Building up the miles
Hopefully providing you a small insight into my adventures this year and the reasons for doing them!

Putting in the miles!

ARedfernArtby ARedfernArtMay 8th 2017
Grab a cuppa, have a read and before you know it youll be fast asleep! Its my first real attempt at writing a blog, so I apologise if its long winded â€" Im just going to empty some of the memories/thoughts of the last couple of weeks out on to a page.
Im starting this blog three weeks in advance of my first century run! The L2M Double Ultramarathon which is obviously 100 miles long. It links Liverpool and Manchester via the trans Pennine trail, which I have to run there and back. To say I am excited and nervous would be a huge understatement.
So far this year everything has gone to plan. Every race Im taking part in this as preparation for the Double Iron distance Brutal Triathlon which takes place in Snowdonia in September and this 100 miler should test my physical and mental state capabilities at the moment. I am also hoping to raise as much money as possible for a great cause which is Children with Cancer.
In April I completed and equalled the longest run I have ever done (50 miles) at the L2M ultra marathon in what was for me a respectable time of 9hrs and 12minutes. It was a great event which I highly recommend to anyone thinking of taking on the distance. It was so well organised and the support given by Wayne (race co-ordinator) and all the Marshalls along the way was so supportive. The course was a mixture of mainly trail with some road sections in-between; which meandered along the trans Pennine path. The weather was perfect, not too hot or cold and we even had a slight tail wind â€" I couldn’t have asked for more. The course had aid stations every 6/7 miles (spaced perfectly) along which had food and drink available as well as words of encouragement from the amazing volunteers who marshalled. It was great to meet and chat with other runners along the way. The only problem I had was my feet! At around 18 miles in to the race I could feel a blister forming at the bottom of my right foot, I wasn’t sure what to do with it so I just continued to plod along. At the half way point it was becoming very uncomfortable and had spread to my toes â€" I had to get some help. I stopped at the next aid station and a guy from the first aid crew taped my foot. It felt better for a while but my foot became so sensitive, I felt that I could feel every small stone under my feet.
Despite this little setback I kept my pace going and felt good. I experimented with taking on more electrolytes, food, gels and energy snacks throughout the race and my energy levels stayed pretty good. Even at the finish line where I was met by my Mother and father in law, I felt I could go further and I still had a spring in my step. A great day all round â€" although my feet might disagree!
Putting in the miles!

A Gym Ironman

Two weeks after my 50 mile Ultramarathon, it was time to take on the next challenge â€" A Gym Ironman. This was organised entirely to raise money and awareness for Children with cancer.
The gym at Total Fitness, Aintree opened just before 8am and due to a small shoulder injury I decided to exchange the swim for a 6.5 mile run (the last thing I needed was to put myself out injured for a period of time). Everything had been organised and provided for by Jake at Total fitness, I had a treadmill and bikes set up in the foyer with a bucket for people to donate. A couple of the lads (Alan, Paul etc..) joined me at the start and really helped to get the day started well; they offered their encouragement for people to get involved and donate. The initial run went well in a time of 54 minutes, a nice and steady pace and no sign of my blisters playing up. Then it was time for the bike â€" the hardest thing was the looking at the same things for hours on end. Some of the time was broken up by people asking about the charity and discussing the races they have done over the years. A lot of people were astonished that someone could swim (run), bike and run this distance in a day, but I tried to explain that the body is capable of some extraordinary things and I know people who make an Ironman look like an everyday training session (Mr Page, Yates and Dodgson). As I approached the final couple of hours on the bike, my sister Kim turned up to offer her support. I did mention that the best way she could help was to talk to me and keep my mind occupied â€" she didn’t disappoint! I think she was taking part in her own talk-athlon  Her being there really helped, we shared stories of mum and remembered the ‘good old days’ and time did seem to go faster. Before I knew it I had gone over the distance I should have done on the bike and ended up doing 115 miles in 5 hours 44 minutes. I was very happy with that, but I was glad to be running again. Just a marathon to go now! The first 20 miles went really fast, I had adopted a run, walk strategy for the majority of it and seen that I was on for a 4:20 marathon. I felt really good, so I increased the pace a bit and to my surprise, I ended up running 4:05 for the 26.2 miles. Normally a slow marathon for me, but it was my fastest ever ironman marathon.
A good day at the office (gym) all round! The amazing members of the gym contributed over £300 towards Children with Cancer and people online also kindly donated their hard earned cash â€" all of which I am extremely thankful for!
Anyway, back to the start! 3 weeks to go before my first 100 miler. I have slight niggle in my left calve which isn’t too much of a problem, I’m just going to give running a miss for a week or so (I can concentrate on getting more miles in on the bike and in the pool now.
Thank you to everyone who has donated so far and who has helped me on out this year â€" these things are always team efforts and I could do it without your generosity and kindness!
Putting in the miles!
Putting in the miles!
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