Tuesday, 31 December 2013

So how was 2013?

2013 for me was a big year.
I completed my first ultra marathon, The North Downs Way 50 in May (original report here NDW50) then in July pushed it up to 100k with Race to the Stones (original report here Race to the Stones) I ran with Scott Jurek (click here) and ran my first unofficial self supported ultra for my birthday (click here for the story) its been a pretty crazy year.

Personal accomplishments aside I would like to take a moment to explain what has inspired me this year. This year for me was amazing due to the knock on effects of my running. I have been a pretty active member of a beginners running forum since I started and we have all pushed each other along all the way. I may be able to call myself an ultra runner now but I have never forgotten those first miles. The effort, the pain, the burning lungs! Talking to people who are just starting out or who are coming back to running after a while is a big deal to me. I love watching people progress and grow to love this movement we call running.

You may find it strange to read that one of my biggest personal accomplishments this year is inspiring my Mum to start running. Just watching the change in her gives me a bigger sense of joy than crossing any finishing line.
Yeah it might sound a little hippie or mushy but I don't care! This year has been far more about the others that I seem to have inspired rather than what I have actually achieved and I would like to take this moment to thank each and every one of you for being part of my running life. You guys keep me going with all of your efforts just as much as I may help you and long may it continue!

I think I will keep this short and sweet and end with wishing you all the best of luck for 2014, lets make it a great one!

Keep smiling folks!
Cardiosaurus

Thursday, 19 December 2013

34 for 34

So what is the normal thing to do for your birthday? Have a nice lay in? Breakfast in bed? A nice pub lunch perhaps?
I was up and out of the door by 6am to run 34 miles.

The idea for this kind of madness started a little while back just after I read a book by Dean Karnazes. Long story short, he got drunk as a skunk on his birthday and upon getting home decided to run 30 miles to celebrate his 30 years on the planet.
I really liked the idea back then and pondered doing it myself but never really had the cojones to give it a go....until now!
Maybe I should have just tried it back then as I could have knocked a few miles off!

The route in mind was to trot from Borehamwood over to Watford where I could pick up the river path, then up to Rickmansworth, jump onto the Grand Union Canal to Uxbridge, spin around and come back.

The morning started damp and a little chilly so I had all my gear on for a cold journey. Hat, gloves, jacket, trousers, my new Injinji trail socks and my good old trusty Luna Leadville. I started off with 2 full 650ml water bottles in my Ultimate Direction AK vest and a 500ml plastic bottle with a mix of chia seeds, half water, half Dr Pepper. I had some Clif bars, peanuts and some dark chocolate on board as well.



I had a rough target in my head of about 7 hours but in reality I would just be happy to finish as I haven't actually trained over 10 miles since Race to the Stones back in July! Water was the only real thing I might have to stop for but I have noticed in my training that my need for water has lessened and I seem to be fine on not a lot. With this in mind I gave myself about 5 or so hours on what I was carrying.

6am and off we go!
I was quite surprised how quickly I got into Watford and decided to slow it down a little as I still had a looooooong way to go. I turned under a bridge and into the......WHAT?! The entrance to the park was boarded off! Out with the phone to try and work out a way to get back on track. A few minutes later I was on my way again trying to pick up another path to the river. I found a nice little pathway leading me back to where I needed to be and headed on to the dark scary path along the river. I put my Petzl Tikka XP2 head torch on and apart from it bouncing around a little as I have a head like a pea it works really well, giving me a lovely flat distribution.
Everything seems to be going pretty well and I`m right on my target pace. A nice friendly dog walker finds me checking out a sign post and points me onto the path for the Grand Union Canal.
Glad that I haven't got lost yet I set off down the path. I've not really run along a canal before and so far it feels pretty good. 3 miles later however...
Now 13 miles in I started to feel like a boil in the bag fish. The temperature had come up a little bit and it was now time to lose the layers and pack them away.
I added some Elete drops to my water and started munching away on some peanuts till I felt I could pick up the pace again.
I started to feel much better and trotted along quite nicely passed some very pretty canal boats, taking in the scenery as I made my way towards Uxbridge. It must be noted that not all of the scenery was quite so nice on this section of the Grand Union canal, some of it was pretty untidy with rubbish dumped at the sides. Why do people do this?! They take a perfectly nice place and trash it! Moving on...

Eventually I looked down at my watch to see it tick over to 17 miles. I say eventually because that last part felt like a million miles and has made my hamstring a very grumpy beast. A nice stretch and a switch of bottles and its time to head back.
Mr Hamstring is not happy with being up at this time in the morning and is making a point of telling me that I am an arse. I am an arse for not really building up to this. I am an arse for not staying in bed. I am an arse for listening to my arse.
The canal is not ending. Never before have I just wanted a hill, hell I would just take a corner at this stage, anything to break up the monotony of this straight, flat, stony canal path.
Finally I can see the turning back onto the cycle path and see the sign for Watford again. 3 1/2 miles.
I run and shuffle for what feels like an age. Another sign post. Watford 3 miles. WHAT?! Half a mile?! This is getting silly now!
This continues for a few millennia until the watch ticks over to 26.2 miles. Marathon done! 6 hours. Not so great but I`m still alive and not feeling so bad now. I pick up the pace a little just to make sure I still have my legs on. 28 miles in I found a little shop and they sell coconut water! Oh rapture! Its the little things.....

Now with 2 cans of coconut water on board things are looking up and I start to move along a little quicker, sipping away as I try and keep up with the passing snails.

Mr Hamstring is starting to get very vocal again so I employ the old trusty technique of  "shuffle a bit, run a bit, walk a lot, repeat" anything to just keep moving.

32 miles in and in a moment of clarity I suddenly realise that I am doing something strange. I am running. Not only am I running but I am now running quicker than I have been all day! Quick look at the watch to see 8:45 minute mile!!! OK then?!! I gradually slow it down again and walk some more over the next mile.

Finally into Borehamwood now and on the home stretch! Unfortunately the home stretch entails a lot of pretty steep hills but at this stage I just want to get it done.


I come to the brow of the last hill and start making my way down the other side and I can see someone near the bottom standing with a phone, no way? Is that? It is! Its my Mum! She cheers me to the bottom then starts running with me over the last mile!
It really lifted my spirits and we chatted along until my watch finally read 34 miles.
Final time was just a little under 8:10, a lot longer than I had bargained for but that all faded away when my Mum handed me this!!


Such an amazing gift! She then added that there is room on there for a lot more tags....

