After the Marriott’s Way Half Marathon, I was left feeling I needed more rest, so, I have tried to do less between booked races. Yet still, I am left feeling that the engine is strong, yet the body is weak. Only yesterday, a very experienced runner and coach told me that I should expect to feel the effects of Peddars for a long time, especially given it was my first ultra! This makes sense, as I have been able to take part in and complete all of my booked events, but they have felt really tough!
This year’s Cambridge Half Marathon was superb as usual, and this year I decided to worry less about time and more about enjoying the race and taking it in more! This is why I jumped at the opportunity of running this amazing event with Pete and Lauren (Lauren – girl running late). What I forgot, is that their easy run and pace is not mine! Their easy pace is not at my maximum effort, but it is not at my easy pace! This will explain why all the way around this race, Pete looked totally relaxed and smiley, and Lauren was grinning, laughing and chatting for the whole duration: they really enjoyed it! I did too, but I was busting a gut! Plenty of Ely Runners laughed at the event photos, where Pete and Lauren were clearly having a ball, and I looked quite serious! Despite me urging them to go off and get a better time, they refused and stuck with me to the end. My time was OK, but slower than last year (a common theme for me in 2019).
I love to cycle, and I signed up for the Ely Tri Club Duathlon ages ago. I did not train for it properly, and knocked out just two brick sessions in the weeks leading up to the event. A few days before the duathlon, Kyle, known locally at ‘Sproketman,’ visited me at home and serviced my bike. He did a superb job, sorting my surrealist gears and adjusting the seat as well as giving the bike an all over tune-up. Do get Sproketman to look at your bike! Sproketman
The weather was dreadful on the morning of the duathlon, and I really didn’t know what I was doing; I had no real idea how to approach the transitions, and I was a little worried about breaking any of the strict rules (like I was going to be slipstreaming anyone)! This was another event Lauren was signed up for, and she showed up looking less than happy (cold, tired and generally cheesed off about being there). Lauren went on to finish as first lady in her age category: quite typical of her to arrive looking so fed up and then leave with a trophy!
The first 5K was fine, with me keeping at a steady pace through the village and around a disused airfield before getting back to the transition area; it was here that I realised belting out 5K was not conducive to remembering what to do in the transition pen. Luckily, Ely Runner and Ely Tri Club member, Samantha was at hand and at about the same stage in the race as I was: she gave me some advice, and a marshal yelled at me to turn my bib number round as I ran my bike out to the road. Physically, the 25K cycle felt fine, but mentally it was a huge challenge. There was a gale and almost horizontal rain at some stages, and at Way Head and Coveney, the weather was so bad it almost got me blubbing. It was as I pulled into the transition area back at the start that thing started to go pear-shaped. My hands were frozen as I dismounted from the bike, and I was pretty much soaked through; thinking was a struggle let alone getting ready for the final 5K run. Consequently, my transition was around two minutes long! Kyle and Nick (Ely Runner) both yelled lots of encouragement at me, and Nick had a bit of a laugh at my soaked and muddy backside! I ditched my cycling jacket, turned my number round and then covered 5K again, but not really in a way that could accurately be described as running. My legs were like two strands of cooked spaghetti, and the final leg of this event was really tough mentally. I am fairly sure what I was feeling was not just the effects of the duathlon, but the remnants of Peddars Way! Fun though!
Brandon parkrun said it was their birthday, and fancy dress would be welcome. Two people turned up in fancy dress. I must have lost a stone in weight from sweating, and the less said about the whole affair the better!
Having ran the inaugural Oundle 20 Mile race last year, I thought it would be worth giving it another bash. Speedy Pete wanted to achieve his furthest distance to date and not go out too fast, so we agreed he would run with me for a while. Pete and I had a good natter for the first seven miles, with him finding conversation a little easier than I did (again, his easy pace is not necessarily mine). Pete seemed so relaxed at mile seven that I urged him to go off ahead at mile seven instead of the planned mile ten: off he went!
I was OK until about mile seventeen, when I had to strip down to my vest and endure the last part of the race, which seemed to be uphill and into a direct headwind! This race is in a beautiful part of the world, so, despite it being tough I did my best to keep my head up and take it all in. The final mile was uphill, with the wind making it a very challenging finish. I managed a sprint finish of sorts given that Pete and Rob (Ely Runner) were there yelling encouragement. Pete Rob, and another Ely Runner, Alex, all achieved superb times; I was happy enough, but in keeping with 2019’s theme, I was slower than last year. Superb medal!
This blog is generally ramblings when it comes to content as I am not training for an ultra at present (but I soon will be). I am struck by how long after Peddars I am feeling its effects. I lost a fair amount of weight and feel quite weak. I have more rest between events to do, more eating to enjoy, and some serious strength and conditioning work to plan.
I have some great events booked and on the calendar. More another time.