Friday 1 November 2013

Ladybower 50 mile Ultra Marathon

 I completely forgot to say that in September I did something that was great fun that I thought I would never be able to do.  I ran, ok well ran / walked / staggered around a 50 mile Ultra Marathon.

It's the Ladybower 50, there is a website, and facebook group just search for "Ladybower 50" for the event.  I've signed up for it again next year, the cost a whole £31.50 which seems to be a bargain to me.

It was  a great day. I thought that I had prepared reasonably well, and in truth I was woefully under prepared, but just kept on plodding around and got there in 11 hours 54 minutes.  Yes I had a big walking section where i was struggling a lot but I did it :)

The course is around Ladybower reservoir which includes 2 of the dams that were used for practise runs for the WW2 Dam Buster raids. You start off doing a 5 mile loop around the bottom of the reservoir and then you continue around for 3 laps which are each just over 15 miles.  I think it's actually something like 50.9 miles long but that doesn't have quite the same ring as the Ladybower 50.  If you get there early enough, and I just managed to, you can park in the same lay by where the race starts, which makes it dead easy for refuelling and getting yourself organised at the end of each lap. So I found i could literally just stop at the car and sit on the boot sorting myself out at the end of each lap.

The organisation is great, and simple, opposite the start you come to a place where you can go left or right, you go left at 5 miles back to the start then for the three other 15 miles laps you go right, so they had a marshall here, and a water butt, and water at the start line, (oh and cake if you were quick enough but I was slowwwww).  So it's a nice simple course you don't need a map or anything like that, you have some sections on roads, and some on trail, it includes a set of steps to run down and up each lap to add to the fun Basically it's fantastic.

They also have options to run a 20 miles, and a 35 mile version.  So you skip one or two full laps. The starts were staggered very 15 minutes, or might have been 30 minutes apart, with those of us doing the 50 miles going off first.

Now onto my race specifically. Lets begin by making it clear I finished there is a 13 hour time limit and I was the last finisher in 11 hours 54 minutes, I was 2 minutes behind a couple of other finishers.  At the start line there were 48 of us, and I was the 39th and final finisher.  So a bit of me keeps thinking darn I was last, but over time that's going down and the I finished a 50 mile ultra marathon n under 12 hours side is taking over :)  I made mistakes, and things didn't go great but I got there.

My biggest mistake was that I had some home-made flapjacks that were just to rich.I knew they were a little rich but didn't worry, so I had a plan, run the first 5 miles without any water, or food so I had some drink and food before the beginning, then after the 5 mile loop i'd grab my omm waist pack with water in, and packed with food and go from there.  I also had a cheap rucksack with a camelbak style water pack in it ready to go if I decided i wanted to wear that but i had struggled with it a bit in training as it made me really hot and sweaty.

This is a link to my very very slow Garmin track showing me getting around the course.
Garmn Connect - Route 

So I drunk some water, eat a really rich flapjack and started off.  The 5 miles went great perfect pace for what I wanted.... Just chilled,  Got back round the loop grabbed my waist bag, and set off again, as soon as I tried to drink or eat though something weird happened I felt really sick, I just wanted to throw up.  So I didn't drink for an hour and just kept plodding along, and of course typical it was a boiling September day around 19-20 it was toasty. So tried drinking and was sick, tried eating just a nibble and felt awful... So gave up.   pace wise i was plodding along fine, but starting to feel crap.  So completed that 15 miles lap, so 20 down 30 more to go, felt crap but assumed it would pass, at the car at the 20 mile mark, i decided to change to my rucksack maybe i'd be able to drink the plain water in that easier, took that and more food and set off again.  had a 5 minute mess around deciding on the pack etc... but set off as soon as i could, so off i went and nope still could not eat or drink. So by 25 miles i was feeling awful.  I had at this point come across a bloke who was feeling the same. I think he gave up at this point and just crossed back over to the start.  I was only a few minutes or possibly even still on time with my plan at this stage, but the next 10 miles back to the start was hell.  I haven't really hit the wall before in a marathon, but because i was hardly eating and drinking i think i hit it, I certainly hit an emotional wall at this point.  I struggled like hell from here to 35 miles, the one and only bit of food that i could eat was a pepperami, so whoever had suggested I take some was a life saver. I didn't have much but the bit i had kept me going.  At about 30-32 miles I remember I was crying i had people saying well done, nearly at the end but i had a lap more to go!! and also I felt I was going so slow that I wouldn't be within the time limits to do the last lap, in fact I was praying they would say nope you are to slow.  Then a weird thing happened around 33 miles, a couple of people overtook me, and I was thinking hang on, they just lapped me and must be about to finish, well only one or two at most others have done that.... taking that into account maybe i;m actually not quite as slow as I think.  So I gritted my teeth and kept plodding / walking as fast as i could to 35ish end of lap.

