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Session 16. Trail marathon.

Yesterday was my long run, and thoroughly enjoyable it was too, but it was not without its problems afterwards!

On the Saturday, I tried Haverhill Parkrun with two fellow Ely Runners. I decided not to flog myself to death as I had the planned long run the next day. Haverhill turned out to be wet and muddy: just my kind of thing.

I ate well the day before the long run, and made sure I was properly hydrated; I also ate a sizeable bowl of porridge the next morning. Both collapsible water bottles were filled with the right amount of Tailwind, and two pouches of baby food as well as some Haribo were packed into the ultra vest.

Preparations

I decided to head out along the River Cam towards, and hopefully as far as Waterbeach. It was a gorgeous day for a run, and a shirt was plenty warm enough for the whole session. I stopped at just after mile 6 for a pouch of the baby food, which I really enjoyed despite it being cold. I might have imagined it, but the food seemed to give me a real boost, and I stomached it well. I kept well-hydrated on the run, even managing to drink whilst running (something I do not find at all easy). I spread out the Haribo along the whole run, and I had another pouch of food at around mile 15.

The route was particularly beautiful.

Stunning views of a Cathedral that never seems to get any nearer!

I need to use more gorgeous routes like this for the long runs, as I think it helps keep the mental battle more in favour of the positive voices in my head. I think I managed to slow things down, and I was forced to reduce the pace beyond mile 20 anyway. It was quite a technical and muddy run in places, and thinking about where I placed my feet with every step was necessary in order to avoid turning an ankle; so, in parts, quite a demanding run.

The interesting thing about today’s marathon distance is my reaction afterwards. I have run a few marathons as races, and once before as a training run, as well as a few 18 and 20 mile distances. My reaction after them is mixed, but I was pretty much fine after the last marathon distance training run. This time, once I got home, I drank a pint of squash and got in the bath, once out, I started to feel quite unwell, and went to bed for three hours: I slept solidly, and then got up and started the usual ‘eat everything that I could’ routine. I am puzzled by this reaction, as I had slept well the night before, I have ran this distance before and I was sure I had got the nutrition and hydration right. Perhaps I am a little over-trained? Maybe there is no real rhyme or reason and the next one will be fine? Maybe it was just a tough 26 miles due to the state of the trail? What I am reassured by is that, although a little bit stiff here and there, I feel pretty good today considering what I did yesterday!

Onwards….

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