Tuesday, 26 February 2013

“Everything is possible if you believe`..................

So a bit of a last minute entry – I paid up last Sunday but had the slight advantaged I had run this race twice before (2010 – 06:04:56 & 2011 – 06:30:37 ) and been running well so I `knew` I could do it even I ran & walked the course like in 2010.
Come race day and unsure of what the actual weather would be – forecasting cold with snow flurries - I decided to pack everything. Seeing as I wasn`t leaving till 1.00pm I decided I would also run my local parkrun - which was great (30:55), hopefully that burnt off a bit of excitement. I left on time & made short work of the trip across to Kent. Because I booked late the hotel just around the corner was full, this did mean I was about 1/2hr out but ok. The hotel was fine – the message on the key fob was a good omen……
I got changed & left in plenty of time – I wanted to check into the race in plenty of time plus wanted to chat to the newly married Mike & Tracy, also I wanted to catch up with Chris – who I knew I was looking to put in a good time. At first felt a bit odd not being at the pub – I did wonder how I would feel coming around the corner later on & having to run another 1.5 mile or so rather than just the few yards..
By this time the wind had picked up a bit & the temperature had dropped – for the first time this Winter I had put on my compression longs. I was also wearing a compression t-shirt, arm sleeves, long sleeved helly top, another T-shirt plus a wind proof jacket, gloves, hat & a buff pulled up past my nose – yes it was a bit nippy J I had also gone for road shoes – hoping the course conditions were kind. That really was the thing here – good ground conditions = good time, tough conditions & you knew you were in for a tough time. We were lucky the ground conditions were good. I had parked up just after the race RQ which meant on each lap I could check in & then go to the car for something to drink, eat & maybe change shoes / clothes  – I had also planned to `tweet` on each lap.
Soon enough we assembled in the main tent ready for the off – with the briefing from Mike we lined up on the road – I was very near the back. As usual the race was started by the BANG of the firework, with head torches we were ready for the off - `BANG`  we were off….. The `race` plan (still odd that I have a race plan for an event over 32 miles !!!) was maybe sneaked a PB – about 11m/mile. Too slow for Chris – I didn`t see him at all. Like I have found with most lapped events the first lap is always `social` chatting along finding out what other runners are aiming for, what they are training for, what other events they had done etc….and this was no exception. I did after about 3miles run along aide Mike, someone I met through the BUPA 10,000  in 2010 – so did Tracy (Congratulations again) we ran together – we saw Tracy at the pub & chatted for the rest of the lap. I did say I would stop for a drink , Mike said he would carry on….Lap one in 01:07:xx
I did also want to try something a bit new for me (Try nothing new in races eh !!!) was that I wanted to listen to an audiobook on the iPod. The `book` was going to listen to was `The Secret` - LINK  which I was looking forward too. As it happened I was on my own for the started alone for this 2nd lap – that first bit of the lap – wow the wind came right at you !!! Soon enough I found my pace – it certainly helped listening to this `positive thinking` type of book plus it was really interesting. Soon enough I had caught up with Mike again, I turned off the iPod & chatted – again allowed him to get the 1st hug at the pub. Again Mike didn`t stop at the race HQ – Lap two in 02:17:xx  (Lap time 01:10:xx). Again I stopped for a drink & a gel.
That wind at the start of the lap hadn`t died down – in fact it got a bit colder (or maybe I had). iPod back on – if you get a chance & it`s your thing I do recommend reading or listening to this book. Anyway soon I caught up with Mike – I didn`t stop as I was feeling really good – I think I had just equalled my fastest mile – 09:11. I went past Tracy which caught her unaware & I said Mike was just behind. Soon enough I could see the lights of the Race HQ – again quick drink & gel & tweet – Lap 3 in 03:26:xx (Lap time 01:09;xx).

On lap 4 – it had started to snow / hail –which made seeing the ground by head torch very interesting…. Now this all this `positive thinking` been playing into my ears I couldn`t help but feel good. It seemed the laps were getting quicker to go round even thou my actual speed was not increasing – an odd feeling. Despite the course being a bit churned up at this stage esp at the cross over I kept to the same plan – run (i.e. no walk breaks) & only stopping to drink at the half way marshals point – I did steel the odd jelly baby along the way esp at the aptly named Jelly Baby Corner  J I do recall I mentioned to the marshal at `half way drinks` station I had 1.5 laps to go rather than saying 10 miles left which I guess is how good I was thinking. Anyway  and soon enough the Pub & Tracy & then the last mile or so to the Race HQ. - Lap 4 (26.2M) in 04:36 (lap time – 01:10:xx) – which was really pleasing.
In this last mile of my lap 4 a runner went past me – Keir Williams - who finished 32.75M in 04:32 – an amazing time.

I was a little sad to start out on my last lap as I was feeling so good – really an odd sensation but I was feeling really good. As this was my last lap I made sure I thanked all the marshals for the last time – they were superstars at least we could speed up if we wanted to warm up. I saw a few runners in trouble & made sure they were ok. Again quite quickly I found myself with half a lap to go. I recall picking up the pace a little here. Through the cross over – and still I was getting a bit confused by the actual layout out the course…past Jelly Baby Corner for the last time & out on the road section – past the pub which was closed by now L I decided to see what I had left in the legs in this last mile or so….After what seemed a few minutes I was heading towards the Race HQ for the last time.
I thanked all the marshals, the time keeper – I collected my medal & certificate & grabbed a coffee – I saw Chris who, despite stomach problems ran a blinder & got 4th spot. After getting changed I thanked Mike for putting on a splendid event & grabbed another coffee.
My time was 05:44:11 – the final lap in 01:08:xx
Splits – 9:46, 9:57, 10:14, 10:23, 10:24, 10:20, 15:22, 9:39, 9:48, 9:54, 9:30, 9:46, 10:14, 15:06, 9:19, 10:11, 9:19, 9:45, 9:52, 14:16, 9:28, 9:35, 10:13, 9:38, 10:07, 9:41, 15:00, 9:40, 9:52, 10:02, 9:58, 9:56 7:40 (0.92M @8:23). Guess where I stopped at the car.
I am so happy with this run – it has to go down as one of my best runs – Even lap splits, Ran all 32.75 Miles,  a double run with a parkrun, a 20 min or so PB PLUS it makes the `scores on the Marathon doors` even – Marathons run = 10 v Ultra Marathons run = 10 :-)
PS I nearly finished the book -  `Everything is possible if you believe`

Results - LINK
Next up – This Sunday – Surrey Spitfire 20 - and if you see me running at PB please feel free to rugby tackle me or climb on my back and ask for a fireman`s lift.
A great video clip……` Life is all about perspective – change how you look at the world!” or as they say in the book – “If you are unhappy then change the channel”




1 comment:

  1. Mr. K. Was lovely to see you and in such good spirits :) We won't tell Mike you even got the hugs when he wasn't there ;) Well done :) See you Bupa London in May!