Saturday, 22 October 2011

Kielder Marathon.

I entered this as my fail safe after Lakeland, just in case I didn't make it round at the 50 I wanted something to help rebuild my confidence.  I knew that I could make it round (eventually).  Also it was a great excuse to have a weekend away.   Last year we took the caravan, but this year we booked a POD.  First time in a Pod and I must say that it was an enjoyable experience, plenty of room and nice and warm and dry.   As we have tons of camping equipment it was like a wee home from home.  OH has declared that for Autumn/Winter outings this is the way to go.   Who am I to object.

Anyway, we also gave a lift to a friend of my daughter's who was doing his first marathon, in fact his first race of any kind, he pitched his tent next to the pod and settled down in his many sleeping bags and rather large cake!.   We headed to The Anglers Arms for a lovely huge bar meal.  We were also pleasantly surprised to find a club mate and her family parked opposite us in their campervan.  

Sunday dawned wet and horrible, and basically remained wet and horrible for the rest of the day.   I must admit that there was an issue about the parking and bussing that fairly irritated me and I was going to send an e.mail to the organiser but in the light of what happened later in the race it seemed petty so I didn't.   We did the usual pre-race faffing about for a bit longer than usual because the race was delayed by half an hour.

Jamie and I lined up and set off, Jamie soon left me and I was tootling along at the back of the race, I just do my own thing (in fact on the Fetch, people who are at every race, thread - I'm probably labelled Woman who runs like a duck -).  I was joined by Flip and Lisrun (Fetch names), Lisrun said hi and continued but Flip jogged along with me for the first 5 miles.   I popped into the loo and he went on to catch up with his friends.  It was lovely to chat with him, but I was worried I was holding him back.  I worry about this a lot.

For the next 15 miles I was more or less on my own, several of the back markers and I played a sort of tig tag along the route.  The weather remained rather wet and windy, but wasn't really a problem.  The marshals and water stop people were excellent, and the pockets of support very encouraging.   Half way came and went and still within the time limit, in fact at the half way point I was on target to beat last years time.   The Dam passed and I went into countdown mode.   Just past Tower Knowe I fell in with a lady called Naomi, it was her first marathon.  We decided to stay together until the finish as playing tig tag was getting silly and weary.   The last six miles were spent chatting to Naomi and giving her encouragement when she was getting tired, this also kept my mind off my own tiredness.  I slurped a caffeine gel at 4 miles from the end, it kicked in within the next mile and kept me popped until the finish.  
Naomi and I were last over the line.  It was fantastic to have our medals given to us by Steve Cram.  Wonderful that he was still there at the end to see the back markers in safely.   Met up with Jamie who had been back for about an hour, he had ran until the last 6 miles when he was reduced to a walk, but he was very pleased with his day out and his marvellous achievement.  Endured what seemed like a rather long uphill walk to the car, think it did my legs a lot of good really.   Treated myself to a bottle of wine and settled down in Pod for mashed tatties and corned beef.

Headed back home next day stopping off at Newcastleton at a lovely tea room for cakes, yummy.  All in all a lovely if wet weekend away.

In conclusion, obviously not enough marathon type training to make any kind of dent in last years time.  I didn't take the event seriously in a participating way but I feel it was good to get those miles on that terrain into my legs and even more importantly into my head.

Have been slowly getting back into routine, nice easy club runs, resuming speedwork etc.,   Also tomorrow we start on the winter dog walks with dog club.  We're up the Drumlanrig woods.  It'll be wet, but I'm really looking forward to it.

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