So here i am, a few days after struggling to walk with aches in everypart of my lower body.
Sunday 12th was a massive day for me, my first ultra, this one arranged by pulse pursuites the promise of a 32mile run around my home turf of the black country.
I arrived at Himley hall for 7:30am, eager to get get registered (im always terribly early), people started arriving in dribs and drabs and shortly after 8am, kit was checked, registered and number attached and i was ready.
There was some mulling around as we waited for the 9:30set off, its a great time to people watch, people become walking trophie cabinates of past events,each choosing a t-shirt from other ultras, ahowing off their previous success. All seemed experienced, me, ive never done a marathon let alone an ultra so i choose my running sucks t-shirt.
A short briefing, this was the first blackcountry ultra, there were maybe 40 people there and after a 1, 2 , 3 we were off.
The route was a circular jaunt starting and finishing at himley hall, a brief road section, traffic kindly stopped at the first lights and we joined a now disused train track and connecting to the monarchs way. Pleasant track, flat and great to see it being used so well. The pack dodged walkers, runners and cyclist as if hunting the finish line.
Before long we joined the canal network and onto check point one Aldersley stadium, supporters cheered and clapped, i checked in, ate some sweets and set off again. The pack thinned out and for most of the time i remained on my own.
People passed me, but one thing ive learmed is not to be concerned, people will pass and thats ok.
I always enjoy the canals around the midlands, there are many great sights. I passed down into Wolverhampton and skirted Bilston the miles slowly ticking away.
Cosley and Tipton passed by and onto the first tunnel,
a short section needing my head torch, people as they entered made the usual sounds, echoing down the passage. Check point 2 arribed and chance for a brief photo op of me looking athletic, drink and sweets before i headed to tunnel number 2, Netherton tunnel 2.768m long it was definately a feet of endurance. Cold dark and very wet underfoot it made for uncomfortable running only half way through.
Check point 3 reached skirting the warf at Merry Hill, good sunday folk ate and drank while watching odd swetyy people go by. It was here i met a guy called Paul, he like me had heroicly jumped straight to an ultra, we congratulated each other on completing our first marathon and got our heads down and ground out the miles, they lasted and each mile marker seemed to get longer. We kept each other spirits up, encouraged each other to run, walk, hydrate and eat.
After a certain distance it becomes more about mind games, a battle with yourself rather than the distance. My body hurt, ankles sore, thighs, calfs, lower back. Pretty much everyrhing below my waist hurt. The last 3miles were upon us, this gave a much needed boost to the beleagured pair, we now used pavements, uphill seemed to be a cruel joke but we steeled ourselves and were soon passing the last marshal, claps and well dones were given to us, two miles left, before we passed some walkers half a mile away who also declared 2miles left. Seems like a cruel joke.
The last mile, we laughed and ran home, never had a small tent looked so welcoming, we finished together. Medals in hand, beer in hand i hobled to my car, congratulating paul.
Days after now, my legs hurt. My feet hurt, my left foot has swollen but with ice its not to bad. I did heat up on the evening almost as if i had a fever, whilst i felt well i was hot, a sign of dehydration im lead to believe.
In hind sight it may have been a good idea to have run further in training but not neccessarily needed:-D
Now i rest, recover and get ready for my marathon next month. Happy running everyone.