Auviour Paris: So long and thanks for the cobbles



  • Not planning any further ultras any time soon though 50k now seems much more achievable. 

    Running as a pair made it for me - there are of course moments when you want to be by yourself and we had little patches of just running in our own little worlds but otherwise I was flipping grateful for the company - I was expecting at least one squabble but we didn't at all.  Just ticked off the miles.

    My knees were the limiting factor - energy level wise and fitness - could we have gone faster - maybe.  Would I have wanted to?  No not really.  I'm more than happy with our time (15:47:22).  Would I do that race again? No - it involved more tarmac than I expected and I couldn't better the memory of it anyway!

    The one day winner did it in 10:53 which is just incredible.  She was 25 minutes ahead of whoever was second.  Don't think I have it in me to care/want to push myself to aspirations like that but you can't help but to respect that kind of achievement.

    A couple of days of sitting as still as possible are now on the cards! 

  • Wow Ten was close!!

    Awesome report SB, I'd still really love to do it, ideally with someone fab like you guys, also who had done similar training and had similar goals. I mean what are the chances!?!
  • Would you have worn different shoes Day 1 v Day 2 then?
  • I would have worn road shoes for both days with hindisght reiki - even the trails are pretty good - the slidy bits were few and far between!

    Oh I definitely think you should do it - even if just the once!

    Downloaded my watch today - ave pace inc walk breaks was 12:55 on the first day and 14ish on the 2nd.  The terrain dictates it for most of the way but a lot of the hills are rollie and can be run merrily as long as you keep it steady.

    oscarr is now home - am sure he will chip in his twopenneth soon image

  • cheers SB!

    I know I want to.
  • Yep, back home and still basking in the memory of an awesome achievement and a great time.  For an event this long and challenging i didn't really get to grips with the enormity of it all until we were running on day 1 - you can read stats and numbers all day but it only hits you in the face when you are right in the middle of it which was one of the magic things about it.

    Our result shows we did really well - 143rd out of 290 and a time well up the field (15:47 compared to first 10:32 and last 24:24).  BUT the real winning was the fact that both of us were able to run steadily in all of the preplanned running sections, we finished strongly, recovered very quickly and above all we had great fun and kept smiles on our faces for most of it (see Sleepy's "wild flowers" moment!!)

    Whichever way you cut this, it's an awesome undertaking - basically, 2 ultra marathons on consecutive days and long ultra's at that.

    For me, that is my Ultra box ticked.  Would certainly recommend the event to anyone wanting a real challenge above the marathon.  Key to the enjoyment for me was the significant training miles and hours you have all seen us do - that meant we both enjoyed the whole thing and apart from a small dip on day 1 by me we didn't struggle - it's too long a journey to start struggling so prep and staying at a slow pace are key.

    More about the last 2 days in the next post.

  • Logistics worked really well and i got picked up from Scotch Corner by SB and Ben - after pizza and a night at the Travel lodge we were at the iconic start inside Carlisle Castle - across the drawbridge and we were on our way.  Plan (we had both practiced a lot in training LSRs) was 25 run 5 walk which we kept to all the way on day 1.  Lots of different patterns by others from 5/5 to 20/4 (work that one out!!) to 50/10.  I ate something the night before which gave me chronic bloatedness and a real fear of nasty upsets on the run (!!!) Didn't have much of an impact on the time but meant i didn't take a gel near the end so the last 2 miles (out of 32!!) were a struggle for me hence the "wild flowers" moment - still laugh at that now!  Sorted myself out overnight so no issues on day 2.

    So pleased i did B&B overnight instead of camping.  Thanks to Ben for lifts.

    I started to have doubts about finishing because of the tummy upsets but told my legs they had done the training so we were going to get to the finish OK.  Still had some doubts until half way through day 2 when i knew i was going to be able to run well all the way - that was a critical and euphoric moment !! These are some of the challenges you may be hit with on these long events and you have to be strong to deal with them in your mind.  Sleepy looked comfortable both days and at the finish - awesome lady.

    We started day 2 with same run/walk pattern but near the end we reduced it from 25/5 to 20/5 which made a big difference to the energy levels and the mindset.  The irony was that it made little difference to the overall pace cos we ended up running quicker for 20 than we did for 25.

