Thursday 3 October 2013

Going out with a bang, not a whimper

The last race I'm signed up for this year (at the moment) is an 80km Ultra Marathon.  And it's a trail race, "The 2013 Rowbotham's Round Rotherham International Trail Event of 80 km, 50 miles.  An undulating route with, overall, 800 m of climb through the South Yorkshire Forest." (that's twice the height gain as in the IM UK 70.3 run course, which is well known for being a touch tricky)

And I've still never, technically, run a marathon.

I have two weeks to go from this weekend, having put in a lot more running this week compared with my usual training (varies from 20-40km a week usually, this week will hit 60-65km - for a runner, that's pretty much no running at all, but then I'm not a runner), so there's no gains to be had in fitness, endurance or speed at this point.  All I can do is look after myself, turn my legs over a few times each week, get some good quality rest and sleep, and eat well.

Follow the bottom ones

My biggest worry is getting lost on the day.  The only course markings are little walking route discs (Rowbotham's Round Rotherham, not the Rotherham Ring Route), not dissimilar to the Capital Ring markers which were a large portion of the route markings for the London Ultra.  And often you don't get those in the middle of a field when you need to turn left (as happened at Richmond Park at the London Ultra).  However there are GPS routes and Wainwright strip maps/descriptions.  So I think I'll be fine.

My second biggest worry is my quads and whether they can take it.  They were the part of me that started to break down in the London Ultra and it's because I hadn't done any strength work in around a year and I don't run lots, so my leg muscles aren't that resilient.  Towards the end of London they really really hurt.  Quite a lot.  Downhill, or even a gentle downwards slope became something I dreaded in the last 5-7km as I remember it.  And that was only 51km and I'm even further out from strength training now, having done practically none still since May-ish last year.

Until 18th, my main aim is not to freak out.  And to have a look at whether I can get my iPhone to talk me through the route 'cause that's a lot easier than having to look at a map every 5 minutes.  Yes, I'll have my Garmin watch with the route in it, but that's only really any good for yelling at you when you've gone badly wrong and you're certain that it's right about that.

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