I’ll do the numbers first:
Yesterday’s 20 mile race took me over 200 miles for the year, and over 2000 miles for my runstreak. I burned off 2299 calories, and when I weighed myself post race I had lost just over 2lbs in weight. I weigh myself to ensure that whatever I have lost goes back on, as it is usually dehydration that causes it for me because I sweat a lot!
I went to Bedford to run Dirt Running’s inaugural Bedford 20 (http://bedford20.com/). It sold out a few weeks ago, so I was glad that I entered when I did, having never done a 20 mile race before. As I build back up to marathon distance, the 20 miler is the distance I hate doing alone, and have usually put it off as long as I can. I have known of 20 mile races in previous years, but most have been too far away. This one was within driving distance, so off I pootled down the motorway, trying to find my lost hour of sleep as I went.
I got there nice and early so sat in the car until nearer the civilised start time of 10am. The only little niggle (which I have already been told will be rectified for next year) was that there weren’t enough portaloos at the start. As ever, I was in the loo as the race started! Of 1000 places, there were nearly 900 starters, which is great news for a first time running of this event!
It was a beautiful day to celebrate the start of British Summer Time, and the course easily matched it – part trail, part path, with the marina and other waterways surrounding us, with loads of friendly and supportive marshalls manning the water stations and the course. Thank you to them for giving their time!
My plan was to run the first 10 and power walk the second 10 after some advice from a friend. After 6 miles I started to feel giddy and faint again, as I did during my last race. At 10 miles my stomach was rumbling. I’ve been testing jelly babies as race fuel, and whilst they work, I have to be taking them in quicker than I would with gels to allow for the fact that they take longer to get into my system. I will probably go back to gels IF I can find a flavour I like. However, I feel that this issue could be being caused by dehydration. After 5 miles, my shirt was completely soaked with sweat. I do take fluids with me to drink, but it’s possible I am not drinking enough. Somewhere around 13 miles it was all I could do to just put one foot in front of the other and eat jelly babies to get sugar into me (I did it on the move, not wanting to waste any time). I did meet a chap who seemed to be suffering worse than I was, and we both agreed that this was the time to have a bad day, rather than at our planned ‘A’ race. He did say that he might join us at Milton Keynes in the Half, so hopefully I’ll get to catch up then and hear how his ‘A’ race went.
The race was a lapped event, but worked very well as you got to see other runners on lots of different parts of the course, and even though I was in the last few finishers, I never once felt lonely, which can often happen as the field thins out during the race. I’m just sorry that I didn’t get any photos of the course this time!
Overall, a great way to get a 20 mile training run done, with a generous time limit of 5hrs, and great support throughout. I would highly recommend this race if training for a Spring marathon in future.
There’s still time to join me at the Milton Keynes Marathon (or Half-Marathon) on May 7th, but spaces are now filling fast, so don’t miss out if you are considering coming along – although we’d love some more volunteers for marshalling spots and other important areas that allow us to take part in these events! http://www.mkmarathon.co.uk for more info.
Have a great day!