Thunder Run 24 2014 – part 3

Having completed my first lap, I knew what to expect on my later laps course-wise although the weather and time of day could dramatically affect how well I did.

My next lap wasn’t scheduled until the early hours of Sunday morning and that meant some time to relax. Having had very little sleep on Friday night, I needed to try to get some rest at least. But, before that I spent time with the rest of the team, the LRR teams and ate. I’d prepared some paella and pasta to take with me and that meant that I didn’t have to cook during the weekend. Woo hoo!

As it got near 10pm I decided to try and get some sleep which proved difficult with the general noise around the camp and some silhouette puppetry from a team member’s tent!!

I probably dozed for a couple of hours but kept an ear open for the other team members as they came back from their laps. As we’d not hit the 1 hour laps, the schedule of me running at 1am had slipped closer to 2am. Shortly after 1am, the heavens opened and the rain started. Fortunately, rain-lover Charlotte was on her lap. I hoped that the rain would ease before I left my tent. My wish came true.

I was umming and ahhhhing about what to wear and was thinking it was going to be a bit chilly and considered ‘long legs’ and ‘arms’. However, after a quick visit to the ‘facilities’, I decided to stick with shorts but wear a long sleeve top under my tech T-shirt. A decision I’d come to regret!

The rain stopped and I headed down to the start area. I was about 20 minutes early by waited on the course and watched the baton handovers. It’s far easier for the lap finisher to call out the name of the person they are handing over to plus if they have something prominent they can wave, that’ll help too.

I struggled to see Charlotte as she ran towards me. Even though there are floodlights, it’s still quite dark so spotting someone wearing predominately black was, er, interesting.

Having received the baton, it was time for my run. I had me Lenser head torch on and what a fantastic bit of kit that is. I had it set to quite a narrow area of illumination but 10-15 feet ahead so I could focus on what challenges lay just ahead.

There were a good number of participants out in the course as the trail of bobbing head torches showed. I won’t go into a mile by mile breakdown of how I faired around the course other than to say that it was easier to run in the dark. Why? You ask!

Well, the lack of visibility meant that you focus on a much smaller area when looking for issues underfoot and that meant, for me at least, less to concern myself with. Also, because you can’t see as far, the inclines seem shorter. In fact, I ran the whole way on the lap and felt that my pace was better than the previous lap. As it was dark, there was no real opportunity to check my Garmin and I only did that as I entered the finish straight where the floodlights gave a better opportunity to see my watch. 1:08. Seriously?!

I was convinced I was quicker and momentarily annoyed that I wasn’t. However, that feeling didn’t last long as I started to appreciate that I’d completed the lap without incurring any injuries.

Before trying to go back and sleep, I decided to shower so that I’d not be honking later. I don’t recall which visit it was, but one of the visits to the showers had the highlight of very cold water and very little of it. Be prepared.

Once refreshed, I walked back to the tent, almost breaking my ankle on the uneven ground under foot (the irony of that happening didn’t escape me!).

I actually think I may have gotten some sleep after my 2nd run. Not much, but a little.

Im a little undecided as to whether to document my last lap in this post or another and have decided on the latter. It was my best lap and includes some useful advice. As with the best Sunday Supplement Serialisations, I’ll leave you hangi…

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