Earlier this year I had the opportunity to run two races in one day, with the Rother Valley 10K in the morning followed by the Man of Steel 10K in the afternoon. At the time it seemed like a one-off, but yesterday the same opportunity arose and with three Marathons lurking around the corner some desperate steps needed to be taken to get my body ready. Two races in one day, across two counties….it seemed like a good idea at the time.
666.36 – 682.45KM: Wold’s Tough 10 Mile Race (11am)
I have mentioned for a few weeks now that with three Marathons in the next two months that my training would need a serious boost to make it through them. With races every weekend and 8 months of solid running behind me, it meant that I wouldn’t have the energy to get up at 4am to go for a 20 mile run before work, again. So I had to compromise and when I saw that there were two 10 Mile races roughly within an hours drive from me, well I wouldn’t say I jumped at the chance, but I foolishly signed up to both races.
First up was the Lincolnshire Wolds 10 Mile Road Race, a race I had tentatively pencilled in on my calendar early on this year. Because I like to make life difficult for myself, and can occasionally be absolutely crap when it comes to organisation, when putting the post code into the SatNav for the race (it only accepts 4-5 characters) I selected the first result without checking.
The result was me arriving at a village at Half 10 and wondering where the race was, only to realise it was about 8 miles way. I arrived at the start with about 10 minutes to spare, giving me just enough time to run to the Race HQ, get changed and go for a speedy pee, just.
At the start of the year I set myself a target of running a 3 hour 30 minute marathon meaning I would be running about an 8 minute mile pace. I came close in London, but after I went past the 20th mile and entered uncharted territory things happened and I crawled across the line around 3 hours 47 minutes.
Whilst it is unlikely I will run a 3 hour 30 marathon this year, as I have 3 in the space of 4 weeks, I decided to ignore common sense again and try to average my pace across both races at around 8 minute miles. As my pace would drop significantly in the second race I aimed to keep my pace within 7 and a half minutes, allowing me to feel comfortable whilst still pushing hard.
For a race that has ‘Tough’ in the title I expected more of an undulating course, not that I’m complaining mind. There was a significant climb between the second and third mile, and another towards the end of the race but it didn’t feel worse than many of the other races I have ran already this year.
After the race I had enough time for a cup of tea and to take the above photo before then recording the below video for the draw of my Charity Raffle. If you bought tickets be sure to give it a watch to see if you won.
Distance: 16.09km | 10.00 miles
Official Time: 01:16:25
Average Pace: 04:44 min/km | 07:36 min/mi
Goody Bag: T-Shirt & Bottle of Water
View my run:
672.45 – 698.64KM: Double or Quit (5pm)
After only just making my first race of the day, you’d think that I would make sure I left in plenty of time for my second race. Not quite, in fact I was even later, giving myself only 5 minutes to collect my number and go for my ritual pre-race pee.
Fortunately I remembered to stretch thoroughly after finishing the first race, so whilst I felt tired lining up at the start it could have been much worse. With just under 5 hours between the end of my first race and start of my second I had plenty of opportunity to refuel, but failed to, and as I began running I soon realised how big a mistake this was.
If the morning’s race was described as ‘tough’ then I’m not sure what adjectives they would have used for my second race. Maybe it had a lot to do with the 10 miles I had already ran in the morning, but the Double or Quit won the rare accolade of starting and finishing in the same place but feeling like it was 80% uphill.
The theme of ‘Double or Quit’ translated to a 5 mile lap that allowed runners to opt between ‘quitting’ at 5 miles, or going around for another lap. The race was ‘multi-terrain’ which also added to the difficulty, it was a race that I’d have liked to have gone in to fresh but the added ‘difficulty’ of the course would only help my training.
The failure to eat anything substantial began to really take it’s toll on the second lap and it really became a case of counting down the miles until I finished. My earlier plans for trying to balance the average pace out at 8 minutes miles seemed unlikely, but I still pushed on anyway. As it turns out when I crossed the line my time for the second race was only 6 minutes slower than my first, which I was fairly impressed by given the 5 hour break and tougher course. I ended up a little outside my 8 minute mile target pace across the two races, but ultimately it didn’t matter, I had completed the 20 mile run I needed to before the 3 marathons, even if by unorthodox means and I could now take it (relatively) steady until the Nottingham Marathon at the end of September.
After I returned home the failure to eat and drink sufficiently, really took its toll as eating dinner seemed to turn into a battle between not throwing up and eating the food I desperately needed. I’m ashamed to say that the chippy dinner didn’t go to waste though as I re-heated it and had it for breakfast the following morning. I realised on Sunday that I could have entered a third race this weekend with Wilne 10k taking place on Sunday morning, a few miles away from the ‘Double or Quit’ race. It would have helped go a long way to helping me reach my 1000km target as it would have essentially counted as another marathon, albeit spread across three races. Given how I was feeling on Saturday evening it’s probably better that I didn’t though.
Jenny had made the decision early on Saturday that she wanted to come along with me for my second race of the day. About 5 minutes before leaving for the race Jenny became covered in a head-to-toe pimply rash that came out of nowhere. You can see for yourself that Jenny’s skin was reasonably clear in the video we recorded only half an hour before leaving. On the drive to the race Jenny’s health was declining and it was clear that she would be returning to hospital as soon as possible. When I returned to the car we were both convinced that it was a case of the MRSA returning, rather than anything else. Having since been to the hospital this morning Jenny’s been armed with a months supply of antibiotics that should hopefully help see the back of this once and for all.
It seems we’re never far away from a reminder as to the motivation behind my fundraising this year.
As always, please visit http://www.justgiving.com/shanes1000km and donate what you can and please share news of what I am doing with others.
Distance: 16.09km | 10.00 miles
Official Time: 01:22:36
Average Pace: 05:21 min/km | 08:36 min/mi
Goody Bag: Bootbag, bag, chocolate bar & banana.
View my run: