Thursday, 8 March 2012

25:25:25 more back to back running

Olympics site
Not even running 100x25 back to back milers will get you in there

So that was pretty difficult.

But I also loved the ridiculousness of running 25 miles, then going to work. And no-one knows what you have just done.

I sat there at my desk inhaling food, giggling to myself at just having run slightly under a marathon and then coming to work as if nothing had happened.

However, having to then get up the next day and run 25 miles again. And then get up the next day and run 25 miles again I wasn't giggling to myself. Particularly in the howling rain on top of Hampstead Heath day 3 at round mile 11. Oh I was not laughing then.

Day 1 was positively fun. The previous week I'd been struggling a little with left knee issues, which had been affecting my whole left leg. My hip hurt. My calf ached, My ankle was stiff. I decided to go see a sports massuer who told me how to tape my knee to give it some support. This worked a treat for me. I don't know if it was psychological or physical, but I don't care. It's a helpful "plan B" option if my knee wants out in the desert.

Anyway day 1. Great knee, great weather, great route, great company (better half). Absolutely loved running down the canal to the Limehouse basin then back up along the Thames. Brought back London marathon memories! Felt good. It took 4 and a half hours - which is way too quick for marathon des sasbles but just felt right on the day.

Day 2 was a different matter. I didn't tape my knee up and it whinged at me all the way round. I also ran (apologies now East Londoners) what I call the grim route. Anywhere around Olympics site/Stratford/Lea Valley/Capital Ring heading East. *Shudder*. Even Victoria Park. The better half also took delight in telling me we had run on top of one of London's main sewer channels. How nice!

I think I don't like running around there as it's always grey weather when I do, and I'm always in that no mans' land territory of half way through a long run.

Anyway I was in a bad place unfortunately and because of my knee I had to walk the last 10k home. The relief though! of getting home was worth it.

All in all took over 5 hours.

Day 3. Oh the mental strategies needed to get myself out the door! I was starting to suffer a little from tight Achilles and a pulled hip muscle. However these did strangely disappear during the day. Probably got fed up of my moaning.

I've been lucky enough to have trained throughout the winter without coming up against any bad weather (bar the snow, but that's pretty). Day 3 of the 25 miler back to back was the exception. Crap weather.

Grey, windy, wet. Grim.

There were periods of running and laughing so hard it hurt at the silliness of it all. These, unfortunately, were few though. Mostly it was a case of disappearing inside myself and just getting on with it and trying not think about it. Or moaning at the other half.

I had to go home half way round as I was just soaked through and getting hypothermia (slight over exaggeration). However, getting changed into dry, warm clothes did wonders for my mental attitude and I stormed the last 10 miles (round and round and round and round and round and round Finsbury Park). Another 5 hour run.

I could not have done this without my better half. He's the most irritatingly sunnyside up, positive person I know. So I'm sorry for giving you the Death Stare when you told me "PMA, PMA!" on top of Hampstead Heath Day 3.

It has also told me I need to sort out my mental strategy for marathon des sables. What am I going to do when the going gets tough, I hurt, I get bored, and I want to give up? How am I going to deal with that?

I'm hoping it will be different in the desert. There will be no rain. There will be no boring, run-before-a-million-times routes. There will be no other tasks I'm worrying about doing when I've finished the run. There will just be me (and 999 others) and the desert.

But I must make sure I enjoy it. That's the point right? How amazing it is that I can run, and that I have got the opportunity to do this. How amazing it is that I have the chance to raise money for three very worthy causes and make a tiny difference. I must remember that.

I cannot wait.


  1. You're amazing! The desert will provide endless beautiful scenery (if sand's your thing!) and I think the camaraderie of the other runners in the event help you along. PLUS the fact you are doing a once in a life tine thing!

  2. 100% agree with @starterfour10!
    Training is bound to be boring at times. Running in itself might feel great, but no matter what, there's only so many laps of Hyde Park you can run before getting bored.
    There will be tough times on the MDS for sure, but running in a group of like-minded friends and discover new scenery around every dune corner will definitely boost your moral up! A lot!
    Good luck, we all have up-and-downs!

  3. Love your posts and reports! You are doing great, and truth be told, in the sand you wont be "running" as much. And you are right, no rain! But it was 120F on the "Marathon Day" last year ;-)
    Good luck, wish I were going back this year! Best advice I got prior to my MdS was that when you reach that point where you are just slogging through mentally and physically.. STOP.. look up and around you and remember how incredibly fortunate you are to be in that place at that moment. Its a beautiful country for all its starkness and you are going to love it. Best, E

  4. Thanks very much for the positive comments - it really keeps me going! a13pt1runner I will remember your sage words.


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