Monday, 20 July 2009

A new PB (well, it had to be...)

Phew, that was a good run yesterday. After last week's very slow effort, I wasn't sure what to expect from my first double marathon (52.4 miles).

It was an 8 lap course in the Kent countryside. Pleasantly flat and generally good terrain, with a mixture of road, tracks, grass, field and concrete paths. I managed to fall over twice. Once on soft grass so no problem, then on the gravelly dirt track, just causing a grazed knee which I got cleaned up at the checkpoint next time I went through. We could leave a bag at the checkpoint so didn't need to carry much, as we could pick up just what we needed for each lap. I was quick most times, just grabbing a gel or two and maybe a Nuun tablet for salt. I also grabbed a handful of salted nuts each time. After 4 laps I had a longer stop to put on suncream and vaseline (after which it rained - though that was most welcome as the rest of the day was very warm).

I thought the laps would get tedious, but I really enjoyed knowing what was coming up and it was a pretty route. Plus there was one section that we passed twice on each lap so we got to see lots of other competitors throughout the event, which made it very different from most ultras.

There were loads of Fetchies there, including yet more I hadn't met before, so it was all very sociable. We drank in the pub (which was the checkpoint) on the Saturday night and camped in a local field. Which was handy for the 6 am start.

I really enjoyed the day. I came in fourth (female), though was told my time (9 hours 28 minutes) would have won it a couple of years ago - a sign that the UK ultra running community is improving perhaps?The challenge was really well organised and definitely one to go back to next year methinks.

Monday, 13 July 2009

A PW for number 62

So, the High Weald Marathon (26.6 miles, trail) was my slowest yet. But that's ok: I planned on adopting a run-walk strategy to save my legs for a longer run next week. Plus it was LDWA so following the four-sides-of-A4 route instructions slowed things a little. And it was rather hot and muggy - where was the lovely rain I was promised?!

It was another beautiful course in the countryside, not far from East Grinstead. All the usual ingredients of fellow runners, hills, mud and stiles - lovely!

Got a certificate and badge - it's probably good for me to have written evidence of just how slow I can be...

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

The misnamed Tanners Hatch Marathon

Well, they call it a 'marathon', but it's 30 miles long. I like long, but I'm not so keen on hills. Box Hill in particular, one that I hadn't been on since childhood, was particularly viciously steep. I mean, it's Tuesday now and my calves are still aching... The downhills were worst, as at least the steepest ups we did had steps.
But having said that, it made for yet another lovely day out in the countryside. There was some very hot sunshine, but also pleasant shady parts and even a couple of very welcome spots of rain.

Loads of people I knew there so another social one. Very slow though - 7 minutes over 6 hours (which is a longer time than my 40 mile PB, despite this being 10 miles shorter...). And the certificates were the same for everyone, congratulating us on 'completing on foot a 30 mile course within 10 hours'.
I have another hilly 30 miler later this month so it'll be interesting to see how the times compare...