Tuesday 15 November 2011

Official ultrarunner!!

Whoop whoop. I ran my first ultra training run at the weekend. 30 miles. I woke up the next day feeling like something exciting had happened and remembered that it had! 30 miles.

For anyone running their first whatever distance - you will get this feeling. It's brilliant. It's like you've gone out there and achieved something all by yourself, for yourself, and no one can take that away from you. This is partly why I run. So I can feel proud of myself.

Whenever you're having a bad day, the inner you can go "yeh but you smashed that run the other day!", and that will sit with you forever.

Anyway, my point is any milestone run should be celebrated, whatever level you are at. You'll never run your first again so make the most of it when you do.

Pam Reed, ultrarunner extraordinaire said a similar thing in her book "The Extra Mile" when she said she got a little jealous of her friends when they ran their first marathon. I feel the same. I remember thinking during the last few miles of Edinburgh marathon (my first marathon) that I had to remember this bit. And I did, and I still can picture the pain! But also that feeling of absolute elation when I'd crossed the finish and could stop and seize up in agony (joking, kind of).

So, yes, I'm fairly chuffed about reaching past the mara post, though also painfully aware I'm at the start of training still. Got a 45 miler race looming on the horizon in January and still not quite sure how I'll manage all these back to back long runs in the desert.

The route I took for 30 miles (just to remind you I ran 30 miles! 30!!) was from Embankment along the Thames Path to Richmond Bridge and back again.

I started off pretty slow. This was helped by listening to audio books rather than heavy trance and house music. Little bit of running, little bit of walking. No stopping. Lots of eating. Probably too much eating.

The first half felt fairly easy, though it seems that this sort of training is a whole different ballgame to marathon training as it's all about endurance, not speed. So a 12 minute miler pace rather than 8 for long runs.

Started to feel a little tired towards Richmond, though I am sure this is a mental thing, as I knew I could stop and have a drink/sort my trainers out/sit for a minute.

On the way back, I ramped it up with some music to stave off the boredom. Again felt okay till I had about 6 miles to go. Then felt really tired. Though strangely it was easier to jog than walk. Walking gave me wierd stabbing pains in my legs. Really I should have stopped and stretched. The worst pain was in my hip and knee joints rather than my muscles. Though even that disappeared the next day. Result!

It's a lovely route once you get past the tourists around Embankment and Westminster. First there is the glorious Battersea Park to run through. Then sporty "Jack Wills" Putney, with all the rowers out on the Thames. Always love to watch them. Then you hit the offroad part of the path. Just lovely all through the year, but particularly at the moment with all the trees still in their autumnal colours.

For anyone who doesn't get why people run, being outside is one of the reasons, especially in such a busy city as London. Being able to enjoy places like the more rural parts of the Thames Path takes some beating. I don't know if I would have liked to be anywhere else at that point than jogging along between trees and river, saying hello to dog walkers, and seeing the sun through the trees. Happy days.


  1. You are amazing! I adore you and wish the best. RUN KATE RUN!

  2. Brilliant blog - I look forward to following your progress all the way to the MDS.

  3. Thanks both for the encouraging posts!


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