I was aiming to just complete the marathon as I have another race in December which is my main focus, however as the time drew nearer to the race I was feeling like my training had gone well enough to push for a PB. I started the race at a fairly quick pace as I tend to do and then settled into a 6:50 - 7 min mile pace. At the half way point I was averaging just over 6:50 min mile which meant if I continued in this way I could be on for a sub 3 hour marathon. Alas at the magic 16 mile mark I started to fade and the trusty old legs started to slow, but I was still able to come in at 3 hours 12 mins 56 (chip time), 5 mins off my previous PB.
Needless to say I was over the moon with this and I am making further progress which is awesome. Focus has now switched to hill
training and getting as much elevation in as possible per week to prepare for the Dorset Ultra in December which takes in a heady 6000ft of climbing..
Speaking of races here in Jersey here is a video of Round The Rock ultra marathon that I put together based on footage shot my my friend Craig.
I have also recently been for a biomechanics screening session which unveiled a few deficiencies. I was given exercises to counter act some muscles that were spasming in my legs as well as a sciatic nerve stretch which is amazing... I found the session to be really interesting and it has given me alot of insight into how I am stacked up and what I need to do to develop a running style that will serve me well rather than potentially expose me to injury.
The last few weeks I have been looking at various kit options for the MDS also. It is mind blowing the number of options for kit to take, and what works for one doesn't necessarily work for others so decisions have had to be made on rucksacks, sleeping bags, compression wear and heat resistant wear etc etc. I have decided to invest in some X-Bionic gear as they reputedly conserve the bodies energy by regulating the bodies temperature by diverting the sweat away to parts of the body that need cooling. I purchased the Energizer top and wore it for the marathon and found it to be excellent to wear, supportive and I found that there were no issues with being too cold or hot during the race which is excellent. I intend to purchase the more expensive Fennec shirt for the MDS as this will be invaluable if it does what it says it will in the desert! I have bought other various bits and pieces also: headtorches, water bottles and the like and the whole picture is starting to come together.I intend to test the kit over the winter to ensure it is reliable and suitable for my needs. So much to think about!
I have also been fundraising on the back of the MDS challenge, and to date have raised £4300 for Jersey Hospice care. A friend and I staged a 8 hour treadmill challenge in M&S in town and raised alot of money, and then a week or so ago with the help of a few friends we staged a film quiz which raised over £3000 on the night, which took me so close to my £5000 target. I am glad to be almost near my target as I can now focus more on training.