My challenge – 26.2 miles – a huge amount of miles to cover.

Didn’t really think much about it – found a training plan (or two) and set to hit one or two of them and didn’t do too badly really. Managed to hit a maximum of 17 miles (twice) so felt pretty ‘ok’ about the event. You never actually train to the full mileage although it is recommended to do at least 20 (my 17 had included some hills, so was happy with my maximum).

One thing I didn’t count on – as the training had been during the cooler months – was the heat. And I don’t do well in the heat!

The hours passed, the people cheered, my fueling was spot on (something I had really struggled with and been kept up at night worrying) but my hands swelled up. So funny to look at them – looked like a pair of marigolds that had been blown up 🙂 I was told it was due to dehydration (after the event) but felt I was taking on enough water. They do warn you about taking on too much water (and that people had died from it in the past) so you are conscious of not drinking too much. We had those lovely little bottles of Buxton (just fitted nicely in the hand and filled my bottle perfectly) as well as carrying my own bottle (to add my electrolyte tablets every 6 miles).

I had arranged to meet some people to run with – just didn’t happen as mobile connectivity was poor at the beginning of the race. I therefore set off with a new ‘friend’ and we started off at a good pace (a little fast for me but was feeling good). A toilet stop – a 10 minute experience – meant we went our separate way, never to meet again – hope it went well Sarah!

I stood there watching people pass me – people I’d passed previously – but needing to use the ‘facilities’. It was incredibly frustrating but totally necessary. (And I had to go again later on in the race – that’s at least 10 minutes I’ll never get back!)

Some brief conversations with other runners/walkers and hi-fiving children, jellybabies and bananas (oh, and even a baby wipe which was very welcome) and more time passed – and miles underfoot. Oh and some lovely showers – they were fabulous.

 

Then someone ran up behind me and stopped next to me, a look to the side and there was my friend from Leeds (we’d tried to get together for a training run before the big race) and here we were actually running together, Griselda and I. We stayed together until the end. Walking, running, talking, encouraging and generally getting to the end.

Here‘s her take on the event and the 10 lessons she learnt on her journey. This is us when we’ve received our medals.

My next challenge is in 5 weeks – just a Half (13.1m), did I ever think I would say ‘just’ with a figure like 13.1 miles? Bring it on …

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