Thunder Run 2014 – 3/3

I’ve posted about my first and second run of the Thunder Run 24 hour event… Too hot, too dark… In true goldilocks style, would run three be just right?

4:15am and I woke to the Twinkle alarm from my iPad in my headphones. I maybe had around 3 hours sleep. Arg. I felt rough. I was a bit groggy and it was pitch dark in the tent and outside. Not good. I knew it was a 15 minute walk to the start line to meet Mike at around 5am. So I let myself lie until 4:30am.

When the time came I shuffled out of my sleeping bag and tried not to wake Eileen who I was sharing the tent with. I had to find socks, and a hat, and make sure I had my gels with me.

I knew my trainer socks were somewhere lost in my bag, so I opted for some sexy white long compression socks. Fluorescent yellow shorts and tshirt, white socks and cap, and I out my white arm warmer on as it felt a little chilly.

I was thinking to myself, this has to be one of THE HARDEST THINGS for me to make myself do ever. I’m some kid to make myself do this.

The camp was dead when I left, but I left my orange bag and bottle of water hoping Billy would maybe see it and take it down for me when I finished. As I was walking to the start lines passed a rather dazed Sarah Jane. She said she’d taken a bit longer than expected so mike ended up leaving at 25 to.

We went our separate ways and I wasn’t sure which 25 to she meant, but it ended up mike left at 25 to 4, so would be in at around 530am. It meant I’d be standing around for about 40 minutes in the dark. I’d borrowed al’s head torch but by the time Mike came in we realised I didn’t need it and he took it off me.

I started off again, feeling strong and like I had a mission to complete. The sun was rising and I had a feeling this would be my best and favourite run of the event. I remembered the route which made it easier, and my heart rate was low at between 130-140 for the first bit. The forrests we ran through we’re light under the sunrise, and again the water station came up very quickly.

I passed a solo runner ( yes, many crazy people do this event on their own and get around the for 19 or 20 times ). She was walking up the slight grass hill, but looked strong, so I said she was doing brilliantly, and she rather spritely said. ‘You are doing really well, look at you blasting up that hill!’ One nice compliment deserves a other and it some of the main reasons I was saying well done and giving people thumbs up when I passed them. I had another caffeine gel, so that was 4 in about 16 hours. Plenty of caffeine.

Once again at the 4 mile down hull part I felt very strong, I actually said in my head, ‘you are a machine’ (and believed it!) lol. Along the top grassy bit one last time and I took the opportunity to look around at the sunrise over the now pretty countryside.

My last mile ended up being my fastest mile of the whole event I think. a mixture of having run with a lower heart rate in cooler temperatures where I could see throughout, and remembering the route I think.

I handed over to a rather sleepy and dazed Billy, I had to look for him this time as he was a bit dreamy. Done!

Run 3: just right!
54:40, avg HR 154 max HR 172, Garmin Training Effect 3.9

My Garmin now showed 64 hours recovery due to me – I finished at around 625am, so recovery until around Wednesday, according to it. Third time round I knew what I needed. I was pretty sure with our timings that I wouldn’t be needed to run again. And after speaking to mike it turned out he would likely do the last lap. We would do 24 in total as a team. 🙂

Sarah Jane was sore and had a tough second run. And mike finishing off the event he entered us all for, with his 4th run seemed a fitting way to end the event. Mike ended up leaving at about 1145 and finished I’m not sure when. We all waited for him and ran in hand in hand. Even CLYDE and mikes two kids made an appearance to cross the line with us all. 🙂

Billy had got up in the dark and assumed is wouldn’t want anything, so I was on my own. I got some water and went to queue in the food tent. Tired and done in. I couldn’t even muster talking to anyone. I stretched a bit and waited to be served. When my time came I had very tasty porridge and honey, water and a banana. I decided to forgo my usual cup of morning coffee, thinking its time to stop the caffeine now. I wanted to be able to sleep at some point.

I hung around a bit and met Eileen, Al and Mike coming down before Eileen’s run. Eileen went to start her third run and I took her hoody to keep warm. I ended up waiting around with al and mike chatting whilst Eileen ran her last lap. I decided it would be a good idea to have another porridge and honey. Tasty.

When Eileen came in, Al went, and I took his rather XL Adidas hoody which was down to my knees and very funny looking but warm. Eileen felt great, ran strongly and did really well.

THUNDER RUN 2014: The Reluctant Runners
3 runs 18 miles 24 hours or 24 runs 144 miles 24 hours!

The name of the team was though up by a guy who I replaced. He was truly reluctant when he said he couldn’t do the event with the other 7 as his pregnant wife was due to give birth in 3 weeks.

Eileen asked me in about May or June if I was free this weekend and if I fancied doing it. She didn’t go into too much detail, but she knew I was crazy enough to say yes. I’m glad I did.

It was a great team event, event though I only knew Eileen, I had a great time with some very friendly and nice people. I got a bit of a runners tan (cheeks, arms. legs), thoroughly enjoyed myself and peed WAY far too much! Tshirt and medal well earned. 🙂

Afterwards my feet were very sore – the arches of my feet. And I was dog tired. Only three hours of sleep and lots of running is not good. Especially when you’re back to work first thing on a Monday morning.

Now a few days later the pain and tiredness has subsided. I actually heard myself saying tonight during a running coaching session – ‘I’d do that again’ lol. Next year it us then guys? Aaaaaaaarrrrggggg!!!

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