Monday, March 30, 2015

Crochet and Marathon 43 of 60

First may I present my progress on the lovely Sophie blanket:

Such pretty roses

Viewed in close-up you can see the flecks in the yarn

It's getting harder to photograph - I had to stand on a stool for this shot!
It needs a good blocking but I haven't the time or patience at the moment. Better do it soon though!

Now about that marathon

Last year I ran my first attempt at 2 marathons in 2 days in Dover - you can read about them here where you will see that the weather was near perfect, all sunny and bright with no wind.

This year was a bit different: You know when you hear the weather forecast and you think "maybe it won't be that bad"? Well it was worse!  I left home in heavy rain and strong winds and drove through the same but with the addition of fog for good measure.

I'll let the pictures tell the story:

View from the car when I arrived

View from the car whilst plucking up the courage to get out of the car - this doesn't give any indication of how windy it was - 30+mph with 45+mph gusts!!!

Not too foggy looking across to the Ferry Port

Race HQ

Sharon taking registrations and handing out numbers. She then went and spent the rest of the day being a marshal getting soaked and being blown around

Karen, our Race Director who organised everything and took care of us in what could be described as Biblical (but without the plague of locusts) weather conditions!

I'm not sure I would have enjoyed a ferry trip yesterday!

At the race briefing Karen said that they couldn't erect the race gantry for health and safety reasons and that the time would be displayed in the back of a van parked by the finish line. We passed that 12 times as it was an out and back route along the sea-front then out along the pier.

For the first few hours it rained and blew and gusted which really sapped your strength. I was lucky to have the company of Lynn for the first 9 miles until she dropped back for a bit of a break (she'd done the day before as well and was feeling the effects a bit).

The bit along the seafront was challenging - going one way you had a tailwind which should have helped except there was also a crosswind thrown in which caught you unawares and threw you off-balance. On the way back along that stretch you were battling against a headwind, leaning forward and struggling to move onwards. I clocked my speed at one point and noticed I dropped to 14 minute miling (from 11 or 12 minute miling) whilst battling that section.

Then we ran along the length of the pier and back and boy oh boy that was difficult. I don't know how the marshals at the turnaround point managed to stay upright! I concentrated on the colour of the sea to take my mind off it - on one side the sea was a deep turquoise yet on the other side it was much darker with more grey/green in it. Further out to sea it appeared to be brown. 

Karen spent a few hours in her car, popping out to shout encouragement whilst recording our numbers. During a dry spell she put out the speakers and we had some music to boogie along to when we went past. Last year we did a bit of Gangnam style together, this year I gave her my best twerk (with apologies to the poor man running behind me who had to witness such inappropriate behaviour from someone of my advancing years!).

There was a lifeboat bobbing around at one point and I gave them a wave and they all waved back and sounded the siren. Simple pleasures took my mind off my aches and pains.

On my last 4 laps the section on the pier became almost impossible as the gusts were so strong and the ambulance men were getting very concerned about our safety. When the going got really tough I thought about Wendy who sadly can't run any more and to whom I dedicated this marathon. As time wore on and conditions worsened the Port of Dover Exec was called in to check the wind speed and the course was diverted to avoid that section as it was too dangerous. I managed to finish just before that but there were still people out there doing another couple of laps so it was a wise decision.

Before the start as I was already soaked to the skin, I made the wise decision to leave the camera in the car for fear of it getting damaged so the only photo from during the race is this one taken by Sharon:

I can't believe I'm still smiling!

I'd made the decision just to get round rather than worry about a time and in my mind I thought I'd be happy to finish in 6 hours. In the end I scraped in around 5:19:59, only 17 seconds slower than last year, so was very happy with that.

Now I've got a few weeks until the next madness which sees me doing 3 marathons in 4 days (whose stupid idea was that then?!!!!!), the last of which will be my 10th running of the London marathon. No gimmicks this year, just running; which is exactly what I did in my first ever London marathon back in 2005.


Anne Schueler said...

The flecks in the yarn look perfect. Makes the leave look real-ish and special!

Take care
Anne (Crochet Between Worlds)

Susie Hewer said...

Thanks Anne x