Wow! What a day! What a weekend!
I was filled with nerves. I always like to look happy and relaxed on the outside but I was definitely feeling anxious on the inside. I have had a few issues on past events that I didn't want to repeat. I also haven't been able to train as hard as I would have liked for various reasons.
Suffice to say it all came together and I had a fun run!
A big thank you to my daughter and her friend Chantelle for supporting me on the day. Plus a thankyou to Chantelle and her family for being our "home" for the weekend. They had to put up with the disruption of a Duck and an early start!
I had a slow Saturday of walking dogs, packing car up and then driving to Brighton.
A very relaxing evening with a large roast chicken dinner. Nearly an early night, and only 2 glasses of red wine.
The alarm went off at 6am so that I could eat my porridge with plenty of digestion time. Downed two cups of tea. That helped bowels. Very important moment!!!! Now I could relax!
Chantelle drove us to the sea front, parked up and then endured the Duck walking through her home town. It was cold but not bitter. The wind and rain from the previous day was definitely all blown out and over. I managed to slide on some ice and nearly split my wishbone. That was along the barrier line that all runners were walking along. Hopefully no one did themselves a mischief and jeopardise their run.
I mingled at the back of the ever growing block of runners. It was a sea of lycra. There were some unusual moves and stretches going on. Goodness, there were some very serious runners. Not a lot of runners in fancy dress. I stuck out like a..erm..six foot yellow bird! I also stood next to a petite five foot short bird, swathed in pink and caked on war paint - Katie Price. Not a big fan but well done that girl for getting out there. She posed for a photo with a group of army men bedecked in fatigues and bergens. Next to her ugh Barbie pink land rover.
Warm ups started and the adrenaline really kicked in. Chantelle and Rose wondered off and I was left on my ownsome..well with 10,000 other runners. It dawned on me that this was the first event I was doing my own. Couldn't really feel lonely as I had so many good wishes from twitter, facebook, friends and family. Makes a huge difference mentally. Plus, I was truly focused on why I was running (something I passionately hate!)..running for my Super 6 charities
. Saw a couple of Whizz-kidz
green vests so quacked out a good luck to them.
Finally, the countdown and noise was made to say the race had started. Took me nearly ten minutes to pass over the start line! Started my garmin, and so off I waddled. I was sticking to 12minute miles. I was not going to follow any of the pace runners. I was just going to tune into one ear bud with some uplifting songs, the crowds and runners. Oh my, off I went.
Through out the run I kept reminding myself to check my posture, follow my natural running rhythm, keep an eye on my garmin for pace. I had already been for a pitstop and was aware of my bladder claiming it needed emptying again. Decided that was nerves. Those bloomin nerves nagged at me all the way around. But I never went again until I as back at Chantelle's house, nearly an hour after the run!! Haha, bloomin' bladders. Glad I never did join the loo queues en route. I would have lost an hour!
I shall spare you the blow by blow account of the run and just share some significant moments.
The first was coming to the bottom of the "killer hill"! I had heard whispers from ahead that the hill was coming up. I kept looking. Finally after nearly 4-5 miles the ground levelled out and as I turned around a cone to start back, I was aware of high I was! Oh, that gradual incline was the "killer hill"! Well I conquered that one without realising! I glanced at my garmin and noted I had run uphill and done 5 miles in under an hour! Oh my, the fastest this duck has ever been! Wow! I was then coasting all the way back down to the bottom!
On the brow of the hill I could see beyond towards the ten mile markers, and some ant like creatures running back along the sea front, back to the Pier. In my first hour, having covered only five miles, the front runners were on their homeward last couple of miles! I wasn't disheartened. I am a realist. I waddle with a smile not speed!
On the way up the hill I was running into the sun. I was roasting..well melting! As I headed down hill it was into the head wind which was actually hard work. I found myself gasping for oxygen on mile 9. Either my chest infection was having a little mad fling or the wind and sea air was robbing me of air. I had experienced this at the Great South Run, another coastal route. I never had this when training in the woods. I was at the distant I had covered a couple of times too. I had to run/walk a mile or so let the lungs recover. This then reduced my time significantly and the potential sub two-hour and half hour time faded. Oh well! I managed to pick up to a run from mile 11 through to the end.
At my last mile I managed to text my daughter that I was on my way to the end. She advised me later that the crowd roars of "Come on the Duck" could be heard for some distance and she would have known I was on my way back. That was an exhilarating last mile. The crowd were almost carrying me with their voices and good wishes. It is also a good point here to comment on how fantastic the volunteers and crowds were at this event. A big thankyou quack from me.
The other thing I had noticed was that at the mile markers my garmin always showed I was actually .4 further on. For example. At mile marker 6 my garmin said 6.4 miles. I realised there must be an error somewhere so really used my garmin as a gauge. I wasn't chasing a PB just happy finish. However, it wasn't until finished and heard others mention a similar thing that I realised that actually, the course may have been wrong. Twitter and the Brighton Marathon face book and website certainly had many messages regarding this. Ok, kudos to the Duck who managed to run 13.6 miles in 2.50.. a half marathon extra! There was an announcement on Monday 20th to confirm the course had been extended by human error so all times were adjusted. My time was then 2.46. Faster than Peterborough half in October! Ooo I now have a PB!
The end of the race was a little odd. I had to keep walking after the finish line to get my medal, then a banana, a drink and finally an empty Sweatshop bag. Now I am not the spoilt brat who checks out the party bag in front of the host then screams about the nonsense inside. But, I question why I had a bag with two leaflets in it?
I am also still chuckling at the lady who when wrapping me up in a foil blanket completely dead panned me when I asked, "What gas mark will you be cooking me at?" hehe.. oh dear duck humour.
There was a lot of Duck humour en route. A lot of runners bothered to congratulate me on running in fancy dress. Trust me it takes nerves of steel to turn up as a Duck, and then run. I had the fun of dehydrating fast, plus flapped in the headwinds which produced some heavy drag! I think I dun good with my time and effort, all things considered. I did get my refuelling and hydration right on the day. I just used some sports jelly cubes and a mini mars bar. I also only really sipped at the drinks given out. My bladder still had me confused I was needing a pee! pah!
Chantelle and Rose walked me through town via a Starbucks. I had a huge full fat milk mocha and shortbread. Plus a handful of nuts. My afternoon was spent catching up with twitter and facebook from the comfort of an armchair with lots of cups of tea. I had a couple of bananas and more fruit n nut mix. I was hungry but no appetite. I still had to drive back home so really ate to insure I didn't suffer fatigue, muscle fatigue or energy dips.
Dear husband cooked full English for dinner that night, which was perfect.
So, another event has been done. The training of the last three weeks was intense having been ill for 8 weeks. I have my "wonderful team" team to thank - Vanessa Munday
(sports massage),Gary Frewen
(Gym and 1-1 PT) and Gareth France
(Kettlercise +), who have all helped me mentally, physically and more. Without them, I would still just be a waddling duck mooching along.
Sadly, my phone died at the weekend. So I can't upload any photos yet. But I will asap.For a bit of fun here are is my garmin analysis.
It does show some stoppage time. I had to re tie my shoe laces and twiddle my socks a couple of times!