Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Double Round the Reservoir Marathonage

28th – 29th July, Madeyarun Around the Reservoir

This was my first double in absolutely ages and I was much looking forward to it, if not a little disorganised for it; meaning that I left it until the very last minute to get all my kit and stuff together, I literally just flung in everything and anything I thought I might need into numerous bags. It always ends up looking like I’m about to go on some massive expedition! Well, at least I had everything I needed.

I was looking forwards to seeing all of the usual suspects and I was not disappointed. There were so many faces there that I hadn’t seen in such a long time and it was great. It really cheered me up, since at the moment I am finding it pretty hard to muster together the money to do many of these races. This is particularly hard considering that ‘marathon season’ is fast approaching and there are loads of awesome autumn events on the horizon *Grrrrr* It’s a bit of a trying time to be honest, but long distance running always puts a smile on my face.

Marathon Day 1

It had been raining up in the North West, but once down in Northampton the sun really came out. And it was Olympics opening weekend, so I’m sure it was a good omen. It was absolutely boiling in Northampton. It was sunny too. However, it was hotter rather than bright shining sun. I could literally see and feel the salt on my head. I could have exfoliated with it! I think you get the picture how warm it was…

It was a 7 lap course around the reservoir and started off with a shorter loop and then the next 6 laps followed the same path and was slightly longer, ultimately culminating in just over 26 miles and marathon distance. Unfortunately, but very predictably, a few of us got a bit lost on the start of the second and bigger lap. All was ok. It simply meant that we ended up running about half a mile extra, but no big deal. You scratch your head, work out where you went wrong, turn around and get on with it. At least we avoided going wrong again.

There was a check point table of goodies and friendly helpers at the end of the loop and it was lovely to refuel on coke, my favourite and most loved running fuel of choice. I never tire of it and it always gives me and boost and I always look forwards to it. Addicted to cola? Perhaps. I don’t really drink it too much when not running. That is, unless it contains some sort of spirit ;-)

There was a nice mix of cycle paths, grass and off-road on this course. It made things interesting and mixed it up a bit. I’m not the best lover of laps, but when the terrain is variable, it always makes things more interesting and I like that. Also, one side of the reservoir was a lot warmer and more exposed to the sun than the other side. This meant that on the far side of the water there was a lovely cooling breeze. This was the best balance of all.

Overall, this was a nice fun steady run. After I finished I sat under the tree, relaxed and ate some salted crisps. Oh, I also drank some more coke. We were staying in a Holiday Inn and it just happened to be right at the start/ finish, which was ideal. I was able to get a lovely shower, catch up on the day’s Olympic cycling and chill out. I also got a bit dressed up and went down to the bar and refuelled with a nice refreshing pint. Later on, me and a lot of other runners hit a local pub and had some much needed grub…and another pint. I’m pretty sure some had much more than that….

I didn’t get much sleep on the Saturday night because there was a huge 50th birthday party going on in the hotel. It was quite funny listening to all the cheesy tunes though and seeing how hungover some of the other runners were the next day was quite an amusing sight to behold, so I’ll forgive a bit of noise.

Marathon Day 2

I was feeling pretty hungry and took advantage of the buffet style breakfast. I love staying in hotels. I especially love fancy coffee machines that give you fancy frothy coffee. I may have had too many. I needed the caffeine. Today was to be another hot day, but not quite as sunny.

I think I was ever so slightly faster on day 2, which isn’t really saying much because I wasn’t particularly fast on day 1. I guess time is insignificant to me at these types of events. It was just a really very lovely social run.
I didn’t get lost on day 2, but I did get ever so slightly muddy and I definitely got soaked. The heavens opened a bit later on and it really rained quite hard. It started, and then it stopped and then started up again and even threw in a bit of thunder. I didn’t see any lightening, but even hearing thunder when out doing a marathon kind of fills me with a bit of dread. I start to ponder how fast I could run if I really needed to. I also do this with fields and cows. I start to think of possible escape routes and if I could outrun what I fear the most. I guess it makes me run faster, for a bit!  Fortunately the bad weather really started on the last lap and I was safe anyway, I just tend to get ever so slightly paranoid.

I had a really nice run on the Sunday. I had felt slightly ill on Saturday. My stomach felt awful and was cramping up and I think the heat had played a large part in that. Overall, all was good. I did come away with some rather fetching tan lines, however. Apparently the trick is that I need to alter the length of my shorts, but I don’t know how short I’m willing to go haha. I don’t think I can really pull that look off very well! For now I will just be proud of my funky tan lines. All in all this was a really well organised weekend and I really like the medals we got. For doing the double we received a little bonus medal :) I do like bling!

Things I learnt from the weekend?

The threat of lightening makes me run faster. I quite like running in the rain (but I guess that idea is just reaffirmed). Coke is the best drink during a run. Beer is the best drink after a run (and Guinness of course).  I need to alter the length of my shorts…

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