Continuing on with my recap from the MarathonTalk Run Camp (catch up with part 1 HERE)… So where was I? The interval session was fascinating to watch, especially seeing Steve Way taking it ‘easy’ in the third group at 7.20-30min/miles. I wish that was my easy interval pace!
During the interval session (that I didn’t take part in) my feet were literally like blocks of ice.
Larking about (Photo credit: Matt Fowler)
I was wearing simple Van shoes without socks so really it was my own fault but it took a good while of them being in front of the electric fire in the lodge to get feeling back into them!
I was also starving as I hadn’t had lunch and it was now 4pm and dinner wasn’t until later. Luckily I had a whole load of snacks back at the lodge so it wasn’t too much of an issue. I wolfed down some beef jerky, a protein bar and a couple of apples. After relaxing for a bit we headed down to the events room again to hear the next talk.
This was from Jamie Ramsay who ran 18,000km in 600 days from Vancouver to Buenos Aires solo with no support crew. I mean, WOW. I’d heard the interview with him on the MarathonTalk podcast and remember being blown away by his incredible story – which he was in the middle of during the time of the interview. Now he was back and was staying in one of the lodges and was involved in the whole weekend too.
He was incredibly charismatic. He had a PowerPoint which showed photos of his trip and some geeky stats (us runners love our stats) of elevation, miles, etc. but mostly we just focused on him telling his story.
It was clear that he was very much a ‘happy go lucky’ kinda guy. He decided one day to quit his job and just go do something incredible. He’d been inspired by other adventurer’s books and enjoyed the feeling of completing marathons and found his life was just grinding along without purpose. So he typed into Google ‘Vancouver to Buenos Aires’ and that was his route – not even joking. He tested out running 10km every day for a month to see if his body would break and when it didn’t he worked out his notice, sold everything and got on a plane. Mind blown? Mine was!
He ran most days and usually over a marathon distance. He didn’t plan ahead, he just ran vaguely the route he needed with everything in a buggy (tent, some clothes, money, passport, food…the bare minimum). His journey sounded absolutely incredible. The people he met, the memories he made, the things he saw, the scenery around him… I literally sat there with my mouth open. Injuries and illnesses were few and far between (I’d hate him but he was far too likeable). Mostly the illnesses came from swimming in dodgy waters! Because I was so blown away by his talk I just had to go and speak to him afterwards (and get a shameless selfie with him – what a legend).
I asked him several things, like what pace he ran and he said he aimed for 60 minute 10ks and that if he needed to stop and rest he would. There was no real time pressures (most of the time). He did say he got dependent on Ibuprofen though and had to wean himself off it as he found when things started hurting he just took the pills. I found him so fascinating to speak to and super friendly, I could have grilled him for hours. He was so passionate and enthusiastic. I have so much more to say about him and this in general that I hope to do another post on it… watch this space! (Also, if you fancy voting for Jamie for the National Adventure Awards you can do so HERE – he deserves it in my opinion!). He’s also writing a book, which I’ll definitely be buying when it’s out!
Then it was time for dinner! Luckily (I say luckily as if this wasn’t well planned on my behalf noticing where the food would be served…) we were sat on the best table for food. Our table got to go up first to pile our plates up.
Don’t let that salad fool you one bit, underneath there was lasagne, chilli con carne, chips, garlic bread and potatoes. Would you like carbs with your carbs…? My empty stomach was definitely making the decisions here. And I went back for seconds. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve eaten so many carbs in one sitting in my life – usually I’m all about the meat but I think the caterers realised we were runners! This was then followed by a fruit salad and cheesecake. I still manage to surprise myself (and others) with how much I can eat.
It helped me with my decision about the next day though as I’d been wondering what to do about breakfast. I had brought porridge with me and also a Trek bar in case I wanted something lighter. I was going to run five miles before the half marathon (which started at 10am at Sandy Balls) to get a total of 18 miles. I’d planned to meet some of the running camp guys at 8.45am to run it with them (pretty much everyone is marathon training!). If I was to have breakfast it would mean getting up a lot earlier so things could digest… but if I didn’t have breakfast it meant I could sleep until 8.15am. What a luxury! Anyway, the decision was made after the sheer quantity of food I ate. I knew I wouldn’t be needing anything before the run now (and, spoiler alert, I felt absolutely fine on the run – really well-fuelled in fact!).
After dinner and pudding, it was quiz time. To make things interesting each table (team) had to write down six questions on ANYTHING and then the questions would all be collated and that would be the quiz. It didn’t even have to be about running, though obviously there was a theme. The questions were so random and hilarious. A few of ours were (which were running-related):
- When did women get to run the marathon in the Olympics?
- How many official marathons have been run in space?
- When did the Marathon bar become Snickers?
- How many marathons would you need to run to complete the circumference of the Earth?
One of the most random questions from another team was “how many Lego bricks would need to be piled on top of each other to crush the bottom one?”. These were not easy questions clearly!! (By the way, I think the answer was like 300,000). The best one was “should an adult man wear Crocs with jeans?” referring to Tom Williams who was stood on stage wearing exactly that. It was hilarious hearing him read it out and realising it was talking about him!
It was so funny to actually see and hear Martin and Tom having banter in real life, rather than in an edited podcast. Martin is a lot more rude (lots of swearing and rude humour) and Tom clearly has to keep him under control. You can tell a lot of editing has to happen in the show for it to be ‘family friendly’. But it was hilarious to watch.
We scored 16 out of 60 which was obviously ridiculously bad, but not that far off from other teams. It was good fun though. I also managed to get a photo with Steve Way – who by the way, is the most easy-going and friendly person ever. Despite being a super amazing eye-wateringly fast elite athlete he joined in with everything and was always interested in what other people had to say and how their running was going.
He’s so chatty and funny. God I look so star struck in this photo it’s ridiculous… but I was just really chuffed!
As the night got later (oof past 10pm, can you even imagine! ) we headed back to the lodge to get some decent sleep before the next day. Most people were doing the half marathon, a couple were doing the full marathon (Steve Way included) and some were doing a guided run of either 8 or 16 miles. But we’d reconvene afterwards for a carvery and a wind down.
My tummy was so full I worried I wouldn’t sleep, but actually the carbs sent me off nicely. Despite my alarm being set for 8.15am I woke up after 7am as I’m such a light-sleeper and anything wakes me up. It was also FREEZING. Seriously our lodge was so cold! But I stayed in bed until 8am and had a black coffee, got ready and felt raring to go.
And I’ll leave the run and race recap and the end of the MarathonTalk weekend to the next post!
Have you ever gone travelling round the world?
Do you eat a lot of carbs the night before a race/long run?
Do you enjoy pub quizzes? I’m so rubbish at them but I do enjoy them!