It’s the decisions you make that define your race. Physical strength and fitness are important, but your head can talk you into dropping, or carry your broken body to the the finish line.
The Short Version
This was my second South Downs Way 100 mile race. I ran it in 2014, finishing in 19:02 despite going off course twice. After a great 2015, running two 100 mile races in 16:50 and 15:58 I had some ambitious goals for this race.
However it was not my day. Physically I was unable to cope with the challenge. On the day my body didn’t have the capacity to deliver what I was asking of it. There was blood, sweat and tears. I wanted to quit after 35 miles, but dragged myself on.
I was in tears and out of it at 61 miles and my race would have ended there if it wasn’t for the superb work of the volunteers at the Botolphs aid station. In particular i have to thanks Russ Bestley, whose tough love saved my race, and has given me a massive confidence boost ahead of Spartathlon in September.So, not my best race, but I finished. 100 miles is a long way to run (or indeed walk), but there is plenty of time. If you are struggling, you can slow down, recover and get back into it. I finished in 21:12:49. While a long way off a PB, I think I am more proud of this finish than any other, and I’ve been proudly wearing my buckle.
Last years my races were superb, and running felt so easy. This was anything but. However I have learned a lot from the experience, and I now know that when I feel broken and am 65 miles from the finish I can make it.
The Longer Version
This gets intimate. If reading about other peoples bodily functions offends you, read no further.