A tough but fun 45 mile ultra

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A tough but fun 45 mile ultra

Postby skoptic » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:04 pm

So I thought this one might be tough - I've done the distance many times, but usually I do the proper training :-). At least I proved you can get through on bloody mindedness and some perseverance. 8:33 for the 45 miles, 11 min 20 odd per mile, slower than usual but OK considering the terrain, rain and lack of training.

So it was from Wendover to London (UK) off road (fields and trails for the 1st half and then on a canal tow path for the 2nd). It was a rainy day - but nice to be out in the countryside. We had map books that we had to follow ... but there were so many crossing paths that it caused some bits of confusion. At one point (after about 4 miles) I was stood with about 15 runners who couldn't decide so we all split up and took different paths! Hilarious...

By this time my waterproof socks were soaking (on the inside) because we had to go through loads deep puddles and waterlogged fields. This was basically the case for the 1st half - so I was happy I'd taken spare socks which I put on a 22 miles. That made my feet very, very happy....

So about this point - my lack of distance training caught up with me and where I usually overtake people on the 2nd half of ultras, this time I just slipped back and watched quite a few take once we got on the towpath. I had a brief lift at 30 miles.. but that soon evaporated and I was left grinding out the last 12 or so.

But while it was tough, it was also great - met some nice people, saw some lovely countryside & kickstarted my years long running :-). Took a coupe of photos .. but I can't be arsed to get off the sofa to upload them!
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Postby Konstantin » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:03 pm

Wow - amazing. Thanks for posting!
You can see my training log if you're really bored: [url]www.veganfitness.net/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=16086&start=360[/url]
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Postby IronGirl » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:25 pm

Awesome run Skoptic.
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Postby notmilk » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:50 pm

sounds great skoptic.
I'll be breaking my ultra cherry with this in March:
http://www.blacksheepsportsltd.co.uk/ultra.html

I'm currently up to 18 miles for my longest run (Saturdays) building up 2 miles per week, with a 10 mile run on Sunday and a few shorter runs in the week.
How was your in-race nutrition?
I'm currently testing these:
http://www.naturalbalancefoods.co.uk/st ... fault.aspx

I take a bite every half hour or so but struggle to remember to eat!
Whether you think you can or you think you can't - you're right.
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Postby skoptic » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:06 am

Cheers guys.....

notmilk wrote:How was your in-race nutrition?
I'm currently testing these:
http://www.naturalbalancefoods.co.uk/st ... fault.aspx


Cool - hope all your training goes well :-) Yeah I eat the nakd bars all the time (carry a few in my car at all times just in case I get caught without any vegan food. I do nakd instead of trek generally coz I like the apple pie, banana bread & cocoa ones :-))

So for the race today (well, most ultras) I take a mix because you invariably get bored / can't always eat what you think. I have run entire ultras with bagels and trek bars in the bag ... and they never even got taken out! Today I ate,

1 bag dried mango (forest feast) - staple food I can ALWAYS eat
3 x clif shot bloks bars (from the US .. don't think they are here in the UK yet)
1 x chocolate 9 (agave & chocolate gels from US)
2 x nakd banana bread (the thin ones)
clif gels .. (took, but didn't actually eat any of them today)

probably not enough but I was stuffed after a heavy breakfast.... Nothing at checkpoints was vegan (wasn't expecting it) but they said if I had emailed they would have sorted something, which was nice.
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Postby MikayP » Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:00 am

congrats man! what was your setup? backpack/waterbottle? how often was each aid station?

none of the food they gave out was vegan? that hard to believe. im sure they had cookies, or something of that nature, but not even fruit? shock blocks are good stuff.

you get any blisters from the wet socks? that sounds like a long distance runners nightmare...running in wet socks for over an hour

so whats your plan now? going to take some time off?
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Postby skoptic » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:44 pm

