Oakley 20

Posted on: 30 Mar 2019

My blog posts are getting more frequent, I guess that’s because the London Marathon is getting so much closer now!

This Sunday just gone was the Oakley 20, I think that this might well be my favourite race.  It’s well organised by Bedford Harriers and the route especially on a cool but sunny day is a treat.  Undulating roads through pretty villages in rural Bedfordshire under a clear blue sky, yellow daffodils nodding in a gentle breeze along the roadside, I could almost get poetic here!

This was my final test to decide if London was definitely on for me this year, the setback at Gade 17 had still left a little doubt in my mind despite since running 18 miles as a training run although that was hard going at times.

Setting off when the hooter sounded I stuck with my trio of training partners, Laura, Shanti and Rose.  They were aiming for an easy-ish run, around 9.15 pace, or so they said.  That would suit me today, getting round without aggravating any injuries was my main goal, the PB attempt can wait for next year.

The first two miles were around 9 minute pace, the third was uphill and I dropped behind the girls for a while, they were busy talking and not noticing they were going quicker than advertised.  Cresting the hill I caught them again on the downhill.  This continued as the undulating course went on.  Around mile 7 I had a nasty feeling in my tummy, I was going to need a visit to the portaloos, however these were at mile 12 so had to carry on for now.  The girls were pulling ahead on each uphill and by now I wasn’t catching them on the downhills.  The gap continued to grow and by th e11 mile marker they were now out of sight.  I had to make a stop once I got to the portaloos, this added a few more minutes but I felt an awful lot better afterwards!

Plodding alone now, I just kept ticking over at my own pace and soon the 15 mile marker was passed, just 5 to go now and it should all be done and dusted within 45 minutes.  How different that will be during the marathon, when it will be 11 miles still to go.  That could be a demoralising feeling if things aren’t going so well.  That thought could be put aside for today, things were going okay, the sun was still shining, the daffodils still providing yellow splashes on the green verges and the legs were still behaving.

I caught up with Laura in the last mile, she had been struggling since mile 16 so I waited for her once over the finish line.  I grabbed an extra cup of water as she didn’t appear in great shape.  Back insode the HQ I found her a seat, got more water and a kind chap had given her a Mars bar.  A combination of rest, water and glucose and she started to feel a bit better.  A new slogan somewhere to be found for Mars?  Water, rest and glucose?  It needs some work by the advertising department that’s for sure!

We are now the happy owners of sapphire blue Oakley hoodies which will be worn with pride on many occasions in the coming months.

So, I think that all being well I will be on the start line at Blackheath or Greenwich or wherever it is,, the next dilemma I have is the taper.  It’s still over 4 weeks to go, Should I attempt another 20 or so miles next weekend?  Three weeks is the traditional taper time, Easter has thrown a spanner in the works this year so what to do?

I forgot to post this earlier in the week!  The answer is that I ran 16 miles today and will reduce the distances further in the next couple of weeks.

Tell us your story

Inspire and be inspired by sharing your health or fitness journey. Your blog will provide you with a permanent record of your progress, with the added bonus of motivation and encouragement from our members along the way.