Monday, October 16, 2017

Double bubble, bits and bobs

The marathons

First I'll get marathons 125 & 126 out of the way, one on Saturday and then another on Sunday. Part of Traviss and Rachel's 'Winnie the Pooh' series they were on the same route as last year and I didn't take any photos as the views were slightly hazy this time although they were still glorious. Take a look at my photos here from last year to get a feel for the scenery. The Sunday last year was also my 99th marathon.

It was a 9:30am start and as the venue was only about an hour away I didn't need to leave home at silly o'clock which was an added bonus (although I do prefer an earlier start so I don't hit the busy period on the roads on my way home). As I phoned Mike to let him know I'd arrived safely I noticed the mileage on my car, which I'd reset when I left home; 26.2 miles, ie marathon distance! What a happy coincidence.

The route was laps of around 5.25 miles and you could complete as many as you liked within the 6 hour time limit. It was 5 laps for a marathon.

This was day 1 on one of the rare flat sections. On day 2 I was wise and took my walking poles to help with the exceedingly steep uphill sections!

Heading out for lap 2. I don't have  a number any more at Traviss and Rachel's events as when you've completed 1500 miles at their events they give you a 'VIP' bib with your name on. Such a nice gesture as recognition for supporting their events. They always look after everyone so well and I wish all Race Directors were more like them!

I really enjoy the challenge of this sort of event. Some people completed one lap, others more than the marathon distance (speedy Lee was one of the few people who ran up each of the steep hills and completed at least 3 extra laps each day). It's wonderful to see the joy on someones face when they've completed even more laps than they thought they could.

It was nice to chat with fellow runners en-route and there were plenty of dog walkers and horse riders out too but it was also nice when there weren't many people left out on the course. That's when the mindset of a long distance runner is crucial as you have to be able to cope with not seeing another person for what can sometimes seem like age. We all have our own coping mechanisms and being a numbers geek mine is usually to count which keeps me in the moment. I count my left footfalls from 1 - 100 and then start again. I don't think about anything other than putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes I will break to take photos or for a chat when I meet up with another runner but then I go right back into my own zone. Other people listen to music or podcasts which is also a great way to pass the miles.

On day 1 I was delighted to finish in 5:56:05 which was 9 minutes faster than last year. I nearly went out for another lap to make it an ultra but I was anxious to get home to get bathed and fed in time for 'Strictly Come Dancing' to which we seem to have become addicted even though we are really awful dancers! 

On Day 2 I got out of bed with no stiffness or perceivable soreness as if nothing had happened the day before. However, I wasn't fooled by this feeling of euphoria as I knew those hills would feel like mountains on day 2. I wasn't wrong but I was delighted to find that I was only 20 minutes slower the next day coming in at 6:19:36 which was actually 38 minutes faster than last year. So that's 3 tough marathons in 8 days, each faster than last year. Go leggies!

Aren't they gorgeous medals!

Today Mike and I went out for a nice 4 miles walk which helped stretch my legs out. I've now got a few days to recover fully with just a few short runs before next Sunday which will be the anniversary of my 100th marathon.

Bits and Bobs

We had a little jaunt out on Friday taking in an antiques centre we didn't know, an art exhibition we visit each year and then an impromptu trip to Battle for a wander around so here are just a few random things to make you smile.

The antiques centre was in an old railway station near Bexhill-on-Sea and it was a lovely looking building - see here for better photos.

We arrived mid-morning and we noticed there was a cafe so we headed off for coffee and cake (as you do!). I knew it was going to a fun place when I saw this sign:

Wise words indeed!

On the wall was this massive moose head

Free wifi seems to be obligatory nowadays

Our next trip was to see the annual exhibition from the Pure Arts Group which is held in a hotel near Battle. We weren't overly excited by many of the exhibits this year although some of our old favourites produced some interesting work.

What did catch our eye was this lady's magnificent hair. We chatted for a while and she said that when she'd visited the Summer Exhibition in London (which we had to miss this year) she was accosted by many different people who thought she was an exhibit! I'm not surprised as it was stunning.

Afterwards we headed into Battle town centre which was getting ready for the annual Battle of Hastings re-enactment which is a lively affair and forms part of the Battle Festival. We were saddened to see that many of the high street shops had closed and were empty because they just aren't getting the business nowadays. Such a shame.

What did brighten our day though were these beautiful floral displays along Old Lady's yard.

I have such a lot of photos to share from the garden and even more photos of some of the amazing fungi I've been spotting recently. I'll try to get them uploaded soon.

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