I’m no newbie to Milton Keynes, with my boyfriend living there. All I’d ever seen of it, was roundabouts, dual carriageways, the shopping centre and a few bars and pubs – other than the bars and pubs I wasn’t sure I was overly keen on running 20 miles with the above scenery…. boy was I was to be in a shock! For an industrial town, there are some beautiful sights, very green fields and wonderful towpaths.
The day started at 6am for my usual porridge and banana, I took 1 look out the window and felt instant regret. The rain was chucking it down, and didn’t look like it was going to stop. I met a friend at the Xscape whilst I sent the boyfriend back for my forgotten headphones, by the time he returned we had 5 minutes to get to the start – but I wasn’t complaining about waiting inside for as long as possible. With a quick run to the start, we managed to arrive just in time for the gun to start to the race.
The route consisted of a 3 mile start, followed by 2 11k laps (6.8 miles for people like me!), and another 3 miles to finish. It was a really nice flowing course, with just a few hills along the way (what a relief compared to last weeks ‘flat’ run at Thorpe!). There was just 1 killer hill at the end (thanks Stuart for the heads up!) – who puts a giant hill on mile 19?!
The weather managed to hold out nicely, with the rain subsiding after mile 2, and holding off until about mile 18 – when heavy rain and hail hit – subsiding only for the last half mile! I did however get hit by some pretty heavy wind along the way forcing me to stop at some points. For anyone wanting some gruesome chaffing stories – I’m afraid they’ll have to wait for another week, other than some blistered toes which no one wants to see – the Vaseline worked an absolute treat!
I set out today with no expectations – it wasn’t a race; it was an ‘organised training run’ as I like to call them. Before today, my longest cumulative run was just 14 miles, and highest mileage in a day just 17 miles (last weekend!). I kept a comfortable slow place, and walked when I needed to walk – after all my only goal was to finish the 20 miles’ injury free. Today was a massive achievement for me – especially as I only started running in October when I got my London Marathon place. As a bonus to completing the 20 miles, I managed a time of 3hr53mins – setting me up nicely for the big day! P.s this time include the 3 minutes it took for me to bend down, tighten both shoe laces and get back up at around mile 15, and an obligatory mid race selfie! – If I may say, kudos to me!
As a side note it would also be great to see some ‘slower’ runners out on a Sunday at the look out to join me on my LSR (note the emphasis of slow!) – I’m always hanging around on the SJ Facebook page so please just pop me a message if anyone would like to join me at anywhere around a 10:30/11:30 minute mile!