    Its hard to describe in print the feeling as we came in sight of the 5 bridges at Newcastle and then across the millennium bridge to the finish - after 69 miles, 2 days, hills, river crossings, styles, all sorts of terrain, vast quantities of choc covered raisins and 15 hours of good hearted banter we had made it - still running strongly said all the training hours were worth it - what a feeling, what a feeling, what a feeling........tears don't come close!

    So, a month off now including 10 days on a beach in Kos then 7 days diving in Azores.  Somehow the memory of The Wall transcends all of this.  Cheers!!

  • Cheers is right!!

    Did you stay at a B&B after Day 1 then? That sounds err appealing!

    Do you mean a month totally off running?!
  • got to book the B&B real early to get a room - other options are YHA and bunk hostels but need get a lift from/to the event site

    yes, no running at all !!

  • He's such a rebel!  I on the other hand am planning just 10 days but then stickingto zone 2 til the end of July when I'll start trying to work on getting a bit faster and losing a couple of kilos.

    So who's racing next....

    Ooooh forgot - didn't check the sweep - Ten - 15:48:32-33!!!  Jaffa cake eating rights are all yours mister! Have one for me will ya! imageimageimage


  • Ten - congrats, although you were 1min10secs out !!!  Oh, and yes, SB did cross the line a second ahead of me - nothing to do with gentlemanly conduct simply that i couldn't catch her!!

  • CONGRATULATIONS to the Ultra team awesome effort and if the weather was like it was in Derbyshire area you did amazing. Well done to the pair of you brilliant training and run walking for 15 hours amazing well done.imageimageimageEnjoy the break and holidays all.

    I have got some new trainers on the way and am back to the training three times a week as of this week so far, getting up at 5.45 and running prior leaving for work at 7am. Thankfully its light and my bro is also running well now. Enjoy the summer folks.

  • mcs I find that early early is the only way to play it with this annoying work thing.
  • oscarr - like I said at the time - I'm sure you were right on my shoulder - not sure where that little burst came from - must of been those last 7 jelly beans! image

    And for my next experiment... I shall be attempting (over the next 21 weeks) to build back up to and replicate Cyprus on a 4 weekly cycle with the 4th week being a half distance at base pace rest week.

    So... that basically means running 4 times a week on a 6k/½/11k/10k pattern with increasing amounts built into each run done at the respective race HR - novel, no?

    In the midst I have a couple of parkruns, 2 10ks, a 10m and a half planned - just to keep my 'race once a month' pattern up to date!

    If I have any energy left I will add in a couple of strength work/cycling day! oscarr tells me that hill work is key so I must make sure I get my goat-legs sorted.

    Anyone tried replication type training before?  Thoughts?

  • SB I am a major fan of train it lke it is, and since you guys did the Wall training that way, I think it would translate well for Cyprus.

    At the moment I'm doing quite heavy training 3 or consequetive days every couple of weeks because WPFG will be exactly that, of course not optimal at all for me right now due to the lack of running.

    I even went and did [in 2012] the actual half they are going to piggyback in August, and like a bit of a trot alng the Highway to get in the mood for VLM!

    Yesterday was a turning point for me I hope...7.3 miles in 1:02 - OK so this was @ 50% of bodyweight max [warmup slow mile, 3 each x alternate mailes @ 8:30 [45%] & 7:30 [40%]

    Good laugh though and foot etc felt better afterwards not worse!
  • Glad you're on the mend reiki!

    It does seem to make sense doesn't it - just seems a bit odd I spose cos it doesn't follow the traditional pattern of intervals, tempo and lsr.  Still - you all know my bias towards training, any training at all, as long as it's regular, progressive and varies in intensity image


  • Sleepy - sounds good to me - just one small point on your post, the order of events in cyprus is 6K (flat) - 11k (hill) - half (hill up and down) - 10K (flat).

    My next project is the Abingdon marathon on October and will probably do Maidenhead half in Sept as prep plus maybe a 10K in august.  All this follows a very light July resting.  Already got itchy feet to get running again but will try and resist.

  • oooh ok - thanks - will choppy changey! image

    Isn't it funny how quick October is coming around...




  • Too quickly for me perhaps!

    Am experiencing not inconsiderable DOMS today!

    Did a Pilates class first thing, had Tui Na, managed 45 mins on a XT as I had to go to another building that has a gym for an awards ceremony.
  • Finally, I get a chance to catch up - but it was worth the wait. Congratulations Sleepy and Oscarr image imageimage You did yourselves and your training an immense amount of justice and showed us all what's possible when we set our minds (and bodies) to it. Enjoy your rest/recovery.