Same time next year then folks! :)

Cardiosaurus

EDIT - It must also be noted that I came home to the most amazing risotto from my wonderful, beautiful and very patient (have I crawled enough yet?) Fiancee! Great recovery meal!!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Xero Sensori Venture review

I was very excited to open up my new Xero Shoe Sensori Venture and could wait to get them on my feet.

I restrained myself just long enough to have a quick look around them at the new design.
The main sole of the Xero is almost the same as the pair I tested a while a go with the exception of the side holes now being a little higher. Nice idea as this stops the abrasion issue to the laces.

There is now a new rubber type toe post which is nice and soft and seems pretty strong.
The lacing has gone through a big change here and now has this interesting double lacing thing going on making them more like a slip on sandal. Adjusting the lacing at the side with the new addition of little buckles.
The laces for the heel now have this nice rubber tube on them which looks good and should feel a little nicer on the Achilles.

Lets go ahead and put them on!

I really don't wont to say it but this was the point when all the pretty bits didn't feel so pretty anymore.
The first thing I noticed was they aren't as wide anymore, my feet are very close to being too wide for them before I've even done them up. With this in mind comes the next problem. As they are now a slightly different shape the toe post now seems to sit in a strange place between my toes, overall not making them feel very comfy. I tried to loosen them off a little and then found myself finding problem number 3. The new heel cup design looks great, however I keep standing on it! I think after a while I would end up with it rubbing my heels. I am almost inclined to just cut the heel cup off!

Being an ultra runner I look at every sandal or shoe with distance in mind. How far can I go before I would rather use them as a Frisbee than footwear? The Sensori Venture for me don't really scream serious running sandal. Maybe they are better as a walking/casual sandal and I am looking into it to much? Its just my own opinion.

On to the good stuff!
The price is still very reasonable at just under £30 and I really like the addition of colour. I think they would make great summer footwear for out and about town. I think ladies could even get away with them in the office as well.
The slip on tying is pretty stable and makes it quicker and simpler to put on.
The rubber tube for the heel is a nice touch and is something I would like to see as an option to use with traditional tying methods.

Overall they are made well and they are light but they are not for my kind of running.

Cardiosaurus

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Is ice REALLY the answer?

Hey guys and girls!

I know that sending you somewhere else is not exactly the greatest thing to do to encourage the growth of my own blog but I`m all about the sharing of knowledge! :)

I just stumbled across this fascinating post from Joshua Stone (apologies for not adding all of the letters after his name but it was beginning to look like I had spilt a can of alphabetti spaghetti!)

I think he makes some interesting points about not using ice as a treatment for swelling.

Have a read and let me know what you think...

http://athleticmedicine.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/why-ice-and-anti-inflammatory-medication-is-not-the-answer/

Happy reading

Cardiosaurus

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Community powered sports? I like the sound of that..

Hey folks, thought I would do a post about a very interesting company that got in touch with me recently...


What really interested me about these guys was how they have gone about things.

"Community powered sports" was the thing that got my attention and made me look a little deeper.


"On August 7 2013, Tribesports launched a Kickstarter campaign. We invited sports people everywhere to join us in our mission to revolutionize the sportswear industry, creating the  world’s first community-powered sportswear range. The 30-day campaign ended at 400% of the original funding goal and the first ever Tribesports Performance range is now in production.
We will be working with our community, customers and backers to design, spec and spread the word about Tribesports Performance wear. From providing the training data that tells us what kit you really need, to color choices, to technical features, to modelling the finished product – the Tribesports community are in charge."


The idea is simple really, use the same designers, the same fabric and the same factories with a bit of a twist.
By using folks like myself who are happy to blog about this kind of stuff, they can keep the costs down and pass it on to the final consumer instead of being tied up in all the other rubbish that is far to complicated anyway! WIN!
According to the website this means we could be getting some tip top gear for 40% cheaper than we would by heading for a shop! Brilliant! Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie!

But alas! At the bottom of the site it reads "TribeSports online store coming November 2013" GAH!!

HOLD UP! Never fear my faithful chums I have been chatting away with the wonderful Tribes-persons (is that actually a word?)  and I have some concept artwork that I can share with you!!!
I'm good to you eh?!


   



So what do we think so far? Well I for one am really excited the get my hands on some of the gear and give it a good thrashing! :)

Apart from the gear it also has to be said that the website has a really nice community feel to it. When you sign up you can take part in challenges and join "Tribes". So far im really liking it. You can sign up through Facebook or Twitter which I thought was a nice touch if you want to share things with ease.
There is almost too much to do on there! Challenges, training, workouts, questions, discussions and tons more! I am only just scraping the surface really.

Head over to the site and have a look for yourself and while your there keep and eye out for a certain Cardiosaurus G! *wink *wink! Click here to go there now (TribeSports)

Keep your eyes peeled for updates as hopefully I should be getting some bits to review! :D

Catch up with you all soon!

Cardiosaurus

Monday, 7 October 2013

Just your average run....with Scott Jurek!!!!! *UPDATED*

So what would you do if your saw one of the greatest ultra runners in the world was not only in the UK, he was going for a fun run only a 45 minute train journey from your house?!

So I got up at 5am and stumbled myself to the train station by 6.
Arrived at Marble Arch at 7am and paced about a bit to keep warm and hope I was in the right place and it wasn't cancelled or something. You know how your brain gets when you are excited?!

I`m there on my own, 45 minutes early due to it being my only train choice with plenty of time for my mind to come up with every option of why he wouldn't show.

A few more people arrive and we cross the road and stand at Speakers Corner taking a wild guess that we are there for the same reason as we are all sporting our best t-shirts. I of course wouldn't do such a thing I just happened to pick up my gleaming, crisp, white NDW50 t-shirt *huh hum* moving swiftly on....

We have a nice chat and I`m pleasantly surprised to find a lot of the people there are sporting half marathon t-shirts so I ask how many are ultra runners (maybe a dumb question?)
So many people answered that they were working on it with a small smile but most were at around half marathon experience. Some of course were ultra folk and a few were pretty hardcore. One guy I was chatting too had been doing them for 7 years and was wearing his latest UTMB shirt. He even dropped back to watch me run to give me some tips on why my Hamstring and Achilles give me problems. The suggestion was to start doing one legged pistol squats to strengthen my left side as my left knee very slightly drops in. Other than that he said there is no problem with my form at all. WIN!!

Thanks Ewen (hope that's how you spell it)!! This is why I love Ultra folk!

