Thunder Run 24 2/3

Earlier I posted about my first run of the Thunder Run 24… over the 24 hour period, I ran three times – at 1pmwhen it was roasting, at 9pm when it was dusk / dark and at the ungodly hour of 5:30am (very very early, after not much sleep!)

Here’s what happened for run number 2:

I wasn’t particularly looking forward to the second run as it would be in the dark and on trails. But at least it would be cooler and I might remember some of the route.

I changed from my vest into a t shirt and reflective gillet then went along to the start line at around half 8 – It was progressively getting darker. Mike seemed to be taking longer than I expected him. I thought he’d be in before 9, but he started a little later than I thought, so was in at just after 9.

It meant I’d been standing for a while and by the time I went I was bursting for a pee. My 75th of the day it seemed. I was drinking plenty because it was hot but also because I wanted to fend off and any potential dehydration. I’m glad to say it seemed to work. The only problem was that I really needed a pee by the time I got the changeover from Mike.

In the handover I showed just how disorientated I was as I shouted for Pete of Mike. Oops he found me anyway. I knew I couldn’t run with a full bladder, so after a minute or so I hid behind something, squatted and did a very long pee. Phew.

Head torches were compulsory after 820pm. I had mine and a hand torch. But I realised when I started running that they were crisp. It was a mixture of dusk drawing in, so the light was somewhere between daylight and darkness most of the way and the fact that other runners had what seemed like nuclear powered lights. When they’d run up behind me all I could see was my shadow and their beam. It was ok though.

In the Forrest bits I really needed a light, but my head torch was pathetic. I got on with it anyway. I wasn’t checking my heart rate as much on this one as I was concentrating too much on where I was going and putting my feet, but it didn’t feel as hard as the first run.

I was wearing my bright reflective gillet, a bit of a stunner for those with bright lights. It waspk for me, but the light bounced right back at them. I love it.

Up the hill at mile 1, it seemed easier than last time and my heart rate was around 140. That’s better I thought. Not the crazy 165-180 of the first heat induced run of earlier. It wasn’t too dark yet, and I think I’m a bit night blind anyway, so it was a challenge. I tried to remember the downhills, but I didn’t take the time to check where on the route I was, so I just took it as it came.

Miles 1 and 2 seemed to be over in a flash and before I knew it I was at the water station. I had a drink and then kept going.

Down the big hill in mile 4, and I was really starting to enjoy it again. It was like something switched on in my body, or something was released (endorphins / adrenaline probably) and I was feeling amazing.

Cape well and truly on. And music on too: I have 17 songs on my best playlist and I played them on repeat – they really helped at points.

Before I knew it I was out of the Forrest and running along the top path and close to home. I pushed on home, knowing the route to the end this time. I finished in around 56 minutes this time and when I sprinted into the changeover area, Billy was dreaming and not really paying attention, so I got his attention and he took off with the band.

Run 2: too dark, but ok.
56:30, avg HR 158 max HR 174. Garmin Training Effect 4.1

After this run I was going to have a shower. But I needed some food and water first. I got some water and then went to buy a tasty mix of bacon, potato, onions, garlic and cream I think. It was really good, but I think anything would have been at that point. Mike was there at the end of my run and he gave me my bag with my stuff to shower and new set of clothes to run in.

I was changing from my orange shorts and tshirt, to bright yellow, plus my reflective gillet to run in as dawn broke in the morning. I got showered, and it took quite a bit of though to do the basics of things like keep my clothes dry and brush my teeth. The shower was ok though, a bit dirty, but that could almost be expected.

I got ready and went back to camp to hopefully lie down and sleep in the tent. (I hadn’t laid down in it at all during the day as it was too hot).

As I was walking back to the camp, my Garmin light was on, and iwhen I saved my run it suggested my recovery: 72 hours. Lol I laughed. Not very likely! (Although I will be taking at least a week off training next week, only walking and the odd coaching session – and maybe a swim later on in the week if I fancy it).

I’d taken a caffeine gel before the night tine to run and one during it so I was probably still buzzing and unable to sleep. Rest would do and I ended up getting to sleep about 1am I think.

When I was lying awake waiting for Eileen to come in from her run which started at around 11, I was trying to figure out when is be back on. After about 5 attempts I agreed with myself that I’d be on at around 5am. I set my iPad alarm for 4:15am…arg, put some Florence and the machine on down low in my headphones (to drown out any other noise) and tried to sleep.

My brain wasn’t playing ball… and I needed sleep… I tried counting to 10, then ended up trying to focus on the words of the songs to prevent me thinking about other things… Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

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