I learnt 5 important lessons on Sunday. They all come from my longest ever race, The Bramley 20 miler or 10 miler Organised by Reading Roadrunners. Obviously I didn’t have a bath during the race, so post race activities are included.
I feel I should put this in some sort of order, so I’ll go with chronological.
1. If you can’t take cows milk before a race, don’t trust other milk
I know that I can’t make my porridge with milk before a race, normally I love milk, all milk, any milk and after a race… gimmee gimmee gimmee. But I think milk coupled with normal nervous tummy does not work for me. This time, for my longest ever race I decided to try coconut milk and after 10miles remembered I tried it for Kew Gardens 10km and it did not end well. So really 1 lessons learnt and 1 lesson relearnt. I can’t take any milk before a race, and will just have to suffer porridge made with water(AKA gruel) and don’t try anything new on race day.
2. High fives are power ups
My first experience of kiddies holding their arms out. There were only three of them, but I sped up the reach them all, and wooped with them, it was so nice hearing them cheer and their Mums say thank you! It gave me a real power up, and if I could remember where they were I’m sure you’d see it on my pace.
3. If you are gonna do something weird, you get a name for yourself.
“Is that Baby Food Girl?” shouts Gregg, during the last mile “Yeah it is” shouts his lovely friend. They then promptly overtook me, to finish in 3:02, PB’s for them too. we’d chatted much earlier on along with their friend Adrian, whist Gregg’s nipples were suffering and they offered me sweeties. My reply of “no thanks I’m trailing baby food” was followed by “ooo, if it works for you, that’s interesting ” and lots of questions! I’d forgotten until we were reunited at the end!
Not much to say on this one, when they say stay hydrated, don’t ignore them. I had a huge headache for the 4 hours after the race and had to cancel my Sunday night stretch. I would have quite happily sacrificed a few minutes to stop fill up my water bottle, hydrate properly and avoid the head pain. As soon as a crossed the line I knew and promptly down 3 cups of water from the marshals. I then walked back to the car and downed 500ml chocolate milk, two bread rolls and then 500ml of Nuun. Then I felt sick all the way home and had to ride it out and sip water all afternoon. Drinking better on route would have avoided all of this. Silly Me.
5. Baths are shit.
Don’t spoil me to bubble bath, don’t get me started on that stupid hotel advert where she looks for a hotel with a free-standing role top bath and those grand designs episodes where they have a bath in their huge bedroom next to the bed, I mean, WTF.
I never have baths, I’m not dirty, I shower regularly but I never, ever have baths. I felt quite poorly when I got in from the race and didn’t have my usual vigour to jump in a shower. After moping around with blankets and water for a while. David suggested a bath. I decided to give it a try. Well, I shan’t bother again. I regret the 5 minutes I wasted. You get in and its too hot to lower your bottom into, then immediately its not hot enough. Either your knees are freezing or the top half of you is freezing, how do you pick?
There was no bubble bath, so I had to sit there looking at my knobbly knees, feeling cold and despondent. you can’t wash your hair because you’ve just filled the bath with your dirty post race must(sp).
The bath grump, cleared my head a little and I popped the plug out and turned the shower on full whack “ahhhhh” lesson learnt. NO BATHS.
I hinted under point 3, but this was a PB for me, well it was my first 20 mile race so guaranteed PB, but I exceeded my best hopes, so I’m counting it as a proper PB too!
Have you run a 20 mile race?