Training for JOGLE days 9 and 10
Saturday 14th November 2009
It was 1pm and I was soaking wet.
My feet were heavy with wet socks and trainers. The
pavements were flooded and the lorries driving along the busy
A49 were creating walls of water which hit me full in the face.
It was torrential rain and all I could do was just to jog along
praying the rain would stop. I had been running since 5am
and I was very tired.
5am had been very dark. As I
walked to Preston railway station with Ernie, leaving the warm
hotel at 4.30am, I was feeling very fit and strong and looking
forward to running somewhere new. My right knee had given
me a few problems recently so I was hoping it would be okay
today. At the station Rory was there with his car full of
supplies and water. Rob, David, Steve, Colin, Justin and
Annette were all there - my fellow runners. I dropped a
bag in Rory's car full of spare clothes and glanced at my maps
before setting off. There were a few young people walking
home from clubs but the roads were quiet. We set off into
the dark at 5am and I set my mind to running 50 miles to
Tarporley in Cheshire.
The first checkpoint was at 10
miles. Rory told me to get running instead of talking.
I hardly spoke to Rory at any of the checkpoints, just picking
up bananas, malt loaf and water. The navigation was okay.
Wigan and Warrington were easy to negotiate. After the
second checkpoint it rained as I ran through Standish. The
dawn had broken at 7am allowing me to remove my 2 headtorches.
I was nice and warm in my 2 layers and my waterproof. The
miles went by quickly. I tried to stick to running 11
minute miles and get 10 miles in every 2 hours. I did the
marathon in under 5 hours which pleased me. Soon after I
chatted to a local runner who was running 5 miles to pick up her
car. She was amazed when I told her I still had 25 miles
The rain stopped by 46 miles,
thankfully. However Rory had told me the hotel was
signposted from the A49, but I could not see any signs. I
followed the google map Rory had produced and ended up outside
the Portal Business Park. I could see no hotel, but the
golf course was there. I phoned Ernie, who passed the
phone to Rory. In the end I got directions off a passing
motorist. I had run round the southern side of the golf
course and the hotel was on the north west side. After
running through a flood i found the hotel. I ran into
Ernie's open arms. I had run 51 miles in 9 hours 59
minutes. I was delighted to be there by 3pm. Rory
and Jen were delighted.
I went for a bath and a sleep.
Five of us finished the run. Justin pulled out at 40 miles
with shin problems and Annette ran 30 miles. Some of us
ate in the expensive hotel that night and I was in bed by 8pm.
Sunday 15th November 2009
5am has come round very quickly -
far too quickly for my tired body. However all of us,
except Annette who decided to stay in bed (!), left the hotel
and ran along a very dark A49. The weather would be better
today - no rain except light showers - but it was a hard 49
miles to Church Stretton. I navigated correctly to
the A49 but David, Rob and Jen, who was running 20 miles with
us, went the long way round and overtook us later. At the
first checkpoint I was just ahead of Justin and Colin. I
was thinking very negatively and Rory told me to think positive
about what I could do and less about what I could not do.
Again the navigation was simple today.
By 12 miles I had caught up with
Steve, who was just ahead of me yesterday. Rob and David
were miles ahead. Steve is a really good guy and we worked
together as a team for the rest of the way to the finish.
Steve ran slightly faster than me but walked more, so I managed
just about to keep up with him. Having someone to talk to
relieved the boredom and the intrusive thoughts.
My sore knee disappeared after the
first mile and I had no further leg problems. I tried to
eat at the checkpoints. It was good to see Rory and Jen at
41 miles - only 8 miles left to go. We finished the run at
the station in Church Stretton. Steve and I had taken 9
hours and 56 minutes. I was delighted with the time again.
Ernie was pleased and drove me to our hotel in Ludlow for that
night. Rory and Jen were amazed by how well I had run over
the weekend. It was hard saying goodbye to Rory. He
is such an amazing guy and I would love to have him as my own
Ernie and I enjoyed a day in Wales
as I recovered. My back is slightly misaligned causing my
shoulder to itch, but my legs are fine. We travelled back
on Tuesday to the Isle of Man on a bumpy boat. It was a
good few days. I got to know some fellow JOGLERs better
and also how difficult JOGLE will be. However it will be
light at 5am in May and hopefully the weather will be drier.