Ok, so technically the whole point of Endure is the running… Except it’s not, not really!
But to get it done… Here’s how the running went.
I really wanted to do 4 laps. I managed three last year before my hip declined to participate any further. Sadly the same happened this year and I had to admit defeat after the third run.
So, how did the laps go?
I wasn’t first out so I had no pressure of feeling the need to race. As I headed out I promised myself I’d just go with the flow, pace according to how I was feeling and not look at my watch.
It has to be said, the route is SO much lovelier in the dry!
Admittedly the first hill is a tough start to the lap but I just trotted up and as I settled into the run it felt really nice. I was comfortable and I knew I was running a reasonable pace (by my standards!). All I had to do was maintain it.
There had been a few changes to the course from last year and, although opinions were mixed, personally I liked the changes. Granted ‘that bloody hill’ was bloody tough but otherwise it really was a lovely route.
Having already decided to walk up ‘that bloody hill’ (the hill just after the 3 miles mark) I felt no pressure to even try and run it. The team ethos had always been to have fun and I was determined to do just that.
On round the lap, through the woods, into the campsite and cheered home by my team… 51 minutes. Pretty good given recent training!
To be fair, this wasn’t too much different to lap one. Just a bit hotter!!
I still felt pretty strong and was genuinely enjoying the running. I started after 8pm so the requirement to wear a head torch had kicked in even though it was still really light. Being the wuss I am, I wore it over a hat to stop the straps rubbing my face…. But it was blooming hot with a hat on!
On this lap I ended up following a lady running in a pair who was on her 7th lap!! She looked so comfortable that I decided to stick with her. I’d done 5 miles and she was on her way to 35 miles, that was the motivation to keep me focused!
I stuck with her until about 100m from the changeover zone at which point she literally vanished!!
In preparation for lap 3 I headed to my sleeping bag at about 10pm to try and get a few hours sleep.
Unfortunately my left hip was sore and laying on it was painful to say the least! It was also pretty humid so with one thing and another it took me a good while to doze off!
The alarm went at 2.30am.. I don’t know quite how long I was asleep, or what the quality of that sleep was like, but I didn’t exactly feel refreshed and ready to run again!!
Dragging myself out of the tent and into my trail shoes I prepared to run, heading off to the changeover zone and annoyingly almost missing my handover. I was taking over from our most injured team member (she’s awaiting ankle surgery to solve a painful problem). Although she had committed only to walking round, she had obviously decided she felt comfortable enough to run it .. And in a pretty good time too – hence why I was caught out not being ready!!!
Setting off about 3.55am I knew within half a mile it was not going to be a pleasant lap! The morning was beautiful but physically I was sore. Not just the hip and tired legs.
I’d taken some new medication in the couple of days running up to the weekend and by the early hours of Sunday morning I was having trouble with a stitch whenever I walked never mind the running! Being the level headed, non-drama queen that I am, I was perfectly calm and gave myself a good MTFU talking to before carrying on with my lap….
Oh.. No… That’s a lie… What I actually did was hobble / jog the lap cursing my sore hip, knackered legs and trying to stretch out the stitch. When the stitch migrated from lower tummy to right chest I then started to panic and by the time the stitch spread to my left chest as well I was convinced the new meds had caused a thrombosis (one of the possible side effects) and I was about to die of a blood clot in my lungs, right there in the woods!
The tears came, I hobbled on and eventually (over an hour after I started!) made it to the changeover area. After handing over the wristband, I dissolved in tears and told the team mate who met me that I thought I was going to die!
Clearly the fact that I am writing this post confirms that I was in fact, being a tab over dramatic, I haven’t died, I don’t have a thrombosis and was clearly just Tired and Emotional*!
And there you have it – my three runs.. In the slightly altered words of Meatloaf, 2 out of 3 weren’t bad!
Part three will be about Team WTF…. a cracking group of ladies with whom I had a fab weekend.
* What a bloody good team name!