    Sleepy - don't forget to post up some snaps if you have any, and I assume my chocolate candy bars are in the post?

    Last week I won the sweep on the times and ten pounds on the lottery too. The universe must be coming back round to meet me! image 

    mcs - I've been getting up at 5:30am every morning and out the door at 6am for my runs. It really is the best time of the day to run IMHO. 

    Reikki - I can certainly sympathise with the DOMS! My hamstrings are feeling it after some hill reps I did on Thursday. I gave them a good (and painful) stretch after my 12m run this morning, followed by a session on the roller (yes - I do still use it regularly).

  • Good to hear Ten!

    I'm hoping to escape got another round on the Alter G thus afternoon!

    Mornings are my best time too, but at the moment I have to wait for places to open, usually at 7....
  • Yay Ten - nice turn of luck!  Are you on facebook?  Pics are up on there ...




  • I'm not on facebook Sleepy. I was for a while, but I hated it.

    I took my son out for another couple of miles this morning. He claimed he liked it more than playing console games (LOL - believe that you'll believe anything, but at least he seems to really enjoy the runs). He did a bit more walking this week, but boy can he sprint?!! According to the garmin we hit 5:14 pace in one short burst. If he carries on like that I soon won't be able to keep up! At least I pwn him with endurance image

    So far this year I've clocked up just over 1000 miles. All being well I'm going to smash my previous annual mileage record (1361 miles).

  • Sleepy & Oscarr - congratulations on your achievement.

    Its been a while since I've been on here as we had a week in St Andrews for my daughter's graduation - clever girl came away with a 1st class honours degree but no Prince.

    As for my running well I managed a jog to and then one lap around the local parkrun course, but sadly the event was cancelled on our final Saturday so I missed adding to my parkrun total. Later in the week I had a run down to the famous West Strand beside the Old Golf Course, and the beach was as glorious as ever.  

    Back home and a track session last Monday with the Club: 3 lap jog w/u then 16 x 200m of 45 secs recovery. Managed each split in a range of 35-38 secs and book ends of 40 secs when the kids got in the way (honest)! In case you're wondering it was Wednesday before I could walk easily after that, and then only after a very slow 6m jog recovery.

    Roll on to Saturday and Newbury parkrun: completely out of the blue I ran a PB of 19:40 an improvement of 29 secs on the previous one. Age Grade 83.xx%

    Then today in about 26c I ran in Choisty's local Twist Kingsclere 5m mixed course race. Part road, part gallops (1m uphill; 250ft in the full sun); part meadow and trail through the woods. It was hot but it wasn't crowded, sadly numbers were down because of other competing events locally, and maybe it was just too hot. Anyway, beat my last time in 2011 and came home in 34:43 (garmin) so pleased to go sub 7 m/mile on a tricky course.

  • Mike

    Congratulations all round, fabulous achievements, & sub 20 for the Park Run is brilliant!

    That 200m session sounds blinding.

    I'm still at the Alter G stage - up to 80% of body weight at steady pace, still only 65-70% for intervals, another 3 hour Aqua Jog this morning on top of a 3 hour cycle yesterday, but will be away at the World Trials this coming weekend, so won't have as much time [I did manage to get an hotel with gym, pool, & spa though, & it opens early enough to do something before popping up the road to support the athletes I work with, & generally enjoy.

    Watching Murray here, it's painful!
  • Sounds technical SB all this training larkey!! Ran three times last week including a hilly eight on Saturday in just over an hour, ran last night three and abit quickly and cycled into work this am and home again tonight but hard work in this lovely heat.....enjoy all.  October is the Coniston 14 which is my focus now and need to up the speed and mileage as the weeks fly by dont they!!!

  • A cycling kudos last night as got home from work in 1.15.....took three minutes off my best time. Will keep trying to improve, love cycling inthis weather.......image

  • mcs - any PB is worth having even if you have to sit down to get it! Lol!

  • image wish I could hit your running PBs Mike you are amazing!!!
    Did a 7.45 mmile yesterday am so getting a bit of speed back....but long way to go to be able to do 13 miles at that speed me thinks. Enjoy the barbecue and sunshine weekend!!image

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