Not really a huge amount in terms of training so I won't got through it in detail - I ran twice, swam three times and raced once! I was just trying to rest after last weeks race ahead of yesterdays (sunday) 20 mile race!
First up I got my pre-race food a bit wrong - before my long endurance stuff (100 mile rides etc) I have had pasta and rice pudding the night before, lots of water and porridge in the morning!
On saturday I went for pizza instead of pasta which normally does me pretty well too, I then had rice pudding and was hungry still but okay! We then went to some friends who were eating mexican and I was still hungry I had a couple of fajitas, some ice cream and a Guinness! This was too much and while I slept well I felt pretty rough in the morning and forced my porridge down! Just before the race I was a little bit sick which just made me feel worse!
Anyway while it was cold the sun was starting to break out and with only a bit of wind the conditions were perfect, a nice group cheered be off and I set about maintaining my planned 9 minute miles! The first two miles went in about 8.45-8.55 something like that and were very dull - long flat tarmac roads with nothing really to look at as the packs thinned out, we then wound slightly uphill and through some villages before hitting a busier road at about 4 miles - I was nicely on pace but was not feeling very well at all, bloated, heavy and severely disinterested - some water at 3 miles helped a bit! Some annoying people were just behind me - all chatty and jokey...bleurrgghh! I was in no mood to be cheerful!
I steadily lead a large group through to nearly 6 miles when they all got 10k fever and went past me (I call it 10k fever - when ever you get to that point in a race everyone speeds up! I dutifully reigned myself in though and let them all carry on....miles 7-10 were no fun - long straight tarmac roads with nothing to look at and in all honesty I was considering sliding off at ten mile as I was still suffering with feeling ropey - I managed to force down a gel but it wasn't happy! At 8 miles I had caught all the people that had gone past me earlier and by 10 miles (after a big cheer from @caliwi) I was feeling slightly more positive!
I decided to up the pace slightly as the slower miles made my legs ache and 8.30's felt a lot more comfortable - at the switch back at 10.5 miles I had put some time in to the others behind me and was comfortably scooting along at the slightly faster pace - lap two was similiar to lap one and I had another gel and kept the water coming in at most aid stations (every 3 miles)! Again laps 17 - 20 were tough being where they were and the tarmac pounding and started to tell as my legs were aching - I ran n the side of the road where possible to ease it up a bit! Mile 18-19.5 were not nice into a bit of a wind but I managed to mostly hold pace and continued to overtake people. The last mile was nicely down hill and I plodded in for 2.55.39 with achey legs and a slightly better stomach!
Overall fitness was never as issue - boredom from the long, straight tarmac and feeling sick were more problems - if I ever did this again I would run it as fast as I could and I think the pain of pushing it hard would remove the boredom - but it was a training run so no harm done! I have never ran beyond 14.5 before so it was a good lesson and proves that the marathon in April shouldn't be an issue! More time on the legs will be beneficial though! I would also eat less the day before and rely more on gels, energy etc to get me round!
I haven't got any great sense of achievment or anything like that after completing this race - if I hadn't been able to do it after all this training I would have been very dissapointed so I just hit my expectations really, nothing more, nothing less!
Last weeks race where I raced a bit harder gave a better feeling even though it was shorter! Anyway onwards and upwards....