Monday, October 20, 2008

Seoul destroying

138.5K, a pretty miserable effort by international standards that put me squarely in the bottom 15%. Obviously disapponted but feel I did my best, and the state I'm in this morning suggests there wasn't much more I could do. And at least I beat this guy.

I'll do a fuller report (yippee!) when I get home but for now I think there wereprobably a number of factors - food, conditions, mosquitos, my back, mental - but I think by far the biggest one was the surface (concrete and patterned bricks). First 5 hours were ok, did 11 laps per hour, then I started to fall off pace, and after 8 hours my legs seemed to go almost completely and my feet swelled up. Rest of race consisted of walking for 60-90 minutes, then taking a prolonged break on my backwith my feet up and stuck in a bag of ice to get the swelling down. I actually "quit" after 10 hours but after a couple hours as a helper, decided to walk on as much as I could as the swelling had come down. To keep myself motivated, I set myself a series of goals that were not particularly meaningful but I convinced myself otherwise: to get past 100K, to stay in the top 100, to pass Thomas Maguire's total, to get to 150 laps. Effectively my race was over after 9 hours though, but having run 80 km I walked another 58.5, which was pretty tortured. Not least because while I'm trained to run long distances, I'm not trained to walk them, and walking 58.5 km is as tough on me as your average person.

Thomas also struggled with the surface and after a good start encountered the same sort of "leg death" as me. It was probably more disappointing for him as on another surface he could have contended for Gold, but at least he did the sensible thing in time and pulled out before he damaged himself. Important as he's our main male hope in the World 100 K championships in Italy in 3 weeks.

Eddie ran a truly magnificent race to cover 205 km, close to a PB, and is a most deserving new National champion. With his small stature and very light build he didn't seem as affected by the surface as Thomas and me but nothing takes away from the fact that it was an immense run in very difficult circumstances by our most consistent performer.

Provisionally, the next main target for me is next year's 24 in Bergamo in May, with a possible interim target of the Anglo Celtic in late March. Although the two races are a bit too close for comfort so I might sit out the Anglo Celtic.



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