Sunday, 25 September 2011

Recovery mode was over

It was just before 4am. ‘Recovery mode’ was over. Time to get up, eat some sort of breakfast, wake myself up as much as possible and drink a very large coffee.

I was aching quite a bit since High peak 40 and the Pilgrim Farnham marathon the day after; I guess hills always do something to the quads. Sometimes I don’t really ache at all.

I really could have turned off that alarm on Wednesday morning and gone back to sleep! Sometimes the hardest part of doing a marathon is dragging yourself out of bed in the morning when you’re so tired. You would give anything not to have to get up in that moment. Of course, it gets better once you actually adjust to being awake, but I would describe those initial moments as torture…

The Great Barrow Challenge – Day 1
So, I managed to get on the motorway for 5am…there were so many lorries I could hardly believe it! I dodged the lorries and made it past Birmingham in plenty of time to avoid all the traffic…hurrah! However, the traffic soon caught up with me once I had reached the A14 near Cambridge and I was stuck in an awful traffic jam for absolutely ages. This added about an hour to my journey time and my car bonnet started to smoke from engine overheating, eeeek! Thankfully, I eventually got moving again and arrived at race HQ just before 10am. All of the other 26.5 miler people had set off at about 8am, so I was waaaay behind them. I also felt ever so dehydrated from having got up so early and failing to take in enough water in those hours. I had a bit of water, ate a few sweets to perk myself up a bit and set off on my adventure. I felt so disorganised from my lateness. I was faffing about with maps and route descriptions; not wanting to get lost when there was absolutely no-one else in sight. I needn’t have worried…the route was really well marked and the description made perfect sense. I had a great day of running through lovely Surrey countryside and along winding forest tracks. I went past a pig farm, saw lots of wildlife and I even saw a fox in broad daylight. Best of all, there were no cows on the loose and no scary animals to chase me. It was a lovely sunny day.

In the last couple of miles I did manage to catch up with some walkers/ slower runners. I made it back to the finish area; I picked out somewhere to crash that night and got a lovely warm shower. This was going to be a fun couple of days. After a lovely dinner of spaghetti bolognaise, I met up with some lovely friendly familiar runners I know in the bar area and drank some refreshing Guinness – the perfect recovery drink. Marathon 95 was complete.

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