Lesson 2: When running 10 marathons in a row, do not treat them as marathons. They are ultras regarding effort and pace.
They say gentle exercise like a nice walk is very good for recovery, though I did not feel that walking around Craggaunowen with the kids and Niamh did much for my recovery. But they enjoyed the last sightseeing trip before heading home to Kerry, leaving me behind in my mad quest.
I really was not looking forward to today's run; before the race I described the state of my legs with the highly technical term of "f*cked". I knew it would be tough and the weather forecast of 27C/80F did nothing to allay my fears. It was overcast all morning, which I hoped would stay the case, and even so our car's thermometer went to 21C. Just as we started the race the clouds parted and the sun came out, which would have been very welcome any other time of year, just not when running a marathon, especially not when it's the fourth in a row.
I started with a group of 5 which had melted down to 3 by about mile 8, Rik, Ruthann and me. I was surprised I was able to hang with them, my legs felt better when I was running than before the start. Endorphines are amazing! However, at the start of the second loop Rik put on the turbo boosters and I was not even remotely tempted to go with him. I lost contact to Ruthann as well, and that's when I started suffering in the heat, and that's also when I finally twigged that I was running an ultra, no matter what the official distance said, and went into shuffle/survival mode. I knew the next 12 miles would be tough.
I dealt with the heat reasonably well and the pace did not deteriorate quite as much as I expected. Ruthann's husband George handing me a bottle of Lucozade just before mile 20 was an absolute life saver, it made such a difference. I even caught Ruthann at mile 22, the heat affected her much more than me, but she did manage to come round eventually. That big drag before the end was just as bad as yesterday and I finished in 3:37:39 (as ever, not exactly sure about the seconds), in fifth place overall and once more the second 10in10 runner.
Today was all about surviving the heat and I managed that well enough (there were further casualties in the field). I have now covered over 100 miles and tomorrow evening we will be halfway through.
- 7 Jul
- Sixmilebridge 10in10 Marathon #4
3:37:39, fifth place, second 10in10 runner