Monday, 2 November 2020

Spire Ultra

After my first ultra was cancelled in April due to the country going into the locdown for Covid I put my name on the waiting list for one in May, that then got rearranged for October and I forgot about it. On the 31st October I was meant to be running the Cani-Trail 22mile with Chip again but it was postponed for a year after the County in Wales went into lockdown. Just days after I got an invite for the Spire Ultra as unfortunately people in tier 3 areas aren't meant to travel. So on Saturday I was lining up for my first ultra without dog power.
I was in the first starting pod, pods were made up of six people and so lined up next to my smiley face.
On go I headed off, being careful not to head off too fast as my plan for the day was to be sensible for the first half in the hope I wouldn't die. It still took a long time till people started passing me.
The weather was pretty wet and very windy and the ground very muddy. A couple of times I nearly fell over.
As was getting close to nine miles I hear cheering and there was Ali, she'd been shopping after dropping me off so stopped on her way home.
After seeing Ali the rain got heavier but although my top was wet I was warm and it was keeping the wind out so I never put my waterproof jacket on.
On one section someone had put a selection of signs up especially for us which made me smile.
I stopped at a couple of checkpoints to fill up with water and took advantage of a couple of walls to add torq powder so I was keeping getting electrolytes as well as water into me. 

On one descent I thought I must be coming to the last checkpoint but no it was a pheasant shoot.  They moved soon after I went last and I actually saw them again on another section.
The last checkpoint mentioned in the toute notes was at 20miles and I was pleased that I had maintained a 12 min mile average. After this I had a long section straight into the wind that was hard going and it was starting to hurt. But otherwise I felt okay as I had been eating and drinking well.
About 25miles I started  swapping places with two guys and then the last six miles was mainly uphill so I did slow as I was walking most of it.

The last bit was over boggy fields but as I approached the finish I heard Ali cheering for me which kept me running. I crossed the line and stopped my Garmin at 6hours and 40minutes which smashed my Gold goal of breaking 7 hours.

Really chuffed to find i finished 3rd female and 25 out of 63 finishers.

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

AKA Mustard SwimRun - Spring Lakes

After winning the As Keen As Mustard swimrun series last year I was looking forward to racing this year however with Covid all the races were rescheduled for September and October meaning I definitely couldn't do the whole series. But on Sunday I headed to Spring Lakes in Nottingham ready to race the 21k, well as ready as I could be having done no open water swimming this year.
Registration was quickly done and I walked the dogs round to the start and realised it was actually a fair way so I'd better head back to the van and get my wetsuit on! 
Due to Covid the start was done as individual starts, people lined up and I just waited till the end to go. Luckily for me Ali was tail biker so cold be with me for registration and the start, Covid means no spectators to be brought with you to the event.
I actually caught the team in front pretty quickly before entering the water for swim one. Where Imanaged to head towards the wrong point bu sighting off the wrong flag, fortunately I realised I couldn't see any other swimmers going that way so only did about 100m extra. I went past someone on the next run and then for the first lap (it was a two lap course) the only other competitors I saw were two going the opposite way to me! Turns out they had pulled out.
I passed the finish just after an hour and a half and I was still feeling strong. Coming out of the first swim on this lap I was surprised to see another competitor ahead of me and went past him on the way into the next swim.
I was beginning to notice the cold on the swims but warming up enough on the runs, I was very glad when I got to the longest run to get properly warm and it meant there was only one swim left.
It turns out I actually did pretty well with the water temperature, considering I hadn't been swimming outside so hadn't had any acclimatisation. There were quite a few people didn't finish and one competitor had to have an ambulance called for her due to hypothermia. 
I finished in just under three hours so I did the second lap faster than the first which I was very pleased with and I finished 3rd female and 6th overall.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Grindleford Gallop

This weekend I was meant to be at a weekend canicross race but it had been cancelled a few weeks ago as the ground was too saturated for parking or camping. Luckily I got a transfer place into the Grindleford Gallop which starts a few miles away from where I live and is a 21mile loop. 

I cycled to the start as it was close to home and there isn't a lot of parking there, this meant I didn't have to get there super early to get parked! 
All the registration was done outside due to the Corona Virus meaning we had to be careful about being around people. 

I'd already done a reasonable amount of running this week, including a 17 mile run with Chip on Wednesday, so the plan was to use it as a good training run. Then they said GO and of course I was running as fast as I could to the queue for the first stile! 

It wasn't long before the climbing started and I was walking! But the views were stunning. The day had started off misty but the weather kept improving with the sun shining by partway through, in fact I was wishing I had shorts on! I was behind a guy descending well into Longstone and I was able to stay with him. I mentioned to him I often find the Monsal Trail hard in races and he said just treat it like a parkrun. I may have took that too literally clocking a sub 8minute mile! 

Leaving the trail we headed up towards Chatsworth, I enjoyed eating my cake while walking up this that I had picked up at the checkpoint on the trail. Heading towards Chatsworth my legs seemed to be struggling and once I got to Chatsworth I started to really need the toilet but I knew it wasn't far to Baslow! Getting there it was a quick toilet stop and I got one of my bottles refilled. 

Up to hill onto Baslow Edge, it was just along Baslow, Curbar and Froggatt Edges before dropping to the finish. It felt like I was just shuffling along while more and more people came past me. But once descending to the finish I found some more oomph and even a sprint along the road to the finish! 

I was aiming for sub 5, with sub 4.5hrs being my A goal. So I was super happy with finishing at just over 4hrs!

After finishing they fed us soup, which was delicious, oh and lots of cake options! Then I had to cycle home.... It took me a while to set off and the uphill was hard, at least then it was mainly downhill to home! 

It's definetly an event I would do again. Also showed me I probably need to do some more long training runs without Chip so I don't just die! But the really good thing is I managed about three 500ml bottles of liquid and the day after my legs weren't sore, meaning I was right about a lot of the soreness after the Wales race being down to barely drinking anything! 

190th/387 runners
44th/147 females
27th/76 V40 females

Now to hope my main event in April goes ahead!