice called back other people who'd missed turns and could have ended up well off track. I used my compass to check my bearing a lot too. It was kind of fun actually and I'm already getting better at following the instructions. I have another LDWA event booked for June.
There were 6 checkpoints at which I had my card clipped to prove I'd been there, then there was lots of good, free food and a cup of tea at the finish to refuel. I got my certificate and badge, then headed back to the train station to head down to Salisbury, where I had a night booked at a lovely little B&B.

In the morning, Riel and Naomi (Fetchies) picked me up to drive us over to Stonehenge, which is where the Neolithic Marathon finishes. We caught the runners' bus up to the start at Avebury, where there were lots of other runners that I know and it was good to catch up with them. I really wasn't sure what my legs would say about me doing another long hilly trail run the day after the Oxon 40, but they seemed fine. I decided to walk the uphills and jog most of the rest. I felt surprisingly strong and managed to enjoy being out in the countryside and finished in about 4 and a half hours, which is faster than the last time I did this marathon!
Riel drove us back to London, which made a welcome change from the train and it was nice to get home to rest. Jim was still out as he'd been out cycling round the Isle of Wight all day. He covered over 90 miles on Sunday, which is a fair bit more than the 67.7 miles I ran over the 2 days.

This morning I did my usual 4 mile recovery run and felt really good. We then went into town as we both felt our legs could do with a bit of gentle moseying about and we deserved a good Wagamama dinner after our exertions.

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