When the coach delivers the news you’ve got to run 31.1 miles off road and you personally want to run knowing you can get some consistency, laps is the answer.
After blazing a trail, by my standards, for the first 5, I settled into a steady pace on gradually underplaying loop, with the vast majority of climbing over .75 of a mile towards the end.
The premise was simple… 26 miles, 2.5 miles a loop… you can do the maths.
The biggest challenge would be mental. A marathon on a loop, solo, with little to entertain.
I stopped running with headphones a few years ago, so other than Hansens classic and for some reason I’m yet to fathom, exerts from the Sound of Music looping in my mind, I was on my own.
At 24 miles my body screamed. I’d run out of fluids a few miles before and this muggy day averaging 24 degrees C was taking it toll. A plea on Facebook Messenger to my partner delivered much needed water and Mountain Fuel. However, in the intevewing 10 minutes stood stationary (but stretching) my muscles grew ever tighter.
Moving off, I was like an elderly man with horrific mobility issues hobbling off. I ended up walking for 10 minutes. It would take 30 mins for my system to reset, utilising the fluids I’d consumed and a reasonable pace could continue.
With 5 miles to go, I went off the loop, retracing my earlier steps and running PST my house with 2 miles to go. A 1 mile out and back, with temptation at my side.
I finished with 31.1 miles complete, averaging 9.55 a mile. I’m looking forward to aid stations at Lakeland 50, as I ran my nutrition and hydration lean on the training run.
Always worth remembering, come the big day, it’s all in the mind.