Storted An Ultramarathon
Today was a good day.
I finished the Stort 50 in 5 hours 2 minutes. I had no time target going into it but as the run progressed I set myself the target of going sub 5 hour by my paused watch i.e. ignoring my time spent at the checkpoints.
I started the race late as I was summoned by the Gods into brown town and began the race in last place. It was good slowly moving past people. My only aim was a negative split at all costs. That’s what I enjoy striving for in ultras these days even if it makes me a boring, predictable bastard.
My tactic was to go relatively easy up until the midpoint and then really speed up over the next 2 phases so that the negative split was not in doubt. Then I could coast home but that did not turn out as planned. At the final checkpoint a sub 5 hour clock time was still a possibility but it would have involved running my fastest phase of the run.
The last 5 miles were tough as the target stood in my head and I was still overtaking people but tiring. My pace was remarkably consistent at the end but it was not enough. I did it in 4 hours 47 minutes by my watch but took 15 minutes to rest in the middle at the checkpoints. It’s all good. If you were to suggest to me that this was gonna be the outcome today I’d have taken it all day every day.
I finished 63rd out of almost 200 runners which is a lot better than my first ever ultra where I finished last.
Jogging with a group who are running slower than you want to in the early stages helps immensely. The frustration builds up and providing you can get past them without them punching you into a canal you can use that excess energy to good effect. I was seriously hating on heads for about 8 fucking miles and I felt the energy coursing through me in a happy way. Then when the time came to start moving it was like my legs were full of springs.
I loved the heads even if I hated all the heads. This is so fucking confusing.
The weather was perfect and there weren’t very many slippery bits at all. Certainly nothing as harrowing as the first 5k of the Lancaster Canal which is just rocks, shit and mud with a bit of trail thrown in for good measure.
The checkpoints were really well stocked. I maybe took the piss a little bit with my scoffing of about 5 Kipling caramel shortbread squares per station but it served me well. Navigation was a piece of piss too which was lucky as I had no phone with me and no GPX.
I had a perfect nights sleep last night. My Airbnb was lovely.
No bad dreams for the first time in too long. You forget what an impact they have on your morning. When everything starts shitty it can be a difficult trend to break. You make bad food choices and drink too much coffee just to feel something other than hollowness The therapy is working slowly. I think the 5 HTP seems to be having a positive effect too. Life seems more full of colour and I haven’t had any cravings for Nytol. The day no longer seems like an impending wall where I’m desperate to be unconscious or altered.
4000km for the year now. Getting to 5000km is gonna be tough but I can do it. Need to concentrate only on doing at least 100km a week. If I can stay off the Nytol and use the weekends for running then I’ll get there.
If not, then I’ll just concentrate on 100km a week. One step at a time.