Entertaining and informative blogs on fitness and health .... and running a long way.
Friday, June 10, 2011
ROMANCE VERSUS REALITY
So I'am driving through the village and theres a picture of two cool dudes running up a hill advertising three different trail runs..20k, 34k and 52k and a light went on. Could I run 20k through the hills of where I live, surely possible if I run 10k normally so full of self belief I signed up and went on a practice run through some of the course. It was hard but doable and this was in normal trainers. Next step was to buy some cheap trail shoes to test ( Iam a Yorkshireman after all), then a cheap camelback that held 2 litres of water,special socks,hat, trail vest, shorts....I looked quite the proffesional until Sue informed me that I looked a total dork.... but I would not be deterred.
I only had two weeks to 'break' the shoes and myself in. I became further enlightened on the second exploration when the markers had been put out for the actual trail which is when I came across those rocks in Blog no1. This was part of the actual course and I thought,'they must be joking'. This was the first of many suprises of what is expected on these trails.....I had no idea.
The thought of running 20k through these beautiful hills I find quite romantic but of course when you are actually doing it.....tired,bruised, hot and completely knackering is more the reality.
Soon the BIG day arrived. I had trained in fabulous sunshine but race day had decided to turn into Armegeddon. My friend Nick said 'forget it, too dangerous, you must be mad'. I must admit I had my doubts, running over rocks and up and down steep Category 1 gradients in this weather was a bit dicey. Undeterred I arrived to find over 25% of the runners had failed to show due to the conditions.I wasn't nervous at this point I was bloody terrified. When I had gone to pick up my 'Trail de Balcon' shirt the day before they smiled and said 'No monsieur, you get it after the race'. They all found this hilarious especially the hardy endurance lot who resembled Special Forces Navy seals. In the midst of this wet group of 150 hardy souls a french guy, Cedric, asked me if he needed two shirts or three ( like as if I knew). I nonchalantly said 'No, two is fine I know this area well'. What a prat, for all I knew Cedric and myself were about to die of hyperthermia. I was swallowing water, bananas,gels,powerbars, isotonic drinks like there was no tommorrow...I must have looked like a complete amateur; and thats because I was.