Hey Mikay,

So I run with a North Face backpack with a bladder in it - and carry ALL my own food - can't rely on anything, I've learnt. They had aid stations every 9 of so miles .. but really it was just a case of giving them your number. I took a water bottle at about 24 miles .. but that was it. They had cake, jelly babies, sports drink (with aspartame in it, which I don't do), chocolate - and at the halfway check, they even had vegetarian stuff (quorn things... forget what they're called). The guy looked at me and said "we've got vegetarian.." so I said thanks but vegans are different and quorn has egg in it. He looked a bit deflated because they'd gone to the effort. Weirdly there were no bananas or any fruit. But like I said they offered to fix me up for their other ultras a couple of which I'm booked in for. I didn't mind at all - I didn't expect them to even think veggie let alone vegan :-)

Weirdly, my socks were SO wet that I didn't get any blisters in that 1st half, I suppose they were too slippy to cause any friction. I rarely get them anyway - I think I'm lucky and run fairly neutral. After I'd dried my feet and swapped socks - things were OK and it was business as usual. I got a hot spot under one toe (because all my plasters had come off in my swimming pool socks) .. but nothing to write home about. I think all in all it was 3 hours in soaking socks.. that's why me feet were so happy when I changed!

So, I'll do nothing today, and I'm coaching the club swim session that I would usually swim tomorrow but I'll be back on in by Tue, I think. This was actually just a training run, I've got double Ironman this summer, so no time off and lots more of the same. I've got a few ultras planned over the next 6 months - but really my focus is on cycling, because that is my weakest discipline and I need to be able to do 225 miles ... and then be fresh enough to run 52 straight after!

How about yourself, any more forays into the world of ultra this year?

By the way - I really didn't get to take any photos because it wasn't that kind of day .. but here are 3 .....

Image
Image
Image
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Postby veganlisa » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:10 pm

You are superhuman!!! Congrats on the race and good luck with your training for the DOUBLE IRONMAN. :shock:
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Postby ultra_whippet » Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:49 pm

Great work :) I hope to have a go at something similar net year, either the Tring2Town or Thames Path 50.

notmilk wrote:sounds great skoptic.
I'll be breaking my ultra cherry with this in March:
http://www.blacksheepsportsltd.co.uk/ultra.html

Oooh, that looks nice, don't think I'll make it this year, but definitely one for the future.

p.s. the Trek bars are ace!
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Postby notmilk » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:43 pm

skoptic wrote:
This was actually just a training run, I've got double Ironman this summer, so no time off and lots more of the same. I've got a few ultras planned over the next 6 months - but really my focus is on cycling, because that is my weakest discipline and I need to be able to do 225 miles ... and then be fresh enough to run 52 straight after!


Are you doing the UK double?
Don't know if you've seen this thread: may be of interest to you...
good luck with it.
http://www.tritalk.co.uk/forums/viewtop ... &start=600

Thanks for the tips re: nutrition. Pity about there not being any fruit. I always find fruit easier to digest when my stomach otherwise says 'no solids please'
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Postby MikayP » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:55 pm

good stuff man. personally i think im gonna concentrate on olympic, 1/2 ironmans at least till the end of summer. so unless i do a marathon, which is probably unlikely, my longest running race would be 13 miles after swimming/biking. want increase my speed.

so double ironman. would love to do that one day. like you my weakness is the bike. good luck mate
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Postby HumanGazelle » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:02 pm

LOL @ this being a training event! Inspirational work, Skoptic :)

Look forward to following your double iron progress over the year.
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Postby skoptic » Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:00 pm

Thanks again guys...

ultra_whippet wrote:I hope to have a go at something similar net year, either the Tring2Town or Thames Path 50.


Ambition Events have pulled out of the UK - so neither of those races have run this year, and I presume they won't again. Still there are loads of other ones around and more popping up all the time. GoBeyond did this one, also Rory Coleman (who used to run Ambition before they sacked him unceremoniously) has a few too. I'd not heard of the one NotMilk posted - so thanks for that too!

Yeah I'm doing the UK double and have seen the tritalk forum (thanks though) .. I should probably join and chat to them....
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