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Tag Archives: 1/2 marathon

Doubt Vesuvius

  • Posted by ade
  • 12 April 2012


This weekend we run the Endurancelife coastal series at Heddon Valley on Exmoor. Sofia in the 10km, Hazel in the 1/2 marathon (both first time) and Ruben, Chris and unfortunately myself in the Ultra.

My first and last Ultra was in February. The 35 miles took a few weeks preparation 7 hours and all my will power to finish, and they I could not walk for 2 days. Then we had the Restless ride to prepare for so I switched to the bike training three times a day. Then I went away for work and the running has been a few quick 5 milers here and there. And I meant to downgrade to the marathon, but missed the deadline.

On a scale if 1 to 5, the course is rated 5 (Extreme) and thus the last 14 days and the next 39 hours will be trying to keep a lid on the self doubt.

I have all my mental race props prepared. Innov-8 shoes, smartwool socks, howies shorts boxers baselayers and Brenin jacket, my Salomon s-lab pack, Nuun rehydration tablets, Camelbak bottle, Clif bars, shots and luna bars, iPhone with 1000 running tracks, swiss army knife, chewing gum, foil blanket, first aid kit, ankle brace, £20 note and a merino beanie.  They have got me through hell and high water.

But when the gun goes, it all going to be down to keeping a lid on the pain and the doubt. And the hardest bit will be the last 6 miles of the marathon to the finish line, where they send you out again on the 10km course to do the Ultra.

That doubting bit of my mind will be nagging me stop. "Why go further? You're tired, you've already run the next bit, the car's just there and you could get changed and be home to see the family sooner. You won't be able to walk tomorrow. You just did a marathon, that's good enough. Will you even make the next bit? Just say your ankle is playing up."

If I am in genuine hell, I will just stop there. I will need to be able to depress the clutch to get home.

But I hope that the legs hold, that the music has me singing along, and the last 10km pass to a joyous finish.

Watch our twitterfeed @howies and instagram @howiesclothing for the latest.

run your own race

  • Posted by ade
  • 14 March 2011

Ruben (web), Scott (Cardigan store), Nathan (Accounts), Peter (The boss) and me went down to the Endurance Life running race in Little Haven, just down the coast from us on Saturday. Peter and Nathan ran the 10k (10.8K) and the rest of us ran the 1/2 marathon (16 miles!).

A simply run great event. Get there. Get a number. Get ready. Get a briefing. Get a timing chip. Get in the queue. Get running.

Once I tagged out it was off up the steep steps to the start of the coastal path.

Scott ahead and Ruben behind. I had been ill for two weeks so I was not sure I could do the distance or whether my body would. I took a steady tapping out climbing pace up the first steep climbs, then on the downhills loosen the hips, use the thighs and let go and just fly.

The path undulated for a few miles and once warm I started to sweat salt water. It ran in my eyes so I could not see the trail. I was also in the early part of the run descending into the pain of the task I'd set me.

I was loosing heart as I was passed by the faster boys. Then remembered it was me who had set me the task. I wanted to run this. It's always mile 5 that I hate. Where I want to give up, go home, rest, the wife to appear in the car. But it's the bit after that I love.

The part where you have to over come the doubt, not worry about how much is left, forget the other runners, relax into the exhaustion and just run your own race.

I crossed fields, skimmed styles, dabbed over the wet bits, ran as fast as my little legs would spin on the downs, tip toed the church lawn, touched the electric fence. I looked for seals on all the beaches, I held the gate open for the person I was running near, I rejoiced at over taking the bloke who lost me at the start and hated the woman who slowly disappeared out of sight on the road hill. Every red top was possibly Ruben on the scent, I descended  into despair at 5 miles and got pins and needle all over and lifted spirits when my sons favourite song hit the play list,  I regretted breaking early for home and I cramped the last two uphils. I wished for it to end early, I blistered, sprinted and nearly gagged to the finish.

Against me, I had come first.

And then it was done. Concrete legs, the soles of my feet bruised, near to throwing up, sweat soaked, hand shakes, give the timing chip back in return for a drink, loads of smiles, chatted to those previously silent competitors, drunk tea, clapped, got cold, waited for the rest to finish and felt the empty feeling of no regret.

I could not have gone one second faster.

I had run my own perfect race. 37th. 16 miles. 2hrs 29

Ruben my nemesis ran in.

Then Scott roared home looking, as he always does, happy.

If you run, come here next year and run.

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