9th/ 10th March 2019
I was going to write about this and my friend Victoria emailed me to congratulate me and asked me how I did it. The email got so long I’ve decided to just reprint it here as it pretty much sums up my race. I’ll throw in some pics at the end too.
On 11 Mar 2019, at 16:03, victoria wrote
Congratulations and huge respect!!!! How did you manage in those conditions….. And the boredom!!!!!
Thank you! Hope you are well and looking forward to your next challenge?
How did I do it is a different matter:
- Maybe because I was determined to finish, because I dropped down to the 24 hr challenge on my last 100 miler attempt, ( Viking Challenge Mar 2018) as my IT band played up and I’ve regretted not carrying on ever since. I let the rain and mud beat me.
- Maybe my Run Streak has made me impervious to running’s difficulties such as aches and pains, boredom, chafing, nutrition and wet gear? 5K a day or more every day and today was day 166. No walking allowed. 🙂
- Maybe I was just absolutely determined to get sub-24 this time and my brain just kicked in and did it for me.
- Maybe I was so worried about not finishing the first few laps as my feet have been aching so much since my 3 back-to-back marathons in Feb, that I was just glad to be running and started enjoying it? Still no idea why they have ached for a full month but won’t know until my immediate ache today has gone.
- Maybe I was determined to not let that bloody relentless wind and that incessant all-consuming all-encompassing freezing cold, bone-chilling torch-lit rain to delve into my very soul and destroy me.
- Maybe I was too worried about my fingers getting too cold in the rain at night (I used 4 Hothands hand warmers at once) that I never noticed how hard I was running? I have a thing where my fingers go really yellow/ white if really cold and they go numb- no idea what it is but they go back to normal when warm so no worries for me as long as they are warm. I’ve googled it and think it’s Reynauds but means nothing as I’ve got it under control.
- Or maybe I was 100% focussed on getting it done and done properly (sub24).
What I do know is I enjoyed the wind and formulated a strategy to cope with it and still keep on time.
I was prepared with fresh shoes (Brooks Ghost 11), socks and t shirt at 50 miles. This was all my usual training gear so “comfort” wear to get me through the night. The fresh shoes were the best decision I made.
I packed and used 4 pairs of gloves and 4 hats.
I had a very good new coat (OMM Kamleika) which I wore after lap 3 of 27.
I kept my nutrition strategy really simple- Clif bars every hour until I couldn’t eat any more (after 7) then roughly 500ml pre-flattened Coke with a teaspoon of matcha green tea in until the last 25 miles when I just sipped coke when I could or thought I should to keep hydration and sugar levels up.
Also I made a really simple decision early on that after dark I would focus solely on running and finishing as fast as I could in the wind and rain and dark and not talk to anyone unless they say hello. All day I said “well done” to everyone who I passed as I love encouragement so like to share but after dark I concentrated. Seemed to work with no distractions.
I’ve just realised how much I’ve written that I’m going to make this a blog post! (Hope you don’t mind)
Just after registration and about and hour to the start.
This was my first marathon hat/ set up
2 marathons in and change of clothes for the night about to set in- headtorch in pocket ready. Warmer buff and usual morning thermal hat
70 miles in and change of gloves. Hat in pocket as getting hot running before the rain
Just about to drive home after finishing and receiving my medal and t shirt. I look shattered.
The medal! Gold of course for sub 24 hour finish.
I came sixth! Yey!
The t shirt. Love the grey.
I used Garmin Ultratrac to save battery hence the few weird lines on this view. I also charged whilst running between miles 50 to 70 before the rain and ended up with 51% battery at the end so it worked.