Sunday, 31 October 2010

Hallowe'en and the conquer of 1/6th of the A2A!

So today as I have said, I wanted to try and complete 1/6th of the A2A by running 14.5miles this morning and following it up with the last of the swim challenge, 7,750m, this evening. Fair eough there's no cycling but we can't have everything! The clocks going back allowed a leisurely wake-up and by 8am I was munching on porridge with raisins and syrup. By 9.20 I was in the gym and ready to start my run. The plan was to do 9min run/1min walk for the first two hours and then switch to 5min run/1min walk for the remainder. The first hour was probably the hardest but the second hour went well. Switching to 5:1 ratio at that point was a good idea as I could start feeling myself fatigue. The longest run I've done since the Double is 11miles so this is a step up. Still just over 2.5hours later I was done. First part of the day, check! Back home to refuel and have a short 75mins nap.

Part 2 of the challenge was the final session of my month of swims - 7,750ms. By 4.20 I was back in the pool and with provisions (1xH30 Pro, 1 x Orange Squash, 1 x Fig Roll) stacked neatly by the side I was off. I felt really really good during the swim - strong and smooth with a good feel for the water. I remember I felt the same in my evening swim post-run last Sunday which is encouraging for the A2A and means I am recovering well. I decided to do 2 x 80 length and then 4 x 40length alternating pull and full stroke. The first 80 passed quickly and with a quick swig of juice I was onto the second. People often ask me what I think about during long swims and it can be any manner of things but today I decided I would have a set figure of support or inspiration to think of during each section. The first 80lengths were dedicated to my friend Mimi Anderson (www.marvellousmimi.com) who is the most inspirational ultra-runner I know and who has just broken the WR for the furthest distance completed by a woman on a treadmill in seven days. Mimi only took up running in her forties and her journey is quite incredible - just check out her blog for the massive list of her achievements. We first met in 2006 when we both competed in the Libyan Challenge. I think Mimi was first woman home, I think I was second to last! It was my first foray into ultra events and her advice, support and humour made the whole experience a pleasure! Anyway, just before I went out I needed some motivation so went and looked on her blog for the video posted last weekend of her in the last two minutes of her run (completed may I add on a broken foot) and that was all I needed to get me heading straight for the pool. So she was a great help today and got me through those first 2,000m. The second 80lengths was dedicated to the two wonderful (and competing!) forums I use - tritalk and runnersworld. I have met a number of people from both sites 'in real life' and they are nothing but supportive of my crazy ventures - always leaving messages of support and following what I'm up to. A runnersworld forumite 'Symes' first planted the seed of the daily swim by completing the same thing but running based - 1km x day of the month. I think he got the raw end of the deal but I'm sure most runners would disagree!

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