The Saturday morning men are all training for the Clarendon Marathon which is only a week or so away now so when Hugh said he needed to up the miles on a Saturday my usual response would have been to say ‘jog on’. However, with a new found confidence I decided to give it ago. I mean 17 miles… how bad could it be?
That Saturday morning I was nervous. I had packed my camel pak with water and also for the very first time I bought some gels. I was apprehensive trying gels. I have heard some horror stories about gels upsetting stomachs and I have known to be quite sensitive in that area (apparently a common problem with runners? If you have had this problem you’ll understand the horror of having a episode. If you don’t know what I mean then count yourself very very lucky). Anyway, I digress. I bought gels because having got quite into a few online running communities, the subject of gels often comes up, and the general consensus is that anything over half marathon is putting your body under enough strain to warrant giving it a boost. Especially as, due to the aforementioned ‘episodes’ I cannot eat anything before a long run so I am often running on empty, literally.
The first 7/8 miles of our run were relatively easy and I was still feeling ‘ok’. We hit a big hill at around mile 9 and anyone who has ever run the Roundhill romp, it is THAT hill. A hill so large, that during Roundhill the organisers put a big sign out saying ‘There is no shame in walking’ which is good because both at Roundhill and during this run we staggered some what slowly up the top. Like all good hills the reward at the top is beautiful. There was views out across the downs with the sea glistening in the distance. This view distracted me well enough that at Mile 10 we had a quick stop as Hugh rummaged through the bushes and brought out energy drinks and a Banana for everyone.
I ate the banana and had a gel. I perhaps naively expected a sudden energy boost and thought that the next 7 miles would fly by. In short, they didn’t. Despite a quick stop to take a photo of some very cute Piglets, by mile 13/14 I really began to flag. The encouragement of the men really helped me to keep going and they were all extremely encouraging. Even so I was quite pleased to finally have made it home, tired but with a proud 17.5 miles under my belt.
I found that although that run was by no means easy, it has given me the encouragement that I really want to get a Marathon under my belt. I have decided that I will sign up for the Steyning Stinger Marathon which is in May. I am really nervous but I hope if I have that as a focus over the winter then I will be able to keep up the training.