Enigma Summer Festival of Running

Top weekend!

I was originally going to do the Sat Ultra and the Sun Mara, but Mrs D got tickets to see Take That on Sat evening, so I had to be back home in the afternoon.. a late switch to the Sat Mara and a cheap room at the Premier Inn on Friday night and all was sorted.

I met Foxy, MissP, B-Lass, PPB and Trin for some food on Fri evening.. I’d only very briefly met Trin before out of this lot, but they were all very welcoming. A nice bit of chow and everyone was yawning and obviously thinking about pre-race faffing etc :-)

Having declined the offer of going over to Foxy’s for brekky (I wanted to stay at the hotel/start and just chill), and having been a bit gutted at having to miss the cooked brekky at the hotel which didn’t start until 8am (the same time as the start of the race), I had half a pastrami and cheese bagel and some malt loaf from a nearby petrol station which I had picked up on the way back the night before. It was already getting warm and I had some options for hydration during the race – I decided against the hydrapack and just got a bottle ready with some 4:1 mix and grabbed a couple of gels.

Anyway.. time for the race. The Sat mara route was a lap of the lake (3.5 miles) and then down the Grand Union Canal to Leighton Buzzard before returning and doing 3/4 of a lap of the lake in reverse. Early on I was reigning the pace in a bit, with the Sunday mara on my mind, but all in all it was a pretty relaxed run. I carried a bottle with me and filled it up at 15 miles, and again at about 20, and had two gels. My pacing was the most consistent it’s ever been over the distance and I knew I could have pushed on, but had Sunday on my mind throughout. Once back to the lake, I initially went the wrong way and ended up doing nearly a mile extra. Oh well! 27.11 miles in 3:52:08 :-)

Massage after the first marathon

That was an extremely enjoyable race, with the wrong turn and the extra bit the only minor frustration. I felt really chilled throughout and didn’t struggle for energy at all. A great massage from Trin after the race set me up really well for Sunday. I could have nodded off on Trin’s massage table – lovely :-)

Off home I went, quick shower and then I took my lad to a swimming party… It was really nice to be in the water and great for my legs, although not particularly restful! Fish & chips and a couple of beers in the evening and I was nodding off.

Sunday! Up at 6 again and off to MK. For some reason I thought the mara started at 9am – I arrived at 8 and found out it wasn’t starting until 9:30 – I could have had another half an hour in bed!

After much faffing and a bit of concern about the heat, it was time to get started. Sunday’s route was a mini loop (1.67 miles) and then 7 laps of the lake. Everything was a little stiff at first and my energy levels were noticeably lower than on Saturday. The first 12 miles went fairly well, between 9 and 9:30 m/m pace. It was hot though and I knew I’d be struggling at some point. With I think 3 laps to go, I went to the car to get some ibuprofen and elete water to add to my 3rd pre-made up bottle as I was feeling rather sore and thirsty. I had spent a couple of laps taking a few walk breaks here and there before getting chatting to a chap doing his 788th marathon! Crikey. That got me going a bit more consistently again and whilst still not particularly quick, I did the last couple of laps much more strongly, finishing in 4:30:19. Pretty much bang on what I hoped to do on day 2.

All in all, a top weekend of running and I met lots of lovely people as well as seeing some familiar faces. Many thanks to Foxy and his helpers for such a great weekend of running, and to everyone there taking part – a great crowd :-)

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