Well I survived the Cheddar Gorge Marathon! I am so glad I did it, it was truly a fantastic race. I’ll do a full recap of it in another post but I’ll just say that it was tough, hilly but good fun. Marathon number four done!
Saturday I was quite chilled out. It’s funny because I’ve never felt this way the day before a marathon. I was nervous, yes, but more excited and strangely looking forward to it. With a vague finishing time of 4.30-5 hours in mind there was a lot of give so no pressures. I knew the terrain would be technical, hilly and generally tough. But while this was psychologically good to be fairly relaxed, this meant I was probably a bit too blasé when it came to proper preparation.
I felt I had the miles on my legs (though perhaps not enough trail running experience but I have been doing lots of hill work). What I mean by preparation is the food the day before. But I’ll roll back to the start of Saturday first.
I headed to parkrun in the morning to help set-up. It was a bit rushed and stressful as the guy who had the key to the shed where we keep all the parkrun paraphernalia was 20 minutes late. This meant we really had to get a move on to set the course up in time. Surprisingly though we did and it made us wonder what takes us so long normally – all the chatting probably!
Obviously with the marathon the next day I wanted to keep the pace fairly easy. Some people don’t like running the day before a race but I prefer it. I like to give my legs a good shake out, especially as the last time I ran was Thursday. My running club friend, Mark, and me ran together and pretty much chatted the entire way round. I always love parkruns the day before races because I know I shouldn’t push it and feel justified in taking it easy.
After packing things away I had to dash off to get home and sorted as my friend, Bhuvana, was hosting a garden party. She’s a (very close) friend from work so my mum and dad were invited too (my dad works at the same company as me) so they were pleased they could have a couple of drinks and get a lift there and back. I don’t normally drink anyway and it was hardly likely I would before a marathon anyway!
There was a fantastic spread of Indian food (one of my favourite cuisines). Bhuvana knew I had a marathon the next day and was worried how the food would affect me so had made sure it wasn’t hugely spicy, bless her. I practically boasted that I had a stomach of steel and often had Indian takeaways the night before long runs. I’d be fine…!
There was chicken tikka (my favourite), chicken tikka masala, a chickpea curry, samosas, rice, naan bread, poppadoms, salad and dips. Well, I was in my element as you can imagine and went for pretty much everything.
I’m not a rice fan but knew I needed something a bit more carby so I had a naan bread, which I’m usually not a fan of either but the sauce required something to dip in so you gotta do what you gotta do 😉
I had another plate and a half and was lovely and full. Pudding was an Indian ice cream but I gave it a miss as I knew it’d push me over the edge and I can always give or take ice cream (unless it’s with a chocolate brownie).
And what do you do after eating a large load of Indian food? Jump on a trampoline of course!
I love trampolines! I used to be in the trampoline club at school. It was brilliant. Though my tummy didn’t quite agree afterwards.
I had the usual conversations with a few non-runners when I mentioned about the marathon the next day. One said “how far is that? 25 miles?” and another “Is that in London?” which is always amusing. One woman said “I’m just happy to do 20 minute son the cross trainer every day and stay fit that way”. Absolutely fair enough – but to me that sounds unbelievably dull!
After the party we headed back to my parent’s where I was spending the night. My mum and dad were coming to the marathon to support me so it made sense. [In the end my mum decided she would give it a miss as she wanted to stay with the dogs (three of theirs and my Alfie) so they wouldn’t be cooped up again all day and her back is still not 100% 🙁 I do jokingly call her a part-time supporter…anything more than 10k and she’ll flake on me (I am of course joking).]
As the evening drew in I knew I needed to eat something else, despite not feeling that hungry. I went for the safe option of porridge. We watched Still Alice (such a good film but prepare to cry for 80% of it) and then went to bed…
Do you run the day before a race?
What’s your favourite cuisine?
What’s your favourite curry?