Saturday, 3 September 2011

Ridgeway 85 (still not sure if its 87miles) report and perfecting YOUR moment

It was been a long time since a real post but I guess you can say it has been head down with work and training for the last few months.
This past weekend I raced?...the Ridgeway 85 which is an 85mile run organised by the TRA and doubles as their UK Trail Running Championships. I'll keep this brief as although a lot happens over 20hours its fair to say I had two defining moments. The second of these moments was when I was cruising along in about 15th feeling real good before the heavens (or my feet) opened up......gushing....bulging.....gnarly blisters. BOOM the last 20km was a complete death march to the line and in a hobbling kind of run i ended up 22nd in 20hrs 12mins. All things considered I would have taken it at the start.
The first, and most significant moment of my race was my ordeal between 30-50km. It was bad, I felt bad, I had nothing and I didn't know why. In these dark moments of a race you start to question everything- did I train enough, did I put in enough hill repeats, have i eaten, am i hydrated, am i injury free? Each answer was a yes yet I still wanted to throw the towel in, curl up in a heap and cry like froddo sans ring....I was a mess. I tried to force my mind towards the forward relentless motion mantra and eventually things would turn around. Eat, drink, talk, electrolytes and run when you hour later and I still had zero to give, it sucked. As I was honking up an hill during a hail battering shower I just decided to stop and sit on a log. It was over.
I took a minute looked around and let my mind wander to scenery and the image of runners behind and ahead. At this point a decided to just be. This moment is were I was suppose to be, I was meant to sit down and take in the environment (which was great let me add, Britain really does have some beautiful trails). I was not meant to be running hard at this point, I excepted my moment, got up and shuffled my way forward. I instantly knew I had to stay in this moment. Racing did not matter for know but its kind of funny how for the next 70km I made huge inroads into the runners ahead and my 50 too 120km split was 5th fastest overall. Their was something very disassociated yet connected about this moment. 20hours is a long time to be running yet it can be over in a flash if you just be.
This is something we can add and think about in all aspects of life. Western society makes us over analyse and question everything. In some ways it can push people to seek new information and stimulate the mind but other times it can and will break you down at some point. Accept your moment and work through it- positivity is great but sometimes you just need to be you.

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