Hell on the Humber

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Ultra marathon / 12 hour endurance race
18 August 19:00 start; 19 August finish 07:00

Very warm weather, humid 27C.  Turned cooler in the early morning hours, 17C.

Ran with Jeff on this my first ultra.  It involves running/walking a 4 mile loop over the Humber Bridge and back, for 12 hours.  Sounds easy but the weather, inclines, length of race and night hours conspire to make it tough.  Felt good at the start and set out easy, knowing we had to leave plenty of energy for later.  Gradually switched to doing more walking than running.  Left knee had a niggle and I got a blister on my right foot.

We’d ordered pizza and it didn’t arrive until we ended a lap about 01:00.  Managed to eat a few slices but my stomach could not face lots and lots and felt light headed for a few seconds.  Gave me a good boost though.  (On the night £450 of pizza was ordered by runners, beating last years amount by a lot.)

Was pleased with my hydration – kept it going carrying drinks a lot of the time and sipping regularly, with regular visits to the loo.  Kept nibbling crisps and jelly babies, but didn’t need any of the gels I took.

The participants and stewards were great.  The nature of the course meant you saw the same people again and again and again, and most entered into the spirit of the race and returned a smile and encouragement.  After the event I am surprised that many of the participants seem keen to stay in touch via Facebook and talk about running and races.  A special atmosphere created by the tough event and small numbers involved.

Credit to the organisers, they got most things right and posted hundreds of free pics on FB for participants to help themselves.  No rip-off charges for pics like big city events.  Brilliant.

Really enjoyed running with Jeff and have lots of good memories of the night, to add to my blister.  Next race is the Berlin Marathon in under 6 weeks.

I didn’t bother with measuring anything with Garmin, as the battery would not have lasted.  Jeff’s Garmin data is below for reference.

Distance:  72.73km (officially counted as 11 laps = 44 miles)
Time:  11:45
No HR or pace data.
Calories:  Jeff 4963 – Me estimated 5500-6000

training run #419

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Saturday 31 March, 05:11 (yes, really!)

Overcast and breezy, 9C.  Started out early as we have a lot to do later in the day and I wanted to try to get 20 miles in.  Started out at an easy pace, and I couldn’t see the Garmin in the dark anyway to check splits.  As it got lighter I could see it was a slow pace but didn’t speed up to save energy for later.  Carried 3 packs of jelly babies, 4 gels and 500ml water, and got through them all gradually through the run.  Had the usual calf niggles but nothing too serious and no new problems.  Did the same route as the 18 mile runs I’ve done recently, and added 2 loops of the northern lake to add 2 miles.  Had some drizzle on a couple of the RV laps, but not too heavy and it was refreshing.  I finished with a bit more energy than the 18 mile runs, because of the better pacing.  Could have carried on a bit, which is encouraging – after recent 18 milers I’d been spent.  Pleased that the HR stayed in the 140s most of the time.  This is the longest training run I’ve ever done, and is only bettered by the Paris and Rome marathons I’ve completed.  It really feels like I’m on track for the Manchester marathon, just need to stay injury-free for a few more weeks.

Distance:  32.3km
Time:  3:19:02
Avg HR:  143bpm
Avg pace:  6:10 min/km
Calories:  2148