Marathon 3 – Ranscombe Spring Challenge
Okay so I knew the course having done the Halloween run last October but I did feel like I’d wasted a month with a step down in training. But nonetheless I had a game plan and that was to walk the hills!
Mum and dad had come up again and decided to extended their stay to accompany me for marathon number 3! Yippee!
What I hadn’t thought was that Mother Nature would make this a tricky one with rain the night before and on the day. This made the hills slippy on the way up and on the way down.
The first four laps were as expected. The game plan was going well. But the ground was getting harder in as much as you felt like your shoes were a ten ton weight by the time you got to the top with all the additional mud that was clinging to the soles. And the second half which is downhill was now a mud run!
Come lap 5 I decided I needed to give myself a break so I headed out on a speed March. I knew I was okay for time as it was an 8 hour limit, hey I might even go an extra lap and do an ultra! The number of runners out had declined a fair bit by this point. At the halfway point I decided to get running again as mum and dad had said they’d see me off for my final lap. This certainly spurred me on again!
A quick breather before the final lap, a few hi’s and I was off again. Once again I’d decided to go easy as Marathon four was only two weeks away, so off I walked once more. I got talking to a lady doing her 99th and learnt some new tips and tricks for next year’s marathons. Before the halfway point we were joined by a guy doing his 100th which he’d managed to achieve in 2 years, makes my plan seem more than achievable! It was a great chance to take the mind off the final stretch. However with the lure of the home straight I started running again just after the halfway point and from there kept up a steady, what I’d call, plod! Out of the woods one last time I could just make out mum, dad and Traviss with my medal and goody bag at the ready! I was almost done! A few jokes from dad, ‘faster faster’ and I’d finally completed number 3!
Nutrition wise I’d got my backpack for water which I find reassuring more than anything as it means if my mouth get too dry I’ve got liquid on me. I had a nibble on my salt flapjack and a Jaffa cake! That was it! No gel at all this time round. Winner! You really don’t need all this sugar and stuff that some say you do.
Another amazing Saxon Shore event under my belt, but it did dawn in me that is got another two events at Ranscombe this year to go! Oops! Oh well, same tactics will apply just hoping the weather’s a little kinder! Not too much though as I’ve heard on warm days it’s a little too warm!
Which has got me thinking I wonder how I will cope in the heat as all my training to date has been in a cooler climate! But hey that’s the point of this year slowly building up to get use to the distance, then I can switch to doubling up in one weekend and increasing the pace. I know some people go out on their first attempt with a goal in mind but I’m taking a slower approach so as not to put me off the distance. After all, there’s at least 93 other opportunities for in tracing speed!
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Also published on Medium.