Saturday, May 31, 2014

Not the Hardmoors 160

Well, that didn’t go quite as planned!

The grim facts. First person to pullout from the race, after 30 miles at CP3 (Cropton). A fully conscious decision, and one that I was happy with at the time and still just about am!

It just wasn’t happening.

I felt my preparation had been good. I done a couple of long recce’s since the Viking Way and my legs seemed to have recovered OK, apart from some residual calf tenderness. Mentally, I was looking forward to the event but was aware that the excitement, the build-up, wasn’t quite there.

I packed all my gear on Thursday, putting a lot of thought into what I would need at each particular stop. Jenny would be supporting me through to late Saturday evening, and I knew that Tony Holland & Archie Stewart would be around on Sunday.

We arrived at the start at Scalby Mills in good time, and I was beginning to get that ‘buzz’. It was good to see some the usual suspects - Annie Garcia, Allan Rumbles and Ben Davis amongst others. Andrew Hayes, Tony Holland had come to support the start which was great.

Soon we were off. Initially things went well. Eventual winner, Lee Knight, Shelli Gordon, and Neil Ridsdale shot off, leaving the rest of us in their wake.

As usually happens, my legs started to feel a bit lethargy and achy after 90 minutes or so. This generally eases by 3 hours as I get into the race. However, this seemed a bit different, almost crampy. Instead of getting better, my legs just got tighter and tighter, but I was still moving along nicely. I was running with Matt who had ‘rescued’ me on the Spine this year. Apparently I had been walking around in circles; I didn’t think I’d been that bad!

I acquired my head torch from Jenny at CP2 (Levisham)

Then it began to rain. As we stopped to put on waterproof tops, it started to rain a lot. Waterproof trousers were donned. In torrential rain, conversation stopped. My legs seemed to hurt more.

We got to Cropton and that was that.

So what happened?

From a physical point of view, I’d done a couple of good long runs and had also done a couple of really nice shorter, tempo runs since the Viking Way. My legs had felt really stiff and sore for 2-3 days prior to the start but I had put that down to taperitis. Just one of those things or fallout from the Viking Way? Not sure really but probably cumulative damage.

Mentally, I didn’t feel the same as I had before the Viking Way. Once the rain started, my will disintegrated. Ultimately the want, the desire just wasn’t there.

Bottom line is that 5 weeks isn’t enough time to recover from a 147 mile run. Now there’s a surprise. Physically, perhaps, if you’re lucky, but mentally it’s just not enough time to get yourself up again. Not enough time to regain the drive and the desire required for something of this magnitude.

I’m not beating myself up after this one. Yes, I’m disappointed but it just wasn't going to happen. Any Jon Steele said he’d hit me if I got all depressed about it!

So, lesson learnt.

Probably not.

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