Right just to backtrack a little....
Speakers Corner, about 20 people now and its getting close to 7:45am. 
Bang on time a group of about 30 runners with Scott in the middle come bopping up the path and join us.
Lots of pictures and autographs later and with gentle buzz of excitement we all set off at 8am.

The pace felt steady and comfortable. We were all chatting away and I was surprised to see that we were doing about 8:30 to 9 minute miles! Most of my training runs are about a minute a mile slower, guess it was the atmosphere helping us all along. It really showed me that I could step up my training over the winter and hopefully get a little quicker.
It was such a nice experience to just be among so many runners and not be racing. Just a group of people having a run with a top ultra runner. :D
Myself and Scott Jurek! Wow I look small ha ha ha!
Every couple of miles we would stop somewhere and pick up another small group and move on. People dropped in and out as some went to work, some had other commitments but all left with big smiles on their faces after exchanging goodbyes and waves with Scott.
Strangely enough I have never run around London before even though I live pretty close. It was so nice to be out so early and it felt more like an open bus tour as we ran around the popular tourist sites, before looping round and finishing off back in Hyde Park 7 miles later. 
We arrived at a coffee shop as people were running past taking part in the British Heart Foundation Hyde Park Run. Just to show the pure passion for the sport of running this man has regardless of distance, he clapped and whooped the runners as they came past then went back to chatting with the rest of us!
He then gave away some free stuff, signed things, posed for pictures and chatted with everyone that wanted to. Then came the idea that as I don't wear running shoes maybe he should sign my foot......then maybe get it tattooed, you know just for the laugh! :)
So I approached Scott and asked him if he thought it would be funny or well......just creepy! Thankfully he thought it would be funny and said that a guy he met once had one on his arm. So much to the amusement of everyone around this happened.... 
I have not managed to get an appointment with a tattooist yet but I shall do a quick post as soon as its done!
Ha ha ha nuts I know but its got to be done right?!
Scott Jurek signing my foot! :)

Ciao for now!
Cardiosaurus

*************************UPDATE!*************************************

As promised folks here is the finished piece!


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The retirement of Milo the mouse

5 months a go I posted a little blog about a knitted mouse. (for those who need a catch up click here)

That same little knitted mouse has been with me for pretty much every run I have done since that post.
We have covered about 300 miles together, through mud, rain, sun and even paint! 
As someone much smarter than me once said "pictures are worth a thousand words" so below in no particular order is a small selection of what we have been up to...
Milo getting some love before the Color Run
Milo hiking in Wales
Milo a little dirty after the color run!
Looking after the gear before the NDW50
The upgrade so he wouldn't get lost 
Happy flag for a happy Milo
Visiting Piglet!
Visiting Winnie the pooh
Bringing home the bacon on my first Ultra marathon NDW50

Milo rocking my 2nd Ultra marathon, Race to the Stones 100k

As you can see its been a crazy few months! The original plan was to send Milo off to join the line with the rest of the mice to help break the record. Unfortunately as you can appreciate after 2 Ultra marathons, the Color Run and well, 300 miles of being outside Milo is looking a little worse for wear and shouldn't really be given to any cat for fear that he may ride it off into the sunset! Instead Milo is being retired and a letter being sent with the funds raised, a bunch of other mice and a link to here with his story.
A huge thank you to everyone who has been following #milomiles and #mileofmice along the way on Twitter.

Its been fun little buddy, now put those little feet up!
Last wave from Milo before retirement

Cardiosaurus and Milo out!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Updates from Cardiosaurus Labs

Hi guys and girls, just a quick catch up!

As you already know I have been beavering away in the lab on my new creation. While doing this I have ended up getting a bit hooked on creating monsters and got sidetracked! While not strictly to do with running, I thought this little fella was worthy of some attention.

I shall do a full blog on this soon but for now, I present to you the work in progress, Espi the Espadrille!

I shall finish this little beast off then report back soon!

Catch you soon guys and girls

Cardiosaurus

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

"EGOR! FETCH ME MY CREATIVE TROUSERS!"

Hey folks sorry I have been a little quiet of late, I`ve been working on a monster down in the Cardiosaurus lab. MOOO HA HA HA HAAAAAA!!!

"The Beast" is coming....

I have been scavenging parts for my monster for a little while now and it seems to be coming along well.

I have skin and lashings, buckles and elastic. Cutting things, gluing others, all it needs now is a soul! MOOO HA HA HAAAAA!

(OK so that should be sole but I`m trying to be a bit scary here!)

Soon! Soon "The Beast" shall arise!! You shall see it in the woods, you shall see it in the pale glow of the street lights! Its coming!!!! 

Run you fools!! (see what I did there eh? eh?! You know because I`m a runner so there is a good chance its running related, you are probably also a runner so I mixed the two things implying impending doom and also....*ha hum* sorry you get the idea)

Till next time.......MOOOOO HAHAAAAAA HAAAA HAAA *cough cough* sorry.

Cardiosaurus

Monday, 29 July 2013

New experiments and the elaborate sales pitch

Hey guys just thought I would do a quick post as its been a couple of weeks.

My recovery from Race to the Stones went really well and I was back out running after about 3 days.

Recently I have started adding some barefoot training to my running in the hope to run a barefoot 5k soon.
Doing a little bit of barefoot also has the advantage of highlighting minor flaws in my form. I have discovered that I need to work on reducing friction on my right foot.

After having a chat with Adrian (one of the guys I met at Race to the Stones) who runs barefoot a lot, I think I have worked out that while I am pulling up with my left foot, I think I may be slightly pushing off with my right.
The idea is to try and only pull up instead of pushing off with each foot. Now in sandals I thought I was doing this already, barefoot helped to show me that I very nearly had it down but not quite. By taking the sandals off I could instantly feel what I needed to work on and why I tended to get blisters in that area.
Hopefully with a bit more time training barefoot it should have a big knock on effect with my sandal running.

Thanks for the tips Adrian! :) It would have taken me ages to work that out just on my own!
If you would like to chat with Adrian yourself you can find him on Twitter @MovNatRunr

Also to add to my training experimentation I have started Spinning. No, not around and around, hmm, could be a lot of fun and maybe balance training? Spinning as in "hell bike!" For those of you who would like to melt into a puddle in about 15 minutes, try spinning! Tough on the quads and will make you melt....I loved it! I have only had 2 lessons so far but I shall be going back for more this week.

In other news!

