On to the second part of my Marathon Talk Run Camp recap.
Catch up with Part 1 HERE.
After a fun evening I was up at 7am to get myself ready for the Carsington Water Half Marathon, which most people from the camp were doing too. To get in some extra miles, a few of us decided to run there. It was about 5 miles away so this would make a solid long run.
It was very misty that morning and a bit chilly, but I knew it would clear up and get warmer later so I decided to wear a vest and arm warmers. Though it was quite amusing that the guys I was going to be running with had somewhat overdressed, the wusses 😉 They regretted it within a mile!
I forwent breakfast and had a black coffee – as is my usual pre-long run standard. And then we got going. The first part of the run was back up the giant hill that we’d done hill repeats on the day before. It went on f.o.r.e.v.e.r. We tried to maintain a jog but it turned into more of a walk as the hill goes on for a fair way (we only did a small section of it during the session).
Then we got going properly. We ran down the long trail which was, for the most part, flat. As the trail had originally been a railway, it cut through hills and there were pockets of cold and warm air, which were very bizarre to run through.
Eventually we moved off the trail and onto the road and then across a field with a giant hill on it. Dave’s magic route cutting off a corner of the road, I think I’d have preferred the road 😉 The views, however were beautiful.
We got to the race start area and I picked my bib up and met up with the others who had driven there.
We had a quick photo of the Marathon Talk group and then everyone headed to the start.
I sort of wanted to run with my friend John but I was getting vibes from him that he wanted to do his own thing, and no one likes a clingy hanger-on that you feel you have to politely run with 😉 so I decided to just run however felt comfortable.
The Carsington Water Half Marathon is one loop around the reservoir and then a 10k out and back bit. It was described as undulating and compact trail underfoot. It was dry and quite warm now the mist had cleared. It was very scenic – such a perfect day for it (albeit a leeeetle warm after being so used to cold weather).
I started running and got myself into a nice rhythm of around 8 min/miles. After 5k runners who were doing the 10k started coming back the other way as it was an out and back race for them. It was fun watching them come the other way – it’s like people watching but for runners: “ooh love her leggings”, “wow look how he runs” etc.
But then I got a bit bored. I didn’t have my music, I wasn’t especially pushing the pace and I really wanted to talk to someone to take my mind off the monotony. Sometimes I feel like a fake runner when I feel this way. I don’t always rely on music or podcasts to run but sometimes running is DULL and I need some external entertainment. Yes it was beautiful and peaceful, but I was bored. Though admittedly this is good training – training the mind for the monotony of a marathon.
I heard a man catch up with another man behind me and start chatting so I was able to listen in to their conversation (somewhat creepy I guess) and found they were both at the run camp too. This was interesting! And then one of the men pushed on… and I dropped back to chat to the other man (who I later found out was called Gareth).
Ahh and what a relief! He was happy to chat, we were running the same speed and now the miles were flying by. It’s amazing how much two people can waffle on about running having never met before.
The undulations were fairly hard going but with someone now to distract me it went a lot easier and quicker. I was hot and my lovely arm warmers were now annoying me and causing a bit of chafing. I worried we were going to have to do the entire loop of the reservoir again but then realised no we would do an out and back section.
We then started to see the faster runners heading back towards us and knew it wouldn’t be long. I cheered on lots of people from the camp – including the very speedy Sarah (from Art of Your Success – her designs for running goodies are amazing FYI). It was also INCREDIBLE to have Dave Moorcroft (and his lovely wife) cheer us on too. As well as Tony Audenshaw give us a cheer as he ran past (what a legend).
As we go to mile 11 I could feel myself speed up. I was going into race mode without even being aware. Gareth wasn’t quite in that mode and told me to go ahead. I felt a bit bad but I thanked him and headed off. I put the hammer down and felt ready to stretch the legs a bit.
It was amazing to run to the finish feeling strong (some might say because I sandbagged 80% of the race… but heyyyy ;-)) . I finished 1:42:41 which I am so pleased about considering I’d run the miles beforehand (and the day before!), it was warm and hilly and I hadn’t been trying particularly hard until the end.
Holly Rush came first female (I mean she’s just incredible) and Sarah came third, so very well done indeed to them.
John very kindly gave me a lift back to the centre and I was able to grab a shower before the masses and so actually have hot water. I was also then one of the first in line for lunch… priorities eh 😉
I also found the stack of chocolate cake – I mean WHAT.
All in all the weekend was so much fun -as always. I’d fully recommend people to go to it if it sounds like it’s something they fancy. It might be basic accommodation but it’s really not the point of it. It’s the least important part.
Having gone to the different events over the years I’ve gotten to know so many other runners. And actually meet people I only really talk to via social media (like the lovely Anji Andrews – she’s an incredible human!).
It’s just so nice to spend time with like-minded people who you can have a giggle with, run with and talk running shizz with. And with these camps, as always, it’s not about the running – that’s kind of additional to the fun of it. On to next year I say!
Have you ever done a run camp?
Do you ever get bored while running?