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What lies in wait on 2nd July - The 110k course profile

Monday, 1 February 2016

The tale of Langdale 1/2 marathon

I've mentioned my Langdale half marathon experience a few times, so maybe it's now time to look back at that in more detail. First, a bit of explanation as to why I've called this blog 'from 0-68'. Despite the fact I've already done a run of this length, I really feel I started the training for the 68 mile run from a base of running 0 miles.

Technically, it's true. When I applied for a place in late September the last time I'd been out for a run was about 7 weeks before. Janet and I had entered a 15km trail race and had been running together, training for that, but Janet had a nasty fall and injured herself and we'd not been out since then. I wasn't running alone as it had been Janet's idea to start going the August before that and I'd been enjoying the companionship of running with someone - something I've not done before.

Before that I'd not run for 4 years, when I took part in the aforementioned Langdale Half marathon in 2010. for me this lived up to it's billing as one of the UK's toughest half marathons, so much so that when I finished I vowed that I'd 'never run again'.

Why did I find it so tough though? Well, I reckon there's a few reasons and therefore lessons:
  • Make sure you do enough training. I probably didn't, just going out for a run when I felt like it, with no plan to follow. The furthest I ran before the event was 9 miles and when I got to 9 miles on the course I really felt like it was time to stop. Except that point was right at the bottom of a massive hill .....
  • Get your pacing right! My last blog was all about this - It's always been a bit of a weak point with me and I distinctly remember starting off full of excitement, trying to keep up with the front of the pack. Trouble is, the course heads up another horrible, steep hill to Blea Tarn after the first 1/2 mile. By the time I got to the top of that I was already in trouble .....
  • Don't drink a couple of pints the night before. Should be obvious and Janet did point out to me that it might not be a good idea at the time, but I knew best ....
All good solid reasons why I ended up running the last 2 miles back up the Langdale valley like Steptoe, grimacing and waddling. When I look back now though, a valuable experience and those three points are definitely things I can apply to the current race.

I guess I should just be glad I didn't run the full marathon. That uses the same course but with two circuits, so you'd have to run past the finish line with all the relieved half marathoners finishing and head off straight back up the horrible hill to Blea Tarn. It's anyone's guess what my vow might have been if I'd tried that .....

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