Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Since the Spitfire to another Spitfire

12/08/2016 - After the Spitfire Scramble in August 2015 I avoided any more races and just run and cycled for fun for the rest of the year. So did anything happen between then and now for me? Well there was a  couple of trips and nearly a couple of marathons in the early part of this year.

The year pretty much finished with a trip to Prague for a long weekend. It was my first time there and it's lovely city and being so close to Christmas had Christmas markets littering the city. Was somewhat pissed the whole weekend having made good use of the outside bars. Going back this year for sure.

Then it was a couple of weeks in St Kitts and Nevis, which was very nice, deffo going back there,

Fat lad beaching it (well beached)
Beached again - ribs were amazing here.
Then I needed to lose some weight so started upping the training including a week cycling, and unhelpfully eating brilliant food, in the French Alps where I cycled up Col de joux Plane - one of the toughest climbs on this years TDF (oh yes - I nearly died), another cracking time was had. The Tasty Ski Company did an amazing job - deffo use them again as I'm deffo going back.

Half way up
At the top - beer never tasted so good.
After climbing the mountain on day one I went out cycling for the next couple of days with my wife following on an electric bike .... well except up the hills where she went flying past laughing. She now wants an electric bike. Amazing time and an amazing place.

Ahhh coffee.
Also did the Manchester marathon ...... well nearly. I messed up badly. I decided it was "only a marathon" so had a slice of toast in the morning and decided I could leg it round. So I did. After 15 miles I was 45 minutes ahead of my previous PB. After 19 miles I was walking and wondering if I was going to perhaps die, well shit myself first and die - I just know that's how I'd go out. By mile 23 I was sitting on the pavement waiting for my brother to rescue me. Plonker - me not my brother. Felt gutted seeing everyone with their lovely big medals.

So the following weekend I did the Milton Keynes marathon. Loved it. Just chilled round, chatting, helping people with cramp etc, just enjoying it. Even sprinted the last 1 mile and 1/2 like a nutter as I knew I could not mess it up this late into the race.

Shiny medal
Oh I also went up North to ride round Yorkshire with a good friend and showed what an amazing cyclist I am. More accurately we did 50 miles where he dragged me round the flat bits, killed me going up the hills and terrified me going down. Keep in mind I did an 86 mile ride the week before in Cambridgeshire without breaking sweat I think highlights that Yorkshire miles after much much tougher than Cambridgeshire miles. Still a brilliant ride, next year I hope to be better :).

After the ride the beer in my mates home pub - sooo envious.
Then we get to the Spitfire Scramble 2016. I was hoping to get into the top ten this year, hope over reality entirely but we can but dream. Sadly, due to very good reasons, my support crew could not make it which would proved to be critical deep into the race. So Billy no Mates settled in Friday evening, downed a few beers and a couple of shots of JD and an early night.

Had a lovely sleep and got up, bacon and egg sandwich for breakfast and got ready for the race. One of my mates, Neil, arrived who was also solo'ing the race and after a promised hug (bit grabby but I'll let him off ;) ) we strolled to the start line.

Sexiest Men of the Day award winners
5,4,3,2,1 and we're off..... well myself and Neil are keeping to the back and taking it easy. After lap two I lost Neil and never saw him again in the race. Turns out he was going for the best average lap time which he won easily by only doing two laps - top winning.

Top running sexy dudes
So I started plodding round lap by lap, enjoying every lovely change of scenery from field to woods, only the suns heat an issue. It was really rather warm.

Six Million Dollar Man
As the evening wore on I was well ahead of my schedule and feeling pretty good. Lap 6 (miles 30 to 36) was a little tough due to the heat which had been beating down all day and was wearing - so after the lap I stopped to get a little more food down. So chips it was. After a decent calorie laden meal laced with fruit smoothies I felt much much better, stinky but better. Lap seven was a blast, loved lap 7, lap seven was my mate, I might have been inappropriate with lap 7.

As you'd have guessed lap 8 was a disaster. It was so hard to get round, literally hated lap 8, hated ultra running, in the words of Danny Glover "I'm too old for this shit". Got back to the tent wondering what the hell I was doing with my life. My wife was relaxing in the garden, drinking champagne in the sun, while I was running round in circles in fields. So I sat down and decided I just needed a 1/2 hour sleep to make everything right and so I set my clock and took to the sleeping bag in the tent. Four hours later I awake to realize that I'd hit to alarm and slept on. Oh bollocks - this is why I needed a support / friend with a sharp stick and a wicked temperament. So I decide "sod it" that's enough, bloody stupid idea anyway, and go and get breakfast. 30 minutes later I quite fancy a run and decide to do a recovery run so set off for another lap.

Recovery run
Having done another lap I decided I liked running again so did a tenth lap. Coming in after lap 10 I decided to have a look at the race placings. To my surprise I was in 7th place for the soloists - the heat had obviously hit people badly. So I thought unless I went out again I'd probably lose that placing, so I did. So 11 laps it was, not what I had planned and a disappointment that I only got to 65 miles but chuffed still with my placing - 7th soloist and 13th over all (500+ runners).

So apart from a small "moment" I had a cracking weekend and will deffo try to do better next time.

Oh and please if you can support my current fav charity by clicking the next link and donating via my Justgiving page to the amazing Make a Wish Foundation. Thank you.

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