Wednesday 15 July 2015

Running Stupid

The following is an article that I wrote last year for the rather splendid running magazine Like the Wind. If you don't already subscribe, and you have even a passing interest in any type of running (if not, what on earth are you doing here?!), I thoroughly recommend giving it a look. It's not all idiots like me writing - some people know what they're talking about!

Running 100 miles in one go is a really stupid thing to do. I know this because people tell me so on a regular basis:

"I wouldn't even drive that far!" 

"Pheidippides died after running only a marathon y'know!" 

"Isn't it bad for your knees?" 

You know the drill. Everybody knows these things. Nobody could possibly run 100 miles. Except that they do. All the time.

Wednesday 8 July 2015

South Downs Way Race Report 2015

Eurgh. Okay, I wasn't really planning on writing anything about this race, but decided to use this post to get my thoughts in order and to record it for posterity. This blog is predominantly for me to look back on after all, and I don't want to introduce a publication bias in my own work! I'll try and keep it short, but I think that we all know that ain't going to happen!

The South Downs Way 100 was the first 100 miler that I ever ran, doing it way back in the heady days of 2011 before it became a Centurion Running event, and was run in the opposite direction. It was a bit longer back then (about 107 miles I think), and started up Beachy Head and along the Seven Sisters (which was a bit of a shock given my lack of hill experience). I did pretty well, and in particular I pushed right the way through despite feeling like crap, and despite having a dodgy knee from about 80 miles in. For about 10 miles over night, limping along, being taken the wrong way by my Dad who met me to pace me, I felt like there was no way that I could I finish. But I pushed on - "one leg in front of the other", "run if you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must". Pick your cliché. The point was that I bloody wanted it. I was hungry to feel what it would be like to push through the barrier and do something that many others couldn't (or wouldn't). And do you know what? As the sun came up, as I got back into the rhythm, and as I smelled the finish line for the first time (I think the drains had gone...), I suddenly found that I could run after all. In fact, the last 5 miles went bloody well. "It never always gets worse", and as anyone that has done these kinds of races before knows, if you just keep making relentless forward progress you'll likely get a second (or third, or fourth, or fiftieth) wind and suddenly feel great again.

I mean bloody hell, that's the name of this blog!