Sometimes when you get up you know that you are just turning up to make the numbers. There is no fire in your belly. Today was one of those days. I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy myself as I did, but you know when you KNOW, if you know what I mean?
So after a few pleasantries with a couple of folk that I vaguely knew I bumped into fellow Twitterer Vinny Purdy on marathon#97 looking fresh and focused. The field overall was small, 200 and this included those that went off early. Potentially there were about 80 at race briefing, many familiar faces and good to get into conversation with runners who know the area. My folks moved about 25 miles away from here and I haven't really run the landscape apart from Mersea Island and NE Essex. We set off at 10 with the sun already beaming down. There were about 15 of us in a group at the front for the first few miles and after a couple of wrong turns (LDWA early map reading issues) we settled into a good clip of about 10 guys and a girl. Running down to the River Crouch was lovely. I forgot that I wasn't really in the mood for this earlier......after a roast dinner on Saturday lunch, I didn't eat in the evening, breakfast was cereal and there was NO CIDER CARB LOADING!!
Two chaps (the one in the orange compressions) and another chap started smashing it along a disused railway line and then along the coast path. Annoyingly, this was like the Mersea Island back 8 miles where the path is about 4 inches wide and calf deep in grass. I don't like running like a princess as I've got big bollocks and they need some room to manoeuvre. Anyway these knobs obviously had no balls as they shimmied away at silly pace.
I then ran a bit silly. Buoyed up with fresh conversation with some chaps who had done the SVP100 and the Saltmarsh 75 and had won or come in the top 3, I blasted away until 15 miles. We came in off the coast and I started having a paddy. Wrong shoes, out of water, not enough food.....no balls.
I don't even know where the 1000ft of climb came from as we ran in and out of rivulets and inlets for about 10 miles??!!
So I took some pics of petrified trees as I had no water and no food for this part of the race
So as I was told as I was being overtaken that these had been written about in the Doomsday book. Well I was beginning to think that I would. Piss poor consideration of my own hydration and feeding had led to me reaching the 21.6 mile CP4 having only downed a 500ml drink. Tosser. I felt a bit shit but was on autopilot and enjoying the last few miles.....I watched the top few guys go into the distance and settled into a bimble with 3 looks over my shoulder coming off the estuary seeing nobody behind for about a mile, I trotted home with a feeling that this wasn't a big race and it was just some training under the belt with many more runs to come.