Another race to demonstrate my poor recollection of any race I ever do though I may have an excuse for this one. Last year Ian and I went to Salisbury the night before and decided to get absolutely hammered, just to see what would happen in the race. It actually went quite well, 3.45 in a 27 mile off road marathon. Or so I thought it was off road.
I arrived here in slightly better wear than last year, still really unfit but not quite so hungover. I got a lift with Oli and was taking advantage of his new found desire to do every race in the UK. And his mum's car...
This is a very well organised race considering it only costs £10 to enter and involves being given a page of directions. I don't recall from last year getting lost so was hopeful that I could just follow others and keep on track. It starts in Salisbury and takes a scenic loop passing 5 somethings 4 somthing elses 3 2 1 etc. I can't remember what is what. I remember a cathedral.
I ran the first half with Oli who had done a hilly 30 mile race the day before. Jen was also here doing her second trail marathon in as many weeks and it was great to see her ditch the road marathon rat race to join us in more fun surroundings. She set off like a bullet and I was in no mood to try and follow her.
I was only accidentally a bit hungover for this one. I was supposed to meet Rob in the pub in central Westminster the night before, he ended up being late and hence I ended up getting pissed. It was purely an accident. I wasn't expecting to be able to keep up with Oli for long and certainly after I had to stop and do the Pope's job in the woods again. However I put on a bit of a sprint and caught him up again.
There was a lot more road running than I recalled from last year. At least two thirds is on road. I was disappointed with this although I was struggling with the off road sections. Oli left me on a grassy bit at about half way and ended up taking half an hour out of me. As Oli sped off I just felt like I'd hit a wall. I had no energy left.
2 months ago while enjoying a really nice run I decided to change my life drastically and become a vegan. Now 2 months on while suffering again during a long run and feeling much worse in the same places I was running last year I decided to change it back. No more veganism. It was fun trying and I learn a lot about food. I'm sure it can be done by someone with more patience and time than me but that isn't me.
I struggled on, getting passed by people as my legs gave up. I thought a lot about the Spartathlon. In my current state there was no way I was going to finish it. I had a plan to run as much of August as possible and knew that I couldn't do it like this. Then I thought a lot about milkshake. How I ran so much without milkshake is beyond me.
The end of this race was quite funny from last year. Whoever puts out the markers obviously gets way to enthusiatic about it at the start and then realised after about 18 miles that he is running low on signs. Then the signs appear only every mile or so. Many got lost in the closing stages of the race. i seemed to know where to go from last year and stumbled in 4.01 or thereabouts. 15 minutes slower than last time.
I want to remember this for a while. The shitty feeling of bad running so that I can feel better about good running. I have a massive month of running planned to get me into the shape I need to be for Greece. I'm going to start by eating some Haloumi.