Whilst this is fresh in my mind from today. I had a blast today. My feet are sore from the 20 miles of road. I still prefer trail, so much kinder to my feet and much less repetition using the same muscles again and again. The rest of me is fairly okay. 20 miles and still able to walk around as though I’ve been on a 10 mile walk. Yes I’m tired but I can remember my last attempt at this course and I was thoroughly wrecked!! Walking back to the car was easy this year.
The trepidation and expectation of this event was HUGE. I had been training hard. However, this week was filled with so much work that I was thoroughly exhausted! My training plan for this week was thrown out and l was left fighting the exhaustion to stay awake for work. Imagine my surprise when I rock up to this event and thoroughly smash my previous time set in 2014 and pretty much all of my 20 mile times! Smashed!
The one thing I did do right this week was not push myself past my exhaustion. Normally I would, to get the training done. But this week it was too much. I was sensible. I still did stretches, easy core strength and the regular glutes exercise throughout the day to make sure I’m still improving strength wise. I didn’t overdo these sessions and kept them short.
This isn’t an incredibly hilly route but it’s definitely not flat either! My task was to keep to 11:15 minute miles, I could go faster but overall I should stick to the plan. So I started at an easy pace, barely pushing myself. I was going to keep that feeling for the first mile and then check the pace and adjust the speed accordingly – where I could due to the hills! Beep! One mile goes by and I look down to see 9:37 – What!!! I was taking it easy! Well, if that’s how it’s going to be then let’s see how long I can keep this up. Well it lasted up until mile 13. I was between 9:30 and 10:10 minute miles all that way. Then the wheels fell off. My feet were hot balls of pain, my lungs were on the brink of going AWOL and my lovely high5 running juice/energy drink had run out. I was looking at every footpath and trail with desperate longing. No!! I NEED to get this thing over with, I’ll walk some of the hills and I MUST keep moving forward with determination! Not just any kind of moving forward, a determined moving forward. I was slower for the last 7 miles but not as slow as I have been in the past when the wheels fall off.
2014 – the last time I did the Oakley 20 my time was 3hrs 55minutes.
2017 – after some pretty good training guidance my time was 3hrs 25minutes.
2014 I struggled, REALLY struggled to finish this event. 2017 it was so much easier!
Well that’s my race report and a sincere recommendation for all those runners out there. Getting the miles in, the time on feet is one thing. Making sure your body is strong enough to cope with those miles is something else entirely. Core strength training, mobility, posture – all of them. They help immensely to make running easier and when something feels easier you’ll want to do it more!!