Thursday, 22 March 2012

D33 2012

The D33 is an awesome start to the Ultramarathon season. Well organised, friendly, hand crafted medals, beer at the end, good party afterwards - what do you expect if the organiser is George Reid. He is the Chuck Norris of the Ultra community - an absolute legend..

Saying that, though, it is a tough “wee” ultra. The sheer flatness lends itself to faster running and constant pounding. It may be cheap to enter but the real cost will be a few toenails in a day or two.

I didn’t have many goals for this one. I wanted to run my own pace but not go too daft at the start - unlike last year where the wheels came off at 26 miles. A strong finish would do me.

The start was great catching up with lots of familiar faces and friends. Really good to see lots of people trying the longer distance for the first time and also a cracking turnout from Stonehaven Running Club.

I had hoped to do an even 8:30 min mile pace the whole way. For “food” I was going to have a gel at an hour, a gel at 2 hours and then one shot block cube every 10 mins. No additional electrolytes and drink to thirst only. The hydration felt OK but I think I’ll revert to proper food in future. And by proper food I mean the kind of stuff my kids would eat if I let them loose in a supermarket.

For the first 2 hours I was faster than planned (average pace 8:10). However after this I walked whilst eating each shot blok and this reduced my mins per mile even though the running segments were still on pace.

The last 4 or 5 miles were always going to be tough but I felt stronger than last year and much more positive - after all, this is why we paid our entry fee! Came in at 4:40 - time wise this was a small PB but it felt like a consistently better run than last year. It was a joy to see the finish line and I enjoyed some choc cornflake buns and a beer whilst watching other folk come in/catching up with friends for the next couple of hours.

Then tea. Then pub. Then I slept like the dead..

lessons learned:
- I got a stitch. I get this in heat when going a little too fast with no electrolytes or too little water.
- gels and shot bloks are just manky in comparison to real food.
- if it is a flat course then build in some walking periods to your plan.
- remaining positive is key in later stages. If you aren't smiling then slow the hell down.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

End of winter training

Training during Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb was all about getting lots and lots of base mileage under my belt (average 280 per month) .The vast majority of my runs have been on tarmac and dull dull dull. Speed is OK and my slow heart rate runs (70%) are coming in about 8 - 8:30 min miles which means long slow runs are enjoyable!

I now knock out the boring runs during the week so I can get to fun on the trails at the weekend. I’ve had 2 big(ish) sessions over the last few weeks - a four hour run with George and Gavin and a 3.5 hour run with Mike. Both were in sections of Feteresso forest which I’ve never set foot in before and it really does wonders for the soul :)

I’m just seeing the upcoming ultras as a day out running on trails that I don’t normally frequent (with great chat and beer as well!) rather than any sort of achievement. I’m really looking forward to the Highland Fling and Cateran Trail as I’ve never been on them.

I decided to abandon my PB attempts at marathon and HM. I’m too bloody lazy and why would you want to half kill yourself on the road when you can soak up the hills/trails?

First up is the D33 next weekend. Aberdeen to Banchory and back. It is also the week of my 40th birthday AND St Paddys night so I’m sure a few ales will be had..