Rain pattered against my window on the last Sunday of June. It was not in the least bit motivating weather. I nearly didn’t bother as I wasn’t sure I could be assed with a mud bath and running about in the rain for an hour. Then I thought, “Well, you paid for it, and that Ultra won’t run itself.” I sighed and got out of bed, dressed in my running gear and booked a taxi to Blaise Castle Estates. It’s only roughly two mile journey from where I live but with Sunday buses being as infrequent as they are I didn’t want to risk it and avoid as much time as possible spent being damp on the field. I first ran this race in 2013 when I first started running. I did it in 1:20:00 on a hot June day. By hot I mean it was sweltering. I had to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. Here is a little review that I wrote that they posted in the Women’s Running magazine marketing for the event. Yes, they spelled my surname wrong. Should be Duvivier.
See this is me on the run in 2013. Not very fit yet. Drinking an awful lot. Slugging through just trying to complete the thing. I absolutely did not have a hangover from the all nighter I pulled the evening before. I was 100% not potentially still a little tipsy at the time. This had nothing to do with my slugging *clearly*. I was about two stone heavier than I am now.
See this is me having finished Sunday’s run. Having kicked myself out of bed to go run in the rain for an hour for Sunday fun. Completely sober this time having thought it sensible to decline invitations to a night out the previous evening. I stayed in drinking Chai Latte and watching House season 8 instead. Yep, my social life has declined a little. But hey the below me looks pretty happy doesn’t she? She is two stone lighter.
This year I finished in 1:02:19 cutting 17 minutes off my previous time which is a massive gain and shows how much I have progressed in trail running in the past couple of years. This is all by having actually done some. The route was a 5k loop starting off near the carpark, following the fields right through an avenue of trees and up into the woods at about 2k with a rooted slope. The woods then rise for 1km of woodland pathway a mix of rooted and gravel before coming back out into a grassy field that leads back into the woods briefly before coming through the start/finish arch for a second loop. In the woods it was great to see the men of Bristol and West volunteering whilst a few of us girls ran and supporters down at the finish arch. It was also good to bump into running friend and fellow blogger Liam and his girlfriend Laura.
All in all I was glad I got up and ran. The purple goody bag was full of nice treats too! Having a comprehensive goody bag along with your medal and tee shirt really makes it feel worth the cash. The advertising claims the contents to be worth 30 quid. I particularly liked the Popband hairband that claims to tie your hair up without leaving a kink in it. Really cool as my hair so much looks at a hairband and kinks so I always leave it out. Will have to test this product.
Also Hello July! May and June were all about building a steady base of 13 mile weeks. Now it’s 25 weeks until the 50k Ultra so I will be slowly adding more miles each week and a little speedwork. Marathon number 7 coming up on the 26th of July at Bath Running Festival. Time to crack on with the long runs… if I don’t melt in the heat. The following photograph was taken at 6:30 am yesterday during my run to work and the hot weather is set to continue. Stay hydrated folks!