Mummysaurus dragged me to a sports shop.....ok wait that's a lie, I never need dragging!
She had been telling me in a very round about way, that as much as she believes in my training that she would like to go for a gait analysis, just to have a second opinion. Wonderful! I love learning and secretly was curious as to whether I was doing things right by her anyway!!
We arrived at the store armed with a bag full of light shoes and heavy opinions. Well maybe the heavy opinions were just with me?
After chatting for a bit it was time for the treadmill and video. The guy was really helpful and it pleasantly surprised me that he was telling her the truth about her running and not just trying to sell her shoes.
He took a few videos and then got her to stop and have a chat.
It turns out that not only was I right in my observations of her running style, the guy agreed that her form is pretty good and.....wait for it!! She is a natural barefoot runner!!!!!! WIN!!
He even said that the orthotics the doctor had given her were unnecessary for her running and that she should just keep doing what she is doing!! I love this guy! :D
Then just for bonus points, almost to prove the point that it was evidence and not an elaborate sales pitch, he proceeded to NOT show us any shoes as they didn't even stock the ones she was looking for! ha ha ha brilliant!
So Mummysaurus left with a confidence boost and a very big smile while I left with some Skins compression shorts and some sports lube......how the hell did that happen? Maybe it was an elaborate sales pitch after all?

Race for Life

Mummysaurus along with my Sister and Auntie all took part in the Race for life on Sunday and all did so well! My Sister Spood (long story) smashed her 5k PB by just over 6 minutes!! :o Amazing effort! Just have to convince her that if she was to train (yeah I know, makes you sick eh?!) she could really be fast!
My Auntie put in a wonderful effort at walking the 5k, well I say 5k. It was a good mile or so from the car park to the start line!! Her little legs were tired before they even started, making the effort she put in even more impressive. Mummysaurus and her 4 legged friend Alfie walked along with her, Alfie with his little wet coat on helping to keep him cool in the sun.
I could see Mummysaurus just itching to run, patience Grasshopper! :)
I`m sure there will be a write up coming soon if you guys want to keep an eye out then click the link below....

mummysaurus59.blogspot.co.uk

Right I think that will do for now.
Catch you guys again soon, keep smiling!

Cardiosaurus

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Race to the Stones....well kind of!

So there was me thinking the training was in the bag. I had spent a long time as you all know running in all weathers. Well I say "all weathers" what I actually mean is typical English slightly overcast weather.
What I hadn't banked on was for the temperature to suddenly spike into the early 30`s!! BALLS!

Don`t get me wrong, I LOVE the sun, just not so keen on the idea of running 62 miles in 30 degree heat having never done it before! oh well, on with the show!

My beautiful, wonderful, adorable, (too far??) Fiancee drove me the 2 hours to the start line in time for an 8:15am kick off (see why I said all the lovey dovey stuff now?) we got there around 7:30am so I made my way to sign in then made a beeline for the loo before the last minute rush.

Spotted Luke Ashton AKA "UltraLuke" just before the start which was really nice as I had been chatting to him for a while on Twitter and also following his blog.

Meeting Ultra Luke (left) for the first time
Well worth a check! (click here for a link to his blog) Bit of a chat and a few photos later, we were lining up for the pre-race briefing then we were off!
Within about 30 seconds he was gone and I later found out he came 13th! Well done dude! :)

My plan was to run in my sandals without socks for as long as I could before adding them as per my North Downs Way 50 where I added them after 31 miles.

6 miles in and I was sitting on the ground adding lube and socks to my already warm feet!!! This was not part of the plan! Now pretty worried that my feet just were not up for the task this time I tried to put it out of my mind and just keep moving.
The sun was relentless. So much so that after around 7 miles I was reduced to a walk and that's pretty much how it stayed for many many miles to come.

Chatting away with people along the way just reaffirms my love for the Ultra distance. The type of people, the stories, the whole kit and caboodle! The way we can push each other along through, heat, pain and exhaustion is something to treasure. Nowhere else have I ever found this level of community.
Its these people that made the day what it was.

Aid stations can seem further away in this heat, like some beautiful carrot on a stick constantly just out of reach. On and on and on for what felt like forever until finally I could see a flag......then a sign!!
Aid station 2 "Is that it?! WHAT THE HELL?!!?" It was going to be a loooong day.

It had taken far longer than expected to reach even the 2nd aid station and I was starting to doubt myself.
Back at the start line I knew it was going to be hot but thought I would just take it easy and based on my first ultra I should have this thing done in around 15-16 hours. Piece of cake! I was wrong....very wrong.

My "piece of cake" became, "just keep moving!" which became, "just get to the next aid station"!
My goals become shorter in the heat. I am no longer thinking of the whole thing, its too much to think about!

Time moved on and on and on and on, the sun didn't.
I was very aware that I had to keep on top of my food and water or this could quickly become a very bad day, however the sun again had other ideas.

Aid stations came and went, each one I cherished the small reprieve from the heat. I tried to eat and drink and not get too comfy in the shade.

Aid station 5 was a tough one for me. 48k in and it had already taken just over 9 hours! Mentally it was a big strain to think that I had to do another 52k, worse still was realising that it could take another 10 hours in this heat!
I had to focus on what I could control right now, think small. "How am I feeling?" Bit achy I guess but that's to be expected. "Hungry, thirsty?" Not really and I don't really want a drink. WARNING!!! WARNING!!! WARNING!!!
My mental dashboard blinking away frantically trying to override my foggy mind.

For those yet to have the pleasure, let me give you a little heads up...
Simply put, going off of your food and water is a bad sign and not just for the obvious reason that you have nothing to fuel you anymore. Its also a sign of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Basically if you don't do something about it as soon as you can its going to be all downhill from here on in!
Now the tough part about this feeling is how subtle it can be. It creeps up on you in stages.

So how do you know what to look for?
Here are a few signs that I have found myself, some minor, some major...

Upon reaching an aid station you find nothing looks tasty. Not such a big deal, not everyone likes aid station food.....Warning 1.
You reach into your bag for your favourite snack, unwrap it, take a bite..."I don't want this anymore"....Warning 2
You have been carrying that banana for 3 miles looking at it in the same way most school kids look at Brussel sprouts.....Warning 3
You realise you have stopped sweating. This may feel great but its not a good sign...Warning 4
Not sure when you last took a mouthful of water? Keep your mind on the game!.....Warning 5
Realising the previous point you take a mouthful of water and don't want to swallow it!....Major warning!!!

You could probably get away with most of these for a while but you can only pass it off as "it will sort itself out" for so long before you find yourself in a pretty bad way, maybe not even realising why!

I had to force feed myself both food and water knowing that it was the only way that I was going to get through the rest of this, the lesser of two evils and all that!

