One of the first things that crossed my mind at about 10:25pm on Saturday night was; no blog for me thank you. That was an initial reflection at the end of a race that frankly went arse up when the cramp put a halt on proceedings on the way up Garburn Pass.
However, there is always something to be learned from a race and reflection helps you improve, so I’m sat at the computer after all, glass half empty thoughts banished. My blog is basically notes for personal future reference.
My motivation when racing has never changed and is pretty simple; be the best that I can be.
Whatever the outcome in race position or time, I can look myself in the mirror if I know I have put maximum effort into my performance. If you had seen what I looked like for an hour or so after the race I think it would answer that question!
What did I do well, what could be improved and did I live in the moment like I hoped I would?
The summary of my third Lakeland 50 experience looks like this;
50 miles at 50.
Another awesome and inspiring weekend in the company of runners doing quite remarkable things. The atmosphere in Coniston is really something unique.
This is why entries sell out in 20 minutes!
Running in the Lake District is my all time favourite place to be.
Seeing my eldest daughter run off down the road on her own in the Lakeland 1 and running with my youngest daughter.
Incredible support from my family and friends that keeps you going when you need it the most.
Outstanding performances from all my clubmates, too numerous to do justice to here.
I ran my own race. I used my HRM this year to gauge effort levels.
Kit; all fine. No chaffing. Only one blister, plus the usual battered toes from downhills.
Fabulous support from every marshal at every CP, allowing you to get in and out super quick.
Running into the brilliant Spartan HQ at Mardale CP and not being sick!
Wearing sunglasses through the Langdales instead of a headtorch!
Fighting off the negativity of 5 hours of cramp and nausea to get inside 11 hours with no food or water from 40 miles
Despite falling short of my mid race performance expectations, I finished within 6 minutes of the pre race plan
I improved my resilience to adversity and coped with a plan B adjustment
A new PB. 10:56 82nd and 49 minutes faster than 2014.
Another sunny day at Dalemain!
I lived in the moment for 5 hours then spent the next 5 living somewhere less enjoyable
Onset of inexplicable adductor cramps that crippled me on and off for the last 25 miles
I didn’t manage to control the onset of nausea
Heat; way better than 2014 but still toasty and several people thought I had fallen in a salt shaker
Photo: Sport Sunday
When it is going wrong, I need to work around a solution and not just try and plough on.
Eating and drinking discipline still needs refinement. I hydrated for the heat and used tailwind and also some s-caps later on, but I think it’s a question of understanding the balance of what’s in my stomach. Osmosis rules!
I banked on seeing certain foods at some CP’s that were there last year but not this year, which briefly dented my positivity; only rely on yourself!
Cramp management strategy.
Even though you may have done it before, every race experience is different and you cannot predict the outcome with certainty.
This was my 5th Ultra of 2015. In 4 weeks I go to Anglesey for the RingOFire for my first multi day challenge.
135 miles in 3 days of tough running over coastal headlands, beaches, fields, trails and lanes.
For a low level route it still packs almost 14,000ft of vertical rollercoaster ascent.
My motivation for completion is burning high and that’s what I need to help me through the dark moments that will inevitably come.
What will I be doing on Lakeland 100 weekend next year? I don’t know, but after 3 years of steadily satisfying improvement, it won’t be the 50!
In 2015, I was the best that I could be.