Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Going round and round - before I forget

Time moves so quickly doesn't it and it's already 3 days after the event and I still haven't written about it. My eyes are being wee bit tricksy this week, possibly because my drops have been reduced to twice a day from 4 times during the first week. I am soooooooooo envious of people with good eyesight but grateful for what I have and hope it will stay with me even though it's far from perfect. Knitting's been difficult as I'm still working on my bolero in laceweight yarn and I can't always see properly unless the light is just right so there's nothing exciting to show. I did chuckle the other day when one of the nurses in Mike's section of hozzie asked me how my knitting was coming along!

Right, time for a marathon update.

This time I headed right out of my comfort zone to complete the inaugural Eastbourne Trackstar marathon, brought to us by the team at with whom I ran 2 marathons last year in beautiful Rye Harbour Nature Reserve.

As the name implies, this marathon was run completely on an athletics track which is 400 metres a lap which meant we had to run 105.5 laps for marathon distance - yep, we went round and round in circles!

At least the rain had stopped by the time I arrived

The unglamourous entrance

There's just nowhere to hide on a track!

Setting up the timing chip system

The beautiful South Downs in the distance (I'd have preferred to be running up there but told myself it was a new experience and to get on with it!)

Although there was an 80 entrant restriction, due to the space available on the track, there were quite a lot of people I knew there and it was nice to catch up with them beforehand and occasionally during the race itself. Linda, a fellow 100 Club member was completing her 500th marathon there - wow!

After the race briefing we lined up at the start and we ran off to the music of Yakety Sax which was highly appropriate. The organiser had put together a great playlist of songs with a running theme to keep our spirits up (eg Keep on Running/You spin me right round) and these 2 lovely ladies at the water station kept me amused with their dancing I only joined in by waving my arms as my legs didn't want to play for some reason!!!

The race etiquette on track marathons seems to vary from what I've heard. We were told that everyone should run on the inside lane and faster runners should overtake using lane 2. Anyone who was walking, was told to use the outer lanes so as not to obstruct the runners. I tried to stick to the line inbetween lanes 1 and 2 as the faster runners kept undertaking on the left which was a bit confusing. People said there were a few clashes but mostly it worked OK.

The one thing that lots of people complained about was the lap counting. We each wore a timing chip on our left ankle, which you can see in the photo below, which recorded a lap each time we crossed over the start line.

There's Brian behind me - nearly at 1300 marathons. He told me he hates track marathons and is never doing one again!

However, sometimes the machine didn't beep to show that it had read your chip and so everyone was worried that their laps hadn't been recorded. This of course caused a fair bit of consternation! What you might also have noticed in the photo above is a blue thing on my left hand. The organsiser had forewarned us that it might be hard to keep track (no pun intended!) of our laps as our GPS gadgets aren't always accurate when you're going round in circles. They suggested we use this little gadget below, a row counter (useful for knitting too), which I purchased on ebay and was worth its weight in gold. I pressed it each time I crossed the timing mat but even then I was a bit worried when my chip didn't register a beep.

There isn't much to say about the race - we ran round and round, end of! 

It turned into a rather hot day as the morning progressed. One section of the track we had to run into a rather strong wind which sapped your strength a bit. My knee behaved very well and I was running a really good pace until about mile 15 when the wind finally started to affect my breathing and I could feel my chest start to tighten and my lungs filling with gunk (stupid asthma!) which slowed me a down a bit.

Looking focussed!

Debbie kept writing silly signs to make us laugh! There was another which read "Just think, you actually PAID to do this!"

My penultimate lap. By that time the speedy club runners had all finished and there was lots of room for everyone.

Heading towards the finish line

My time? A surprisingly good 4:49:39 which was great considering how much I slowed down in the last 10 miles and my 3rd sub 5 hour finish of the year.

Would I do a track marathon again? I doubt it, although I won't say "never again" as we runners often change our minds, but it's another type of marathon ticked off my list.

I loved the medal


Anonymous said...

Bit like swimming laps in a pool I guess!
I too have dodgy eyesight...had a detached and torn retina repaired and was left with double vision. Now corrected w glasses but certain knitting can only be done in bright daylight.

Susie Hewer said...

Sorry to hear that Julie. I too have double vision in both my eyes (was just one eye before) but it's corrected with my glasses. Isn't it amazing how our brains can adapt? Keep up the knitting xxx

Anonymous said...

Hi Susie, trying to keep up with you! Glad to know you're still running marathons, bemused at the idea of running a marathon on a track. Weren't you walking round in circles for days afterwards?

Iona (Columba)

Susie Hewer said...

Hi Iona, lovely to hear from you! LOL at going ound in circles afterwards - it wasn't quite as boring as I anticipated. I'm not using RW at the moment as we've still got lots of tests going on and I don't feel very chatty. Please say hello to everyone for me and hopefully I'll feel like posting soon. Susie xxx

Lowcarb team member said...

Well I guess you can run almost anywhere but it must have been strange just running round and round ... but well done on your time.

Hope all is going well.

All the best Jan

Susie Hewer said...

Thanks Jan, I was pleased sneak in just under 5 hours in that heat and wind. I doubt I'll do another track marathon as, although I don't mind looped events, 105.5 laps was mind-blowingly boring despite the banter with fellow runners!