Tuesday 27th May, 3 days before Kent Road Runner I paid my deposit and got confirmation for my confirmed place for Marathon Des Sable 2015. (please click on the name if you do not know anything about this race) This is a race which I knew I wanted to do it as soon I was introduced to it, this is the race that gave me reason to start blogging, to focus on longer runs, talk to people who run ultras - MDS already has changed my life. I really could go on forever about it - my non running friends are fed up with me I am sure but I was sooo happy when I found out, I still am!!
Anyway, the eve before Road Runner I had nothing organised, thankfully a friend was taking she had the postcode, I had the official RoadRunner top so I knew I what I was going to wear, my skins to hopefully help my knee that started to play up I didn't need anything else did I? Breakfast enroute, sunglasses as it was going to be a very hot day! Normally I'd be organised, excited, but this I was not looking forward to I was not prepared. I was not orgaised because in two minds I wanted to cancel, until I was on the internet talking to a friend, a close friend who I have met through MDS, whom completed it last year and has been giving me tips for the past few months (even how to read a compass) his words he said to me that night, still stuck in my head "make blisters your friend... Fatigue I will enjoy... A good challenge is to run with pain" This time last year I would of told him where to go, now I totally understand he, what is saying is correct. No matter how much I was tired, in pain I had to do this race. I could have no DNF next to my name. If I am to quit now, how am I meant to complete MDS "The toughest foot race on earth"
I set my alarm for 3:45, left the house at 4:45 and on our way we went. Reka, she was not running, she doesn't like to run but offered to drive me the 2hrs to the race, I would of not been able to compete otherwise. She was happy because she wanted to watch me and help out. We were now both excited.
I arrived to the race with plenty of time, got my number (32, my age) This race, not only had the best medal EVER but you could chose your own number! I registered late (when entries were closed in fact) thankfully a number that meant something was left over. This race is in Kent, on a venue - Cyclopark, this is a private 2.5km tarmac circuit. You have to run 17 laps to make up the marathon distance. This sounds boring right, 17 laps, 17 times you see everything. This normally would not be a race I would of entered. If it wasn't for roadrunner on the medal I would of without a doubt by passed this race. I am glad I didn't! This race was the first time I have run with people of all different levels. I was on lap 6 when another runner came along and started chatting to me, may of only been chatting for 5 minutes until he went off wished me luck - later I found out he came near the first and it was his last lap! His full marathon was near my half marathon time. The course was not boring at all, there were a few hills which I was not expecting - another unknown runner nicknamed the hill Hilga, next year when I do this race I shall run up Hilga and smile that I defeated her again but with more effort. (depending on how much I am suffering regarding MDS)
Again, another race which I left making a new friends. I am seeing them as a little souvenir, a memory. When I see them on Facebook / Twitter I will always remember the conversations, what part of the marathon I saw them, how I was feeling and their help kicking my butt, definitely with one particular - every time he saw me he would shout at me not to give up he gave me that push I needed. This runner and the conversation from the night before in my head, these two helped me finish the race.
After I collected my medal, had photos done (free also, this event gets better) I was called over near the start, the man who checks everyone's chips had said "I am not sure if this is going to be good news or bad news" he had told me I did 18 laps not 17!! I have no idea how I managed to do an extra lap, there were two large bins at the start of a new lap to put our bracelets in which were given to us at the start. somehow I forgot to throw one in, hard to believe because the top of Hilga (the hill) I started to take one bracelet off to give me time to get to the bin without being distracted. I must of put it back on! Tiredness certainly does weird things to you but I did learn something else about myself! no matter how much pain I was in, no matter how tired I was or hot and thirsty I ploughed through, I completed this one tough run.
I spent the week being lazy, resting, catching up on friends and family and being super excited about MDS, I am currently looking up ultra programmes to follow, I am going to follow a training plan, talk to as many people as I can who have completed MDS, get there knowledge and advice. Sunday 8th June 2014 Serious training begins! The Garmin has come out, the plan is on the wall, the healthy living eating is in place and I am also listening to an Audio book by a fellow ultra runner from being unfit to running ultra marathons.
Next race, Endure24 in Reading 29th June