2. Pressure is a good and bad thing. A lot of were people talking about the race on twitter and facebook. I got nervous especially knowing that I had been sitting at home the last two weeks and was going to be running carrying a niggle. So I turned off Facebook and Twitter and felt much better. I made a plan. Life is always better with a plan. 1. Finish the race. 2. Win the race 3. Break the course record. 4. Enjoy the race, its what you love doing with the added bonus that every so often people appear, who you don't even know cheering your name and offering you snacks.
|Centurions biggest fan (after Rich)|
4. I love my great support team. My long suffering husband, who is my number one support in this campaign of mine to ruin myself over longer and harder distances. We spent the evenings before the race practising water fill ups at speed (hilarious for the neighbours) he was at every check point and he has picked up the pieces in the 48hrs post race apocalypse. My big sister who had the kids on her own for 13 hrs. My wonderful neighbours and running club friends who came to Alfiriston where I knew I was going to struggle and then drove on to the finish to all cheer me on. The wonderful Centurion Team and volunteers who run such brilliant races and really do help ordinary people complete amazing feats.
5. Have a Kenyan Training pack (words of my Hero Paul Navesey http://ultrapaulo.wordpress.com/) or just train with people who are way better than you so you spend all the time sweating and swearing behind them. If you can put up with the pain, it does make you faster. I love training hard, it was perhaps to my detriment that I trained too hard on the long runs running harder than I needed, but it was a lot of fun and many happy memories of laughing over the South Downs, mainly at Rich Ashton (who finished a very impressive 2nd place and is the funniest person I know http://icesnowfearandlaughter.blogspot.co.uk/)
6. Know the course. I had run every inch of that course a number of times, Steyning Stinger marathon, Three Forts Marathon and three times with different combinations of really fast boys. I had even gone as far as to replicate the inclines and distance of the hills on treadmill sessions during school lunch breaks. You cant fault my drive. I knew where all the 'hard' sections were. perhaps this was to my detriment, I knew what was coming and spent the miles before dreading it rather than concentrating on what I was actually doing. Lesson learnt.
|Photo courtesy of Simon Hayward|
8. If I don't eat I lose my head. I didn't eat enough. 4 gels, 1 bar and 2-3 bottles of electrolyte. Once my blood glucose drops I lose the ability to rationalise the importance of eating and start to believe I am invincible. This is the time when I also drop off pace, start plodding, lose all competitive drive and want to lie down and die. My stomach kept cramping and I had to keep stopping, I thought if I didn't eat I could just hold it together for the last 10 miles, I feared if I put anything into my stomach I would end up in a bush for a long time. Instead I ended up throwing up for the next 12hrs and not drinking or eating anything till lunchtime the next day. Crash and burn. Not pretty and wont be repeated.
9. Eddie when things really hurt and you really cant wait to see that blue banner, remember why you are doing this. Because you love running. Because you love the people you meet when running. Because it inspires other to go out and challenge their horizons. Because at home are two little boys who are waiting for your medal and to put their arms around you and say 'Well done Mummy, can we watch cartoons now?' Because by reaching to the depths of your reserves you realise you are not even touching your limits of endurance.
10. Belief. Believe and you will achieve. James, Paul and Bryn kept telling me to belief in my training not only in the lead up to the race, but during the race too. Belief, I had written on my hand. And during the race I did nothing but doubt myself, doubt my body and doubt my mind. I am disappointed that I let all the fear of failure and pressure seep into my strength. But on reflection I can and will learn so much from this race.
|Courtesy of Drew Sheffield, who I have never been so happy to see,!|