I spent about half an hour at Aid station 5. Forcing some pasta down, drinking and stretching. I really, really didn't want to be eating hot pasta in 30 degree heat but my desire to finish the race got the job done and got me back on my feet!

Finally leaving the aid station with a tower of a man who I had been running with since around mile 5.
Dennis had greeted me with "hey! Did you just do the North Downs in May?" yep! I said "thought so, I recognised your feet! I finished just in front of you!"
Small world eh?! As it turns out I was number 1 and he was number 2!
We had been chatting away when we bumped into 3 other guys that seemed to be going at the same pace so we all hung about together, chopping and changing depending on who was walking and who was running.

We laughed, moaned and swore our way from station to station pulling each other along.
Joking that we should be running behind Dennis so we could take shade in his shadow. That I should stay over the other side of the trail to keep the flies away from everyone else as they seemed to have a bit of a thing for me! This continued into the night until finally the flies went to bed.

The sun had finally set but the temperature wasn't really dropping. Still we figured a little longer and it will drop enough that we could put in some bigger stints of running to make up some time.

Sometime in the early hours of the morning Dennis went off a little in front while the rest of us had a walk break. "wow he is giving it some, eh?" I said to the others as the light from his head torch darted down the trail and off around the corner. We had a little jog again to see if we could catch him up. We never saw him again! Dennis sent me a Tweet later saying sorry but he suddenly felt really good and just had to go with it!

Nothing to be sorry about, it is a race after all! :D

So now we were 4. We pushed on and on over rocky roads, thick grass, chalk, flint, hills and gates until we could start hearing the birds chirping the new day in.
It`s a very strange but wonderful feeling to know that you have just run through the night.
It started to get light enough to finally take the head torches off. Good thing too as we were approaching a very rutted section that would have been really tricky in the dark!
By now we were all tired and really just wanted to see those stones! Instead we saw a Badger! Pretty cool, never seen a live one before. Unfortunately it didn't hang around long enough to ask us what the hell we were doing and darted off into the grass.

We crested a hill and Courtney said "I think that's them!" we looked down the hill and to the right and could just make the stones out in the distance!!

Lifted by the idea that we were close we pushed on as quick as our tired bodies would let us.

At the bottom of the hill we could see a lady walking up. "That`s my wife!" said a very relieved Andrew.
They had a chat while the rest of us had a little jog down the hill.

The approach to the stones felt like a life time. We could now see them in the field below! It was then that we saw a handwritten sign that read Loop around the stones ........"erm.....guys?! This isn't the finish!!!" the words fell out of my mouth like a brick.
We made our way along the road to a guy who told us to go through the gate, through the 2 stones then head to the bottom of the field and back down the road we just came down!!!

We stopped and had a few photos at the stones (as you do!) then made our way, all be it a little disappointed to the end of the field and out the gate.

We were all under the impression that as it was called Race to the Stones that we would firstly, get to see all the stones and secondly, finish at the stones!!! This rather disappointingly was not to be the case. The finish instead was back up the road, into a field, across the field and the finally we were on the home straight!

The finishing line was in the distance, a nice flat road under our feet, about 400 meters from us and that line we had been dreaming of all this time.
Courtney initiated the jog with a "come on boys!" and off we went. We were going to run the last bit, all be it slowly but we were going to run it!
200 meters to go we all formed a line and ran shoulder to shoulder, big silly grins on our faces as we crossed the line together!

Adrian, Andrew, Courtney and Me at the end of Race to the Stones

Dennis, Adrian, Courtney and Andrew. You made it the day it was for me, and I sincerely thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the journey.

Till next time folks!

Cardiosaurus

Friday, 12 July 2013

It won`t get you in trouble.....

So 24 hours to go till Race to the Stones and im getting really excited! So much so in fact that I have been checking out Trail Porn...........

OK wait! Don`t stop following me and report me just yet!

As the name (may) suggest, Trail Porn is a website full of beautiful photographs of trails from around the world, not scantily clad trees in rude poses.

There are some beautiful pictures on there to admire and inspire and it got me thinking about updating my own pictures. Also if anyone knows of any sites or has beautiful pictures of their own then please post links or mail me and I shall add a blog about them.

Right trail heads I need to get my kit together for tomorrow! :)

Take a look, honest its just running! www.trailporn.com

Peace peeps!

Cardiosaurus

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The beginning of the "Mummysaurus"!

Hey guys and girls quick post about my new project!

I am attempting to create a monster! MOOOO HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAA! *cough* *cough* sorry about that......

My mum has always said that she is not a runner, too old, blah blah blah...then she mentioned that she would one day like to run the race for life 5k all the way....before she had a chance to rescue those words I jumped in and said....."CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!" :D

The challenge - To get my non running mum (henceforth to be known as Mummysaurus) to complete a full 5k running and hopefully smiling one year from now!

Last night saw the first part of her training with a 5k walk/run and some handy tips about balance and breathing. She did really well and was very surprised at how well some of my tips worked so I thought I would pass on a couple here.

When walking up hill, shorten your stride, lengthen your spine and lean slightly forward over your knees. Try not to bend from the waist as you do this. Imagine you are in the Moonwalker bar scene!

Well.....OK maybe not that far but you get the idea!

The next little tip to practice when walking is to time your breathing to your feet.
Breath IN, 2,3,4 OUT, 2,3,4 and repeat obviously, as breathing only once wont get you very far at all.

Right I think that is enough for now and I shall keep you all updated with the progress of the Mummysaurus!

Till next time running fans!

Cardiosaurus

Monday, 1 July 2013

2 weeks till Race to the Stones!

So as the title says, I have 2 weeks now till Race to the Stones!!

Time to taper and worry about how the training or lack of training went.
This is also a time to start thinking about kit.

As you all know by now I am a bit of a kit nut, I love anything that will make my journey just that little bit nicer! This ties in nicely with some Quad compression sleeves that I was sent by the folks at 2XU. Thanks guys and girls!

So what are Quad compression sleeves?
                                                                                                                                                                                           
Well in short they are sleeves that go over your Quads, kind of like a tube sock.
Adding compression to the muscles is meant to give support and stability whilst also helping to reduce muscle fatigue and damage.

