Stealing some of the text from Strava

My plan this year was for more of an off-road marathon. There is a nice 30k trail run I have which is basically running 15k to run up a big hill and then running back, but it’s absolutely beautiful and fun. And so then I worked out if I tacked on one of my wind turbine runs I’d be pretty much spot on for a marathon.

Of course, I’d planned on training for this and was just about to start that when lockdown happened. I’ve managed to do enough running even when we could only leave home once a day, but I thought I’d save starting a training plan until when lockdown ended. What happened instead was that I’d so missed running that 30k trail (it’d been over six months) that when the five mile exercise radius restriction got lifted last Friday I thought I’d just get up and have a go at my offroad marathon idea - If I was struggling I could just call it quits after 30k.

Unfortunately I’d not had a good nights sleep, but it felt “now or never”ish so I still got up at 5.45am (on a Saturday!) and did it. I’d made some flapjack the day before so took that and some novelty “brussel sprout” white chocolate truffles I found in the cupboard left over from Christmas (did not check use by date).

I fell over at about 15k, just before the hillclimb. The path was so overgrown I couldn’t see where my feet were. I was already pretty wet from running through the tall grass, falling over completed the job.

I’d stashed a bottle of water at about 32k since I’ve run the 30k route enough times to know I can do it without water (this is Scotland afterall. It was 7-8 degrees C when I did this in July; I started the run wearing gloves) and before breakfast. That was also my bailing point if things weren’t going well. But I felt good at that point so I walked and drank for a few hundred metres (a far better approach than what I’ve tried in the past which is trying to run and drink - I can’t do it!). I stashed the bottle again to pick up on the way home.

I think I did ok up until 37k and then cracked, but in all fairness I was running up a big hill again by then; I ran even more slowly down it because my legs were tired and I didn’t trust them myself not to trip and fall over.

Funnily, it turns out this more offroad route is actually slightly less hilly than my road route. In terms of total elevation, anyway: 476m elevation vs 571m. Although the offroad hills are steeper! This is also the fastest marathon I’ve run 4:20:02. Pretty happy with that as I thought I’d be slower with this route.

Next year I might try to tack on the other section of wind turbines which would take me very close to 50k.