|12th Aug||Rest Day|
|13th Aug||Rest Day|
|15th Aug||Rest Day|
|16th Aug||Rest Day|
|18th Aug||Rest Day|
|TOTAL||1010.67||1626.48||8 days 00:17:56||25,006||24,707||112,305|
1000 training/racing miles complete! A great milestone for my challenge.
Sunday was the Ramsey Marathon and my plan had been to walk at my target 100 mile pace for two reasons, firstly so I could assess how I felt at the end and then decide if another 75 at that pace was remotely possible and secondly I didn't want to stress my foot too much.
There were about 100 runners and walkers in the event and, knowing I would be walking, I took my position towards the back of the field.
When the gun went off I got carried along with the quicker pace of the runners as I didn't want to hold people up behind me, and the plan was to slow down once the initial jostling for space on the road settled down.
As part of the jostling Matt Haddock, who was also walking the full distance, had worked his way through to me from the very back. After just a few minutes everything settled down and I glanced at my watch which had me going much quicker than the plan.
This is when I had a quick decision to make.
I had spoken with Matt earlier in the week and I knew he was hoping to do around 4:40 or thereabouts, about 20 minutes quicker than my planned pace.
Michael George had also commented on my previous blog asking me what benefit I hoped to achieve walking at my 100 mile pace and I knew he was right.
The benefit I was hoping for was more mental than physical, i.e. being able to assess how I felt at the end, but the truth is after walking 26.2 miles at any pace I would be knackered so would that really tell me anything I didn't already know?
I also knew my foot was generally okay on the flat, and even if it did flare up I would have 3 weeks while working in Dubai for it to settle down again.
As mile one clocked over in 10:42, about a minute quicker than plan, the decision was made. I would walk with Matt and see how close I could get to 04:40.
We walked together the entire distance to record 04:42, a walking PB over the Marathon distance for me of 26 minutes, and just 18 minutes slower than my running PB!
My foot was absolutely fine and I only started to notice it during the last couple of miles so all in all it was a great result.
Two large 13.1 mile laps is mentally pretty tough but chatting the whole way around made it feel so much easier and it certainly didn't feel like we had been out there for nearly 5 hours, so thanks for the company Matt, and thanks to Michael for questioning my plan.
Also a big thanks to all the organisers and helpers for putting on such a great event.
One of the things Matt and I were chatting about was how it's a shame the walkers aren't classified separately to runners as there were some great times from the regular walkers in both the full and half marathon.
Of course if they did this then technically it would need to be judged, even if it was a category B walk, but even an 'unofficial' nod to the efforts of the walkers would be a nice touch and may even encourage more walkers to take part.
Just like the Fireman's 50k walk is great preparation for the Parish Walk, a half or full marathon is great preparation for the End to End.
On Wednesday I did a steady walk out towards Baldwin and back. I purposely didn't wear my heart rate monitor as I just wanted to walk at a relaxed/comfortable pace but it turned out to be a pretty hard 8.3 miles.
The route is quite hilly and mile 2 is a long descent down Skollag road so my foot was hurting quite a bit at the bottom, and on the steep climb just after the bridge my hamstrings started complaining too.
It was only 2 days since the Marathon so my hamstrings came as no surprise, but my foot was annoying and I should have just called it a day and turned around for about 4 miles, but I didn't. No surprise there really.
I am off to Dubai for 3 weeks on Saturday for work and while I was originally thinking it's an inconvenient time so close to the 100 I'm now thinking it's the perfect time.
Looking back at my weekly mileage this is the end of a good 6 week block of training so I will take next week off completely and then just do some easy treadmill sessions in the gym in weeks 2 and 3 just to keep moving.
It's also a good opportunity to use some of the other gym equipment for some targeting strength training, particularly my hamstrings which are usually the first to suffer in the ultra walks.
And don't forget, the second part of my challenge is to try and raise £2,016 for Finley's Tracks and all donations are welcome here. A big thank you to everyone who has already sponsored me online or offline, and to those who have pledged to donate later.