I have been testing these out since finishing my first Ultra marathon back in May and so far they are pretty good!
On days when my legs are a little tired, I just pull these on and they help to take a little of the strain away in my Quads and Hamstrings.
I find them pretty comfortable, breathable and they do a pretty good job of taking the moisture away.
My only small gripe with these is they tend to bunch up a little at the top and slightly move down. Not a big deal on a short run but it can start to get a little uncomfortable on longer runs. I would be really interested in trying out the full on shorts of these for longer distances. Overall I am pretty happy with them and they are great to use after a hard run as I have found for me they speed up my recovery time. WIN!
They will be part of my kit for sure!

Talking of my kit, here is a list of stuff that will be on me for my second Ultra!
Ultimate Direction AK Race vest, Montane Atomic jacket, Montane Terra pants, Injinji socks,whistle, compass and paracord, Luna sandals, cold killer gloves, Buff, medical tape, vaseline, head torch, Elete water, pain killers, hey fever tablets, safty pins, long sleeve Hind top, Vita Coco water, 1x 650ml bottle, Chia seeds, 6x GU gels and last but not least a knitted mouse on a carabiner!

I am going to take the risk of not taking spare shoes this time as the Injinji did me proud!

Oh well! Not long to see if its the right choice or not!!!

Play nicely kids!

Cardiosaurus

Monday, 10 June 2013

Updates!

Hey guys and girls hope you are all doing well!

Just thought I would do a quick update post of things to come.
I am currently testing out some quad compression gear from 2XU and shall get to work on a review as soon as I have some decent testing done.

The Earth Runners Alpha sandal update will come soon as I have been putting some miles on them.

I should really get round to doing a review of my Ultimate Direction AK vest as well!!
AAAH! So much to catch up on! ha ha ha!

My training miles are starting to go up again as I have signed up for Race to the Stones in July!!
It looks like it is going to be a very pretty one and it will also push my distance PB up to 100km!
I'm really looking forward to this one as there is less pressure to hit cut off times and I already know I can do 50 miles. Whats another half marathon on top between friends eh? ;) ha ha ha

So that's Race to the Stones in July and I have also booked my first 24 hour self transcendence race for September! I must be nuts! 24 hours and a running track.......oh dear.....that's gonna be a tough one not to loose my marbles on! :D

With all this madness aside I feel humbled and honoured to have inspired some people around me to get into running! My sister "Spood" and her partner "Nuke Sky walker", my cousin "team Flint" and drum roll please!!...................... "Mummysaurus" looks set to join the crew!!! All of which are working hard to hit their own personal goals and in turn inspire each other to keep going! Big thumbs up to you all!

Right that's me for now as I have loads of training to catch up on!

Don`t forget to smile peeps! :D

Cardiosaurus

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Getting grounded the Earth Runner way!

I got sent a beautiful pair of sandals and just had to show you guys!
                                                                     
Alpha from Earth Runners
These wonderfully crafted beasties are my new toys from Earth Runners! Have a read about these guys at the site here (click to go to Earth Runners) for a quick bio on them.

I have known about Earth Runners for a while now from people mentioning them in the sandal world and what really intrigued me was all the talk about "earthing". Now I need to do some research on this myself and I would advise you to do the same as from what I have found so far it is fascinating!
Rough idea so far is that we pick up a lot of interference from the technology around us and we should "ground" ourselves to...well kind of reset I guess and return to our natural voltage?!
Interesting idea eh?
The best way to ground yourself is to walk about outside barefoot for at least 15 minutes but as we all know this isn't always the easiest thing to do.
This is what got my attention from the designs of the guys at Earth Runners. They have incorporated copper plugs and thread into the sandal to allow the wearer to be grounded while protecting your feet at the same time! You can walk around all day continually grounding yourself.
copper thread running up the white mesh

In the picture opposite can see the white kind of mesh? Well that is where the copper thread runs. Connected to the copper plug at the bottom it runs up the front and connects to another copper piece on the top of the foot to assist with the grounding.
Pretty clever eh?!

In the picture below you can see the toe plug and then two plugs that go straight through the foot bed for a better connection. These two plugs also act as an anchor for two D ring style holes for the laces.


toe plug and two side plugs



Below you can see the last connector on this model that rests on the outside of the foot.
Just above it, the buckle.

The buckle is sturdy, holds the lace well and it is very quick to adjust. I also like the way that you can take the lace all the way out as on my Luna you couldn't do this and it sometimes made the adjustment a little tricky.

The first time I picked up the Alpha to be honest I wasn't sure about the sole choice. They felt almost too light and I was worried that the Birkenstock sole just wasn't going to cut it.
I was wrong, very wrong.
I was still slightly recovering from my first 50 mile Ultra marathon when I first got these so unfortunately as yet I haven't been able to run in them but BOY DO I WANT TO!!
I needed to go in to London but tendinitis in my foot was making my choice of footwear a little difficult as the top of my foot was hurting.
"hmm I wonder?..." I thought to myself as I buckled up my Alpha.
buckle and side foot plug
They felt great straight away and having only the one strap across my foot was perfect for my tendinitis! WIN! 
So off we went to London and already after only 5 minutes of being in them I was amazed at how secure they were and how much they actually felt like a shoe! Having the strap at the front of the ankle was really comforting but did take a little bit of time to get the right tension. I was forever making it slightly too tight, this however wasn't really a big deal as they were so quick to adjust.
The suede foot bed is so comfortable and I cant wait to see what it is like to run on. I am even more curios to see what happens when you get it wet as this is a big issue with sandals as it can cause you to slip around a lot.

I walked all around in these for 11 hours and my feet felt great! I did have to stop every now and then to adjust them but im sure that will stop once I have found the sweet spot!

I know this might sound a little hippie but I have to write it down here as I think it is a very important thing to add. The whole time I was walking around I felt calm. I understand that this in itself doesn't sound like a big deal but I have to try and explain the kind of calm that it was. Tranquillity, still, centred, are a few words that come to mind. Now this could have been because the sun was out, it could have well been just in my head or it could be down to actually being grounded. You know something? I want more!
If that's what being grounded  feels like, sign me up!
A few of you may be staring at the screen right now thinking I have lost my marbles, some may think its all rubbish. For those of you who decide to grab a pair will be very glad you did!

Head over and check them out on Kick Starter (click) and get grounded!!

I cant wait to get back to running next week to start putting some serious miles on these!

Watch for updates guys this is not the last you will see of the Earth Runners!

Peace peeps!

Cardiosaurus                                                                                                                        

Xero shoe banner now added!

Hey guys and girls!

A little update for you...
I am most honored to say that I have been chosen by Xero Shoe to be an affiliate so please if you liked my review and wanted to give them a try please go through the banner and I will get a little piece of the pie!

