So last weekend was the Yorkshire Cakeathon. SVN’s first race in God’s own country.
I haven’t run a marathon since the end of December and have struggled with that awful chesty cough and calf/Achilles issues since. My plan was therefore to have a slow run (I was aiming for about 5 hours) and use it as a training run to test out fuelling and other bits and bobs.
I saw this pic on Facebook and so it prompted me to have a proper bra fitting and get a super duper strength sports bra!
I had a sports massage the day before to try and help me get around with no injury issues! Thanks to Gemma at Harris Sports Massage - it wasn't quite as painful as I had anticipated and did the job!
I know you’re not supposed to try out anything new when doing a marathon, but as this was a ‘training run’ then the rules didn’t really apply so my plan for the day was to test out: -
Fuelling - Kendal mint cake and Dextrose energy tablets
Drinks - zero tabs (I’m used to just drinking water)
New sports bra
New recovery drink (birthday present from my sister, Fin)
After race fuelling
As it was the Cakeathon, runners were asked to bring along cakes and they did not disappoint - some fantastic and very tasty treats were provided.
Before the running could get underway, RD Traviss gave out the race instructions and there were a couple of presentations including a surprise one for me! Sandra and my dad had bought me a Mega Marathoners 50 marathons shirt for my birthday and I was presented this by the main Mega Marathoner himself, Traviss. This was an awesome birthday surprise.
We were in good company - there were several previous 10in10 finishers there (Su, Paul and Heather) and there were quite a few 100 Marathon Club members (yep, most of them have all done way over the 100 marathon goal I'm aiming for). Very impressive!
The route was pretty straightforward, a simple out and back on the Trans Pennine Way. It was supposed to be flat but going out was slightly downhill and coming back, was slightly uphill (and felt more and more uphill on each lap). My plan for the day was to take it steady, stay injury free and to just keep on running.
The "flat" route was a bit tougher than I had expected. The turnaround point was like a mirage - you could see the sign and white car at the turn around point for ages but it never seemed to get any nearer!
I started to struggle at around mile 19. I was absolutely determined not to walk but I caved when we got to about 20 miles and I started to walk/run and I basically continued like this until the finish. My dad kept on passing me in the opposite direction and looked strong and on with each lap, he was edging further and further in front of me!
At around mile 23, I came across a lady called Gill who was struggling with a knee injury. I stopped and chatted with her. She was a twin and her sister was also out on the course. She really wanted to get a marathon PB, hers was previously 5:28. I offered to stay with her and help her achieve her PB. We ran/walked the rest of the way, with lots of encouragement from the other runners still on the course. Gill's watch battery was running out (as was my energy) and she was worried that if she hit a PB, it wouldn't be recorded on her watch. We hit 26 miles and still seemed a way from the finish so we both knuckled down, picked up the pace. There was a little hill to climb to the finish/turn around point. My dad and Fin were waiting there for me. I let Gill go on ahead and ring her finish bell (I'm not sure how she had the energy to run up that hill on the last lap). I stopped and walked up the hill and walked in to the finish! You'll be pleased to know that Gill managed to smash her PB by 10 minutes.
I didn't smash any PBs but managed to get a trophy for being 3rd in the brownie competition (thank you to Mary Berry for the recipe!) I had no real pain as such - just a pulling feeling from my right glute down my hamstring - more monster walking is needed I think.
Thank you to Travis and Rachel for a successful first Yorkshire SVN event. Thanks to Su, Paul and Heather for all your advice and to all the lovely marshals for their support.
So the results of my testing for the day were: -
Fuelling - pretty good - I managed to eat Kendal mint cake just before setting off. I had a stitch for about a mile but then it wore off. I got hungry at around 19 miles but I was fine with the Dextrose tablets and even had a few jelly babies thrown in to the mix.
Drinks - I was fine with the Zero tabs which is great news so I'll be using these in all my training runs from now on
New sports bra - sore subject. I usually struggle with the band around my ribs - I have a permanent scar from the years of chafing! This time my ribs were fine but my boobs suffered - chafed and painful from the relentless bouncing (sorry for TMI - just telling it how it is).
New socks - all good - no sign of any blisters!
New Brathay top - fab - no rubbing and I got lots of shout outs and comments - it's a great conversation starter!
New recovery drink - banana flavour - went down a treat (thanks Fin)
After race fuelling - I managed my drink and a small piece of rocky road. Thankfully Sandra gave me a lift home so I didn't have to struggle on the train with all my race swag. By the time I had cooked tea for my girls, I was shattered and just wanted to go to bed. All I could manage to eat was 1 roast potato!
So, for the next race, I have to sort out my bra issue, work on eating "proper" food whilst running and eating after! It's all trial and error but there's not long left to get everything sorted. Eek!
Next up, Bolton Abbey Marathon - mud, hills and more mud and more hills!