Still Running, Daftly

Don’t worry: we’ve not abandoned the podcast! Nor have we given up on running to spend most of the time at the pub (not that we haven’t been putting the hours in there, too).

Over the last month or so we have conquered (well, survived) two of the three Man vs events – Coast and Lakes. In preparation for the third, and final event in the series – Man vs. Mountain – we have daftly ended up running the Vanguard Way marathon and the always challenging 13 The Hard Way. That constitutes an additional marathon we entered last minute that we vastly underestimate and a half-marathon that feels harder than some marathons!

Suffice to say we are well behind on our recording schedule. This has mostly been down to enjoying the summer – bbqs, cricket and beer – but rest assured we will catch up on episodes soon, Gareth!

Episode 14 – Beer Lover’s Marathon

Having completed one of our most anticipated races of the year, the Beer Lover’s Marathon in Liège, Belgium, Jamie and Alex reflect on an event that lived up to the hype. (Note: Please excuse some poor audio quality in this episode).

Mentions

Events mentioned in this episode:

Beer Lovers’ Marathon – Event Link
Street Child Craft Half – Event Link
Bacchus Marathon – Event Link

Episode 12 – The Ultra Tour of Arran

So Daft Runners did it! Completing the first of the years epic challenges Alex and Jamie progressed from Christmas Pudding to Ultramarathon in four months. In this episode the not-quite-dynamic duo discuss the event from traveling up to Scotland, to ‘running’ and to the beers after!

Mentions

Events mentioned in this episode:

Ultra Tour of Arran – Event Link
The Wall – Event Link
Ultra Tour of Edinburgh – Event Link
Dirty Weekend – Event Link

Episode 11 – Deerstalker Wrap-Up and Arran Ultra Prep

Having completed the Mighty Deerstalker, Alex and Jamie talk about how it went and how tragically under-prepared they are for the Ultra Tour of Arran. 14km to over 90km? Sure, should be fine…

Mentions

Events mentioned in this episode:

Mighty Deerstalker – Event Link
Ultra Tour of Arran – Event Link
The Wall – Event Link
Ultra Tour of Edinburgh – Event Link

The Craft Half – 17th February 2019

Distance – 13.1 miles over two laps
Course – mostly trail with a bit of running over concrete paths

Beer. Sweet, hoppy marvellousness responsible for making many of social engagements more entertaining (for me). I quite like beer and I quite like running. I also quite like having beer after running. But the two don’t really mix at the same time. Or do they…? That was the question posed by the Craft Half: a half-marathon in two laps round Wimbledon Common featuring frequent pit stops for mature liquid refreshment.

Out of all the races we’d run so far in 2019, this was the one I felt the most prepared for. I had a few 10ks under my belt as well as some 13-14 mile training runs and I was regularly practicing my beer drinking. In fact, I made sure I had a couple of craft beers the evening before to ensure my palate was prepared. Nothing had been left to chance.

So we rocked up late morning before the run started, queued to collect our t-shirts/race numbers and enjoyed the late morning sun as the start time drew nearer.

What ensued was possibly the most fun I’ve had while running. I certainly wouldn’t recommend this for everyone and it’s important to note that you should always drink sensibly. But the beer was excellent with just a bit of running inbetween stops (three every loop).

We strategised that we would be quicker if we picked up our beers at each stop and then walked while we drank quickly. We then tried running and drinking. We finally realised that it was much more fun to have a chat with our fellow competitors/ Wimbledon Wombles at each stop than focus on the running. By the end, we were enjoying a nice leisurely walk to the finish line. This was probably the only race where I’d be proud of a DNF and we had even lapped one set of astute runners.

The course itself was a pleasant trail with some initial hills over the first couple of miles before we hit the main park itself. We were greeted with some delight by various day trippers who were also enjoying the sun. Obviously we weren’t the only ones who had considered running and drinking beer to be contradictory.

We did get a little bit lost at one point, but any sense of usual panic about losing time was absent and we just enjoyed trying to pick-up the trail of inebriated looking joggers.

Organisation – 10/10
Beer stops every few miles. They nailed it.

Race goodies – 10/10
Lots of beer. 🙂

Race route – 3/10
Just a couple of loops round Wimbledon Common. Very pleasant but not particularly challenging.

Adventure status – 6/10
The beer elevated the adventure status of the race.

We had a huge amount of fun during this race and will definitely be doing it again. It also drew our attention to another run we’re planning later during the year: the
Beer Lovers’ Marathon in Liege. Something to look forward to!

Onward to Arran!

Let’s assess what I said I would do:

1. Assuming I can manage 20miles/week on my first week back comfortably I should be fine. If I’m really struggling then there will need to be some re-consideration on my part. 

2. I will probably need to up my distance more rapidly than the guides stipulates three weeks in to ‘catch-up’; but this I’ll have to keep an eye on.  

3. Get some actual yoga sessions in.

4. Get a flu shot.

Me, 13th January 2019

OK – so I didn’t do 20miles/week on my first week back. Perusing the training forum I don’t think I clocked a 20mile week until w/c 4th February – almost a month later.

The following statement probably sums up my training: 

Was supposed to run 20mi on the weekend (like 10mi/day) – but spent Saturday hung over then Sunday I…just didn’t. 

Me, 4th February 2019

Or this one:

My plan for this morning to do a 20miler went out the window as I was supremely hungover and did not get out of bed until 1400… 

Me, 23rd February 2019 

That said, the day after saying this I did do 28miles (although 10 of that was walking…). That made my first 20mile+ week! (I think, I was a bit too lazy to actually check all the numbers).

Now, I did say some re-consideration may be needed on my part. Sensibly, yes – daftly, no. Last week I did manage 20mi/13mi back-to-back. Although none of the races we’ve done so far have been over a marathon distance… actually…I don’t think I’ve done a marathon yet this year…oh dear… 

Erm. 

OK, anyway – looking at the cut-off times for the Ultra Tour of Arran, they are 12hrs/day and right now I feel that I am able to comfortably meet that timing. Although I will not be running the whole thing. Sorry – but I think a heavy amount of walking will be on the menu.  

But, surely on the other 3 points I’ve done better? Based on the above I think we can skip over point #2 and get straight onto yoga! 

Well, whilst I didn’t go to a tonne of yoga classes I did spend lots of time stretching – until early March. At this point I started having some knee problems and calf issues. So, I’ve cut back on stretching, focusing instead on cross training on the bike (lots of spinning) in the last weeks leading up to the event.

Also, I didn’t get a flu shot. 

Ok, so I’m batting 0/4 going into the first ultra-marathon of the year. But, based on my running to date I am confident I will be able to complete it through adequate pacing. Two weeks to go, yay…

Don’t try this at home…