Marius Bakken had advised 3 days between my 3 hour run and the race but i could only fit the long run in 2 days before the Standish race, would it be enough time to recover?
Once again it was a case of just 3 hours in bed after a heavy night shift.
I stumbled out of bed bleary eyed and groggy, I should be use to this by now, I thought!
Dr Simon kindly gave me a lift to the start. We met fellow team mates Vicky and Andy at the sign on and we got into a discussion on how we might do here.
I quick recky of the course showed us that heavy over night rain had turned the route into a 'mud bath'.
Before we knew it we were on the start line, like startled rabbits confronted by a bright headlight we nervously waited for the count down, 3,2,1 GO!!!
A mass of runners charged off, splashing through deep potholes as we made our way along the muddy and wet cart track.
I kept my calm as all around runners stormed off, remembering Pete magill's advice [ see article below] i tried to keep a steady effort.
after half a mile the first hill came into sight as we turned a sharp corner. The uneven surface made it hard to get the power down, the first lady was now just ahead of me, but she promptly pulled away. I pumped my knees high and leaned my body forward from the ankles.
After a couple of mins of very steep climbing i reached the top, i banged it up a gear and charged hell for leather on the long downhill, overtaking quite a few runners as i went.
I pulled back the first lady just before we decended into the forest.
Sharp bends and lots of mud followed to catch the unwary out. after a fast downhill section we turned back and climbed up through the woods. I started to go through a bad patch as my power drained away, the group I was with passed and pulled away, inc 1st lady.
Don't panic I thought, I remembered what I had read somewhere and started to breath from my belly, replacing my rapid chest breathing with nice deep breaths of oxygen.
Coming out of the woods there is a short tarmac section with a couple of steep ramps up and down, the last short hill brought me to some steps which climbed out on to a field, no ordinary field this you understand, but the muddiest, slimiest field ever!
Up ahead I could still see the group that had left me behind back in the woods.
I locked on to them as i slipped and slided my way up the field.
Soon I was starting me second lap and fighting my way up the first climb again, I was getting my second wind and starting to pull the guys ahead back, the closer I got to them the faster my legs picked up the pace. I was possessed with a new power a new energy, over the top and I hurtled down the descent at full speed, catching a guy in red then pulling up behind a guy in black as we start our voyage through the woods again.
This time i feel strong on the climb up through the trees, then disaster! I slip and fall on a sharp muddy corner, I quickly regain my feet and charge after my two assailants.
Winded at first I quickly recover and fight my way back up to them as we exit the forest for the last time. up the steps back onto the dreaded slime field and disaster no 2, I fall again, dam!!!
determination takes over and i accelerate passed the guy in black then lock into the guy in red as we reach the turn for the final half mile back to the finish. The first lady is still a good 20 sec ahead and out of my reach!
Side by side we test each other out, i take the lead for a bit, then he comes back, splashing through the pot holes. he kicks hard and I try to respond but my legs are a spent force, i trail in behind him in 17th place and 1st vet 45, a good workout, the 20 miler in a couple of weeks should give me a better indication of how I'm doin as far as marathon preparation is going, but this has been fun in a strange kind of way :]
The team did well we got first male and female teams, Tracey was second lady and Christine first v 50.We won a truck load of prizes :]
Simon had a fantastic run and ran 2 mins faster than last year a big achievement in the muddy conditions!
Thanks again to Paul Carrol and his team for putting on a great race.
Remember the next in the series is here is in Oct, don't miss it!
Also try and support the Haigh hall summer races, awesome fun :]
So there you have it, the story so far, now back to the training!
Note; photo shows last years event.