Monday, July 08, 2013

Sixmilebridge 10in10 Marathon #5

A weather map never seen before
And if we thought yesterday was hot ... It was 28C/83F as we started our marathon today, and I suspect that was measured in the shade, so it was even hotter for us running in the sun. I even thought it was much cooler by the time I was finished, but it was still 25C at the time which until yesterday would have qualified as a major heatwave in my books. It's absolutely incredible. We have spent the last three summers holed up in our houses looking out at the miserable weather, hoping that one day we might see the sun again, and then a heatwave strikes on the very week we are supposed to run a marathon every day.

Actually, my legs felt better today. Maybe my body is already starting to adapt to the rather extreme exercise regime, you never know. It made for a difference; yesterday I had spent all day worrying about my legs, today was spent worrying about the heat instead.

It was a quieter day today, there were just 3 runners doing an individual marathon and the 10in10 field has shrunken a bit by now. Rik took off up front and for the first 3 miles I stuck fairly close to Stu until the pace felt just a bit too strong in the oppressive heat and I let him go. I was doing my ultramarathon survival shuffle for most of the day, which I know I can keep going for a very long time, but it's not the fastest way to run. The legs felt surprisingly good. Had I not worn my Garmin I would have sworn I was running at least as fast as yesterday, but the numbers told a different story. I set out at about 8:20 pace which kept degrading slowly but steadily. Towards the end of my first loop I met Rik on his way out for the second loop and he looked far too cheerful for my taste. His running is absolutely amazing. At the halfway point I required an emergency pitstop, very much in reminiscence of my race here last November. I even used the same toilet. At least it did not cost me victory today.

It was the coke I'd had at mile 9 that caused those stomach cramps, so I'll know better in future. My stomach might have felt better after that stop but my pace kept deteriorating, even though I could have sworn I was still running at the same pace and effort as before. By the time I reached THAT climb at mile 23 (which I have by now officially christened The Bitch) the Garmin was showing 8:40, and I had to work hard to keep the damage at that.

I finished in 3:48:58 (my own watch), rather surprisingly in third place and only a couple of minutes behind Stu, but far behind Rik who does not seem to notice that we have run five marathons in a row.

I know the course very well by now, I have given nicknames to plenty of spots along the way and mentally tick them off one by one as I pass them twice each day. It helps cutting the long distance into much smaller chunks.

And so we have reached half way. From the first step tomorrow we will have to cover less distance than we have already done. My legs are feeling much better than I anticipated they would, but I still live in fear of injury. I do get the odd twinge from my achilles and my knees are sending some pain signals every now and again. My legs felt better today but the pace was 11 minutes slower, so make of that what you will. On the plus side, we will all be very well adapted to running in the heat by the end of the week.

By the way, today was fancy dress day.

Always make sure your lipstick does not smear when running a marathon in 30C

Never seen that blue background before!
8 Jul
Sixmilebridge 10in10 Marathon #5
   3:48:57, third place


  1. Thomas well done. I won't say anything about your fancy dress, other than surprised ):
    Rik ran an unbelievable race today, 1:40:00 and 1:41:02 splits for a 3:21:02, his fastest to date.
    Half way there every step now, and every step is a step nearer the finish.

  2. you were flying it today on the way back out to do the second loop, looked no bother to you. Congratulations on the first female home today :-)


  3. Greetings from Quebec ... well done so far Thomas, I like the way your marathon ultra-shuffle is the speed that most of us run a marathon at ... by losing 5 minutes a day you are in line to be back at the rubbish runner stage by marathon #10 !! back to where it all began. Enjoying the updates and keep it up.

  4. Halfway there, stay focused, you are doing great!

  5. What? No photos? Do you think your costume slowed you down?

    If you're anywhere near that ultra shuffle pace in Connemara next month you'll ace the course!

    Keep up the good work. This "research project" will yield invaluable information for the running community.

  6. Well done, Thomas!! Don't be so hard on yourself. What kind of outfit did you wear? Keep on runnin'!!

  7. This running for a cause is going to stuff your lifetime average marathon time ;-)