Easter is NOT about chocolate eggs. Not this year anyway. Its about running. Running for a long long time.
The plan was to do a 20 mile circuit – running all the way if I could, but happy knowing that having not done a run anywhere near this long before I may have to do a little walking towards the end. The most important thing is to do the circuit. Not wimping out, no cutting it short, no form of transport other than my own two legs.
With Kate as my support crew – providing crucial liquid refreshments at key points along route I set out just after 11:15. My route would take me from Streatham down to Clapham Common, to Battersea Park, Wandsworth, Putney, Barnes, Kew, Richmond and Richmond Park.
Oddly, for the first 4 miles I simply could not run slow enough. That’s right, SLOW enough. Try as I might to keep it to a 10 minute mile I was under 9 minutes for each of the first 4. But then I found my pace and all was Rosy and going so well until my water ran out just as I got to Putney but all was not lost as Kate was at hand with a top up.
Or so she should have been. It turns out that she didn’t expect me to be ‘on time‘ and wasn’t anywhere to be seen as I ran past our rendezvous. A quick call later we arrange to rendezvous at Barnes bridge – alas for me I think thinking of Hammersmith bridge which was 10 minutes away, and Barnes bridge was another 30 minutes away!
Still, all was still going well. I felt strong and wasnt in pain but that soon started to change as I ran along the tow path as it was rough ground, very wet and I spent a lot of effort running round puddles trying to keep myself dry and clean. I soon gave this up as wasted effort and ploughed through it.
After Barnes bridge, and a refreshment re-supply – Kate managed to there this time 😉 – I continued on – still feeling good.
And a few miles lter it hit me – at about 15.5 miles just hit a wall. My legs turned to lead, I got really thirsty and I was really struggling to keep going. I had expected it at 17 miles and knew that if I could just keep myself going then I would get through it but try as I might I just couldnt keep my legs going! I decided on timed breaks, 1 minute walking and 9 minutes running and kept that going for 3 bursts but then just couldnt get myself to start after my minute rest. However, about 400 meters in front of me I could see the weir just outside Richmond. I decided to walk to that and then run from there past richmond to the Park – and from there I would run/walk the last couple of miles.
And like an angel, Kate turned up again with more water just as I started running again. From there on the worse was past and I ran/walked as planned for the rest of the way.
Finish time: 20 miles: 3 hours 50 Minutes.
Now I’ve felt it once – I am sure I can best it next time! And with the water stops all along the Marathon I wont have to worry about conserving water to just a couple of stop which should also help.
Now, if just the blisters would go down…