I shall be posting a video soon of the tying I mentioned in the last post then more as I play around!

Have fun peeps and grab yourselves some Xero Shoes (through the banner of course! ;) )

Much love

Cardiosaurus




Sunday, 26 May 2013

Tying method I have been messing with

Hey guys and girls thought I would just do a quick post on a tying method I have been playing with!

Using my wonderful Xero Shoes here as an example I shall do my best to give you a breakdown of how I ended up with this......

This method is nice and secure but is not adjustable so you have to make sure you get it right once or be prepared to stop and re tie! Not such a big deal unless you have made the "pretty" bit along the front like I have. ooops!

So here we go....

Start with your basic set up for tying as below...

(Based on your left foot) come up from between your toe and head down into the left hole...

Take the rope around and head under the top rope towards the heel...

Now down the hole on the inside of your foot...

Take the rope around and head under the top rope towards the top of your foot...

Well done! You have just completed your basic set up!

Most tying methods will start with this and then have the variations from it.

Right now we have our basic set up its time to move on to the method I have been messing around with....

Take the rope that is coming from the inside of your foot and head across the front of your foot towards the left hole...

Go under the heel strap around and back towards the heel.....

Off to the inside hole, under the heal strap then loop back and pass the long end of the rope through the loop and tie it off.
The only thing left to do now is to spiral the remaining rope around the strap that comes across your foot, tie it off and you are done!

I may do a follow up on this post with a short video as I understand that in writing those instructions might make your head spin!

Give it a go and let me know how you guys get on!

Have fun!

Cardiosaurus

Friday, 24 May 2013

A GU review for you and you!

So I am now off for a couple of weeks resting up after my first Ultra which gives me a bit more time to catch up on reviews! YAY!

What better way to start than to review what helped fuel me through the North Downs Way 50?!


GU energy gel


I am pretty sure that most of you guys have either seen or tried them but they are well worth a mention here!

I was lucky enough to have some of these sent to me to review by the wonderful folks at GU Energy Labs UK,(click for the site) Thank again guys! Then luckier still to find that Centurion Running (click to check them out) was supplying GU as well!

This meant that I got to give them a good 50 mile test in one day and hopefully try lots of different ones too! WIN! :)

I would advise that if you have never used gels before to try them during your training and do not just grab them at an event just in case you do not get on with them. This can be said of any food/gel/electrolyte replacement etc....


I have tried GU on and off for ages so I know how my body responds to them, with the exception of Roctane which this was my first time trying it. I know, I know I just said don't do it but I was a long way into the 50 mile run and was curious!
I was interested in trying some of the other flavours for the first time but as it turned out I had picked up the ones I had tried already! Oh well!

At a very handy 100 calories a pack these are ideal for stashing away in a pocket for those long runs. Weighing in at a tiny 32 grams and coming in such a small packet makes these my gel of choice so far!
The 100 calories is ideal for me as that translates to an hour of fuel in a very small portion.
The small packet is a big deal for me as it allows me to carry hours and hours of "food" but not have to sacrifice space in my bag. Most of all it also keeps the weight down!
With other gels I have found that the packet can sometimes be so big that I cant stash them anywhere or I cant eat it all! When you are travelling for hours and hours the idea of trying to eat a massive gel becomes a pain for the following reasons...

1 - Its messy!
2 - What do you do with the massive sticky packet?! (no, you don't throw it on the trail!)
3 - After hours and hours of running I don't tend to crave anything too big as it just feels harder to process while on the move.

I want something quick, easy to swallow and hopefully tasty with the smallest amount of fuss involved!
I have tried other gels and found them either quite watery or just bland, with GU you most definitely wont find that! My favourites so far have to be the Chocolate Outrage and Espresso Love as they both have a great flavour and are even slightly chewy! Make sure you continue to sip at your water though as they are very very sticky.
A caution to the hungry! Open them with care as GU on you hands and arms isn't coming off for a while!
On the positive side however you will have very tasty fingers for the next few miles! WIN!

Lets get a little technical for a while shall we?
GU isn't just some bag of tasty sugar it is a lot more complicated than that.
Containing Sodium, Potassium, Protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Calcium you can already see that it is not just a pretty packet. GU is a serious bit of kit if you are planning something big.

Speaking of big, lets have a little look at Roctane!
During my race I reached into my pocket and pulled this little guy out. Don`t let the size of it fool you, it packs a mighty punch! I tried two different flavours on my way round. Blueberry Pomegranate and Vanilla Orange.
Roctane is pretty much the other gels bigger meaner brother!
Containing all of the above and a whole bunch more like caffeine, Leucine, Valine, Isoleucine, Histidine (they sound scary but they are Amino acids) and Ornithine Alpha-Ketaglutarate (that is meant to help reduce muscle trauma apparently!)

Taste wise I personally didn't enjoy the Blueberry Pomegranate as much as the others. I found it a little intense and just not to my taste.
The Vanilla Orange however was nice, strong flavour but good.
The main difference I found between the Roctane and the normal GU gels was the extra caffeine boost which was nice that late into the race.

I think in future I would keep a couple of these guys for that exact use. I am not too sure that I could eat these all the way round as the flavours are just a little harsh for my personal taste but I would definitely like to have a few hidden away for when the wheels start to go square!

I did also try out the GU Chomps but I think it is a much fairer test if I come back to them at a later date when I can use them just on their own.
Well I think that just about wraps it up for the moment until I can come back with some new flavour tests.


Please note that any of the advice on here is purely from my own experience and you should always do as much research as you can or consult a professional if you have any concerns or questions concerning any of the contents. Once again I would advise that if you have never used gels before to try them   before an event, actually this can be said of any food/gel/electrolyte replacement etc...

Till next time chums, run, read, rediscover, repeat!

Cardiosaurus                                       

Monday, 20 May 2013

My first Ultra - The North Downs Way 50



It was a bit of a chilly morning as the sun was still working out if it wanted to get up or not. We arrived and thankfully found a parking space not too far from the school where registration and the starting line was. Once inside two tables and a stage could been seen at the back of the hall. I made my way over for a kit check and to register, filled out my details on the back of my number and nervously made my way back outside for some air.
I had decided to wear my Montane jacket and trousers as there was still a little bite in the air. I was trying to get my bib number onto the leg of my trousers when we were called for the race briefing. With the briefing over we all made our way to the start and already I had a lot of interest in why I had chosen sandals.
Little bit of banter later I realised I hadn't turned my watch on and we only had 30 seconds to go!