So... I got there I went straight past the car to sign in, and they said 8:05? I thought they were going to say 9:30 or something so they were happy for me to continue if I felt I could.  So I went back to the car sat on the boot and saw that I'd opened a can of diet coke last time around but couldn't drink it.  Heck i could not drink anything so what the heck lets try flat warm diet coke.  ... Err it seemed wonderful!! I drunk the whole can straight down and it was almost magical it felt like it lined my stomach It was bloody amazing. I cannot describe what that can of diet coke did for me... Basically it was my saviour.

I then proved just how stupid I am and that maybe i was a little tired... I emptied and refilled my water bladder, and thought ooops spilt some as the bottom of the rucksack felt soaked, stuffed some of every sort of food i had in the car into the pack, eat a banana that felt great thanks to the coke, and set off... thinking eeek i'm getting soaked i must have spilt more water then I thought into the pack.

by the time i'd gone a half a mile i'd realised I somehow hadn't poured the water into the bladder... I had poured it straight into my rucksack so for the next mile i basically had all the water just comng out the bottom 1.5l of it just pouring down my bum and legs, totally soaking my trainers, socks etc... I was heavy legged had no water and was soaked, but it was great for cooling me down. So I kept going to 40 miles (the point opposite the start on the other side of the reservoir which has the water butt, and it was still there phew!! with some plastic cups so i filled my bladder a cup at a time from the waterbutt poured a little over my head and carried on.  10 miles to go I now had water, and could drink it, and food... I was actually starting to feel good.

It was getting dark for the last few miles and they sent out a car to check on us stragglers.  they first met me with about 6k to go and then again with a couple of k to go and they said I was flying between those two points which helped make me feel good for the last little slog.  that last 10 miles I actually felt good, i could eat and drink and i was running way better then from 25-35 which was utter torture.  Getting to the finish line in the dark with a few car headlights to show the way was amazing :) What a day.

At the 35 mile mark.  I was over half an hour behind the group of two that I ended up finishing 2 minutes behind, the last lap was great.  1-20 was great. 20-35 was pure hell.

But it is amazing how friendly everyone is out there, you all want to help each other out, but even knowing that when you are struggling it does feel so lonely in the last few miles it was getting dark and I was alone and hadn't seen another human for a couple of hours it really screws with your mind.  I really believe that ultra running or in my case staggering is more in the mind then in the physical body.  I've signed up to go back next year, and I would love to beat 11 hours next year, but we shall see. Whatever happens I know that i'm really looking forward to a great day out and meeting new friends again.

Oh this sums up how great Ultra runners are. The winner who lapped me easily an took around 7:30-7:45 to finish, was there at the line cheering and encouraging me over the line when I finished. 

Thanks everyone that was a completely amazing day.

There is a 13 hour cut off for the race, so even though I struggled a lot I still had just over an hours time left.

If you want to do something like this, here is a plan that you don't necessarily need to follow but it's a good starting to point, and gives you pointers, one of the key things that I didn't do anywhere near enough is back to back runs so a long run on a Saturday followed by another medium to long run on the Sunday, i need to do this a