February’s Marathon (& lots of photos)

I ran 27 miles today.  Which is slightly silly considering I have a 44 mile ultra in a week.  But there were 2 very important reasons, and they are these:

1. I was speaking to the owner of a camera shop last month who mentioned in passing that he’s done a 100 mile+ cycle ride every month for the last 10 years.  As you do.  And that gave me an idea… I wondered how many months I could go running at least one run of marathon distance or longer.  I already had a 30 miler planned in January, and figured I could get one in during February without too much issue.

2. I started Run Until You Drop (1 mile on Feb 1st, 2 miles on Feb 2nd etc) and got to Day 13.  I stopped due to logistical issues (read: to not be divorced), and haven’t managed any of the days.  Today is the 27th Feb, so I thought I might as well get one more red square on the FetchEveryone challenge page and 27 more points to my score.

So I did.  And I took my camera.  I’m not going to do a big long post about every detail of the run, just a few bullet points, more for my reference:

  • Tried to run with HR below 143 from the start but it wouldn’t stay that low, so I just dumped the alert up to 155bpm.  That was fine for about 20 miles, then I slipped it up to 165 just to stop it annoying me during the uphill at the end.  Average HR was 149 for 27 miles.
  • This was the first run with the Inov8 Race Ultra 10 pack.  I took the WG3 camera in the top pocket, phone, money, keys, waterproof jacket, compass, first aid kit, headtorch, batteries, 2 soft-flasks with 1 litre of water combined, 2 flapjacks, 2 gels and probably some other stuff I’ve forgotten.  This was supposed to be a test run with the pack so I took what I’m intending to take for the Green Man Ultra next weekend.
  • The soft-flasks actually work quite well.  You need to shove them into the pack when you fill them up (I filled up twice, so that’s 3 litres over the whole run as I started with a litre when I left), but my “checkpoint” stops for refilling at the beach water taps were about 1-2 minutes tops.
  • The end was really hard – all uphill and I got pretty slow.  Having said that, I was aiming for a 10:00-10:30/mile pace for the run, and finishing in 09:30/mile.  The terrain isn’t the same, but that’s a 7 hour pace for the Green Man, which is two hours ahead of my “A” target time.  So I don’t mind to much that it hurt, but I’m not sure how it’s going to feel next weekend running at 10:00-12:00 pace for bits of it as I haven’t done much.

That’s about it.  Here are some pretty photos, complete with sarcastic captions.  Hoorah!

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The trailway. With trees. And no trains. Which I’m still cross about.
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A road. And the sun. It was sunny.
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Ooops. That doesn’t look parked very well.
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This is the new Twin Sails bridge in Poole. I can’t tell if it’s working today as it’s down. It’s mostly not working.
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And this is the old lifting bridge in Poole. This one mostly works. I don’t often see it up, so I was quite excited.
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Poole Quay.
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Some ponse’s massive Gin Palace. I’m not jealous.
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One day in December I entered this establishment. I don’t entirely remember leaving. I’m classy like that.
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More Poole!
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Some fire. On the Purbecks. Or an Island.
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Evening Hill looking down towards Brownsea Island. It’s a bit of a rough place round here – cheap houses in Sandbanks, you see.
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Brownsea Island. Across the water, that is.
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Bournemouth Pier!
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Cliff train/tram thingy off of early last century. These are really cool…. well, I like them.
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Oooh, arty black-and-white shot of Boscombe Pier. Do you like it?
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From the pier towards Bournemouth.
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The new zip-wire from the end of Bournemouth Pier to the beach is the longest zip wire in the world ever. And it’s also the cheapest, fastest, highest and most excellent, dude.
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Arty grassy shot of the harbour.
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