Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The wrong way round - TR250

Ok, so a lot of my peers have questioned the double Thames Ring. I’ll attempt to answer some of those questions here..

Why am I running the main event second?

a) Time. I can only take a week away from work, and starting on Sat fits in nicely as running Weds – Thurs just isn’t possible.

b)  Psychology. Coming in to the finish of the main event, I’m not going to want to grab my medal and run off again. I’m going to want to stop, rest and socialise with the other runners, race support and friends in a nice warm room full of cake.

c)  Assistance. I have no crew, so I’d rather have the supported event on the second loop and have to worry about carrying kit & shopping for supplies while I’m (relatively) fresh.

d)  Support. One of the things that kept me going on the Piece of String in 2013 was the support and encouragement of the W100 runners. When they knew what we were up to they shouted encouragement as they sped past. Some of them even shouted Idiot, which was nice. I’m hoping that at least for the first few miles the main event will give me that same lift. Please feel free to call me Idiot any time you like.

So reasoning out of the way we come to planning, and another area of contention : Sleep.

I will be sleeping during the run. Not actually running and sleeping (though I have done this on occasion and been mildly surprised waking up with a face full of hedge), but actually bivying down for a couple of hours of deep-cycle restorative sleep each day.

It worked well on T184 and combined with the tortoise approach, meant I never felt exhausted at any point in the race. My legs reset each night and when I awoke I was able to run and I had the added benefit that I could think and navigate with a clear head. This really cut down on bonus miles and gave me a better outlook on the race. I’m miserable when I’m tired, and miserable generally leads to me binning the race. Sleep = fresh legs and happy me.

Another area I’d like to cover is respect.

I am a bit of a Tigger character on social media and in life. I’ll bounce into something with no idea what I’m up to and be enthusiastic about anything. I realise it may look like I’ve jumped into a major race with apparent abandon but after a lot of discussion with Lindley, I think I know what I’m doing. I respect this race and the other runners entered. I’m not taking the piss by trying to make it look easy.

I have the utmost respect for anyone who runs not just ultras but parkruns, 10ks or whatever they do. Some may knock out wins in the toughest races out there, some may be trying to break 35 minutes at the local parkrun. I’m not in this for any type of bragging rights or to boost a macho image, and this leads me to the final topic:

Why?

a)  I’m pretty sure I can finish the race if I run slow & steady. I’m not sure I can double it. It may sound strange but I’m not particularly interested in pushing for a time or position, it just doesn’t work for me any more. I had years of that in my other running life and now I like to push the endurance element. The schedule is pretty much what I had planned for JOGLE last year – 60 miles a day. I didn’t get a chance to try that due to injury, but I think I can do it and this looks like a good opportunity to try.

b)  CHSW is a great charity and this gives me an opportunity to do something out of the normal runs & races, and raise some money for them.

c)  500 has a nice ring to it..