Well this was my first ultra of 2011 and its been the hardest iv trained for a long while, so what was my plan for this race - failing to plan is planning to fail. My normal tactics is start at the back and try to slow less than everyone else a good tactic when running ultras. So what was my plan for today Pain - i had decided to make the most of my training and see how a faster start would be like in a ultra. The start of this race is in ruchill park just opposite partick thistle ground and i thought of bobby ross ( why would you leave a club you had ran for the last 39 years i was told that is twice as long as a morgage, marriage and in britain 3 life sentences.
Start, 9am my plan went as normal i ran close to the top 20 runners and felt comfortable with my first mile in 7m 51 o my god i normally only run at this miling for 1 or 2 miles of my 10 miler run o hey ho it was a down hill start. The miles ticked by and i had averaged 8.40 for the first check point at 13 miles. My plan had been 9 minute miles average so not so bad. My right ankle was starting to get sore at 14 miles and seemed to locked at the extended position but my calf was good and it was getting warmer as every mile went by.
The second check point was at the falkirk wheel at 22 miles which were all inside 8.50 miling and it was getting warmer again i stopped here as this was were drop bag point for the rest of the race. I had 4 gels to pick up and 2 rice pudding which i eat up the hill to the tunnel the chocolate all got left at the check point as i knew it was hot and getting hotter and choc is not what you want in the heat.
The third check point was at about 34 miles my average miling was getting slightly slower with the average miling 10.20 miling, so what happened here first i went through the marathon in 3hrs 58 min and hit the halfway point in 4hrs 20 min. My ankle was agony and slowing me down the heat was slowing me down and i had ran too fast the first half. This check point i had a longer break i took my shoes/socks off and put my feet in the union canal and changed my socks.
Check point four was at at 43 miles and my average miling had slowed more and i had made a mistake in my sis carbo drink i had made up a double dose for the next 2 check points but mixed it into 1 bottle which was only just about sip-able. Average miling sub 11 minute miling but my ankle was ok for a few miles but started getting sore again halfway through this leg.
Check point 5, this was the shortest leg of the race and i was limping badly and getting hip pain in the right side due to my ankle. Average miling this leg was sub 12 minute miling.
Final leg, my ankle was very very sore, my early pace had left me struggling more than usual, the heat had taken its toll on my body, my right heel was burning and my right hip was in spasm. Average miling for this leg was sub 13 minute miling and my last mile in 10.36.
I had finished a broken man i was very uncomfortable and only able to shuffle along at a snails pace, after a chat with the race organizer for 15 minutes and a hand shake to the wnner grant jeans ( he clapped everyone who finshed ) cant say iv ever seen a road or cross country winner stay at the finish and cheer the other finishers. Ultra runners are different from other runners, but in a really good way.
I finished in 19th place in a new pb of 9 hrs 39min, pb by about 8 min.
So what did i get out of the race well i loved all the sweat all the pain and all the discomfort of trying so hard. Would i do it again, yes but only when i can walk properly again What did i do wrong all of the above and didnt ease up for the race, would i change anything, no i bloody loved every pain staking second of it and it will make me tougher for the WHW in june 18th.
So why did my ankle get sore was it the new trainers or the thicker socks that cost £11 or was it the camber of the canal or that in april of last year, during the fling i twisted my right ankle at 19 mile and ran the next 34 miles in agony. Was it that after the WHW race that after a month that the swelling had went down to reveal a lump of ligament on the outside of my ankle floatting about. Who knows but i wouldnt change anything cause this is the joys of JOGGING FOR JESUS and as one of my many many training partners said (gary higgins) he always called me "no gain without pain HALPIN."