Starting the NDW50
8 am. Watch error.
I started at the back choosing to trot along and talk to people to settle my nerves a little. 1.4 miles later my watch finally found me and I could see we were bouncing along at a nice 12m/m, wonderful!
3 miles in and Mr Sun had decided it was time to get up and burn away the morning haze. Things were hotting up.
Getting closer to the first aid station at 6.8 miles I really needed to get the extra layers off as it was going to be a beautiful but humid day.
Aid 1 - The guys I had been chatting with left me with a cheery "see you at the next hill!" I never did catch them again as my silky kit changing skills turned into some kind of circus performance costing me a lot of time. The long sleeve top got stuck on the watch, everything fell out of my neatly packed bag leaving me to fight with it like some stubborn deck chair that doesn't want to stay up. Finally I was changed into shorts and t shirt, my number re pinned on my leg again. "Right, now to just pull this elastic and hook that to....*TWANG!*" The hook came off of my bag! I ended up taking at least 5 to 10 minutes at that station and ran off with stuff still in my hands!
I think I was one from last at this point but I didn't care, I knew it was going to be a long day and all I had to do was not quit and I wouldn't be last!
Aid 2 came and went without a hitch and found that I was an hour ahead of the cut off which was very welcome news.
Aid 2 to 3 I knew would be tough but I didn't know just how tough. It is the only stretch that has a longer wait for aid. Every other point is around 6/7 miles between stations. This one was 11.5 and pretty much all up hill.
St Martha to Box hill has to be one of the toughest, soul sapping 11.5 miles I have ever done. You just climb and climb and climb then you find the stairs! Up and up and up and up it just seems to never end. Once you have finished one set of stairs you turn a corner and obviously go UP another draining hill before more stairs! On and on they go before ANOTHER set of stairs! I honestly thought we were going to find some glamorous gates when we eventually found the top with a bearded man holding a diversion sign saying "its not your time yet! That way for the North downs!"
Mercifully the stairs and the hills stopped briefly enough to gain some kind of composure before I got to the next aid station. 24 miles in and I could really see why people would drop out at this point. That section was tough but we are far from done yet and I think that can play on your mind.
Box hill to Reigate hill. 24 - 31 miles
I had been running by myself for hours when I looked at the pocket in my vest to find my bank card wasn't in it!!! I stopped and looked around but had to just bite my lip and keep running. No way was I going to find it, so angry at myself for not putting  it in a better pocket I pushed on hoping to find someone to keep me company for a bit.
I saw a lot of people enjoying this stunning trail but it took me a long time to find another numbered runner. I was however joined by a couple of people at different times who were out training for the other events and I owe them a little nod for the company. Thanks guys!
Reigate Hill!! Finally and quietly I could call myself an Ultra runner! 31 miles and I was greeted by my wonderful parents screaming and clapping as I came across the bridge and headed for the aid station. Reigate hill was the first aid station I volunteered at last year and it was a real turning point for me.
My dad grabbed me a coffee as I explained to the crew and my mum at how brutal the last bit was and that I wasn't sure I would even make it here on time. The crew were amazing and told me I was 40 minutes within the cut off. Re energized, I covered my feet in Vaseline and threw on my Toe Toe socks for a little more protection. My mum chucked a stick of butter in my coffee with a look of confusion but I said "I will explain later, thanks for the butter!" 
Off again on the road to Caterham!
Some of the views I came across were stunning! Beautiful hills, flowers and animals made me briefly I forget how far I had already come.
I met some wonderful people on a canal boat who were giving cake and jelly babies to the runners!!! You guys are amazing and made a tired runner very happy! Ran with another guy for a little while as he was training in the same direction then we parted ways and I headed for the next station.
I was met by wonderful crew once again at Caterham (38 miles) where I chowed down on everything in site and they even had a little bit of music on! By this point my Garmin had died so I had no idea of how I was doing. They told me I was still within 1 hour of the cut off so I had made up some ground somewhere! The next wonderful bit of news was the next station was 5 miles away!
The 5 miles to Botley hill felt really far and had some really tough sections but I gained a lot of ground and just tried to keep my mind on it being 5 miles and not getting close to 40!
Botley hill at last! (43 miles) Just 7 miles to go and I had 2 and a half hours to do it in!
The wonderful crew hooked me up with some water and food and off I went to try and get this done. I was getting tired but was pushed on by the thought of that finish line getting closer with every step. My feet at this point were a little tender to run on so I just picked my ground. If it was really really stony I just walked fast, softer ground I ran, hills I walked up and ran down. I pushed on and on hoping to see some indication of how far I had to go.
I had got into some kind of autopilot for the last maybe 2 miles and was pulling some ground back with some good consistent running, checking over my shoulder as I really didn't want to be the very last person and I knew maybe one person was behind me. I came up a gentle hill and came across the guy that I had been walking the stairs with at Box Hill!!!! I couldn't believe it! I asked if he was OK and he said "yeah, go on without me" and he told me we had done 46.5 miles. I thanked him and wished him luck for the rest of it then I took off with a little boost that I had actually caught someone! Sorry dude but it is a race after all! ;)
I started to find signposts for Knockholt Pound and it made me smile each time I read one. Every gate, I checked behind me, nope not with me yet! Push harder! Across the next field, still nothing. Keep the pressure on, not long to go! Field after field I pushed on waiting to see that big inflatable arch.
I went through a gate and I could hear shouting and see flashes of light from my left, I looked across the field and could see the finish line!!! Unfortunately the finish line was on the other side of the field and over a hedge and all of my markings were leading me away from the finish!
I headed around the top of the field and eventually came to a road, turned left and made my way down the hill. Past the pub and village green where the finish was last year, left up a little hill and I could see a man with a clipboard.
I turned left into a car park and was joined by a crew member who ran halfway up the hill with me towards the beautiful blue arch! He said to me "I shall let you get your glory!" turned around and ran back down. Thanks dude!
13 hours 11 minutes and 3 seconds after leaving that school in Farnham, I crossed the finish line to screams and cheers and had finally realised my dream of becoming an Ultra runner!

Thank you to everyone who came out to see me you guys are amazing!
Huge thank you to the crews you guys were a light in the dark and made the race what it was!
At last but not least....never underestimate the power of a jelly baby! ;)

Thanks for reading guys and below are a couple of pictures and my finish video!


Run, Read, Rediscover, Repeat


Cardiosaurus

Mind your ears when you watch the videos my mum was a little happy!

video
                                                                           31 miles!
50 miles in sandals and my feet are still pretty happy!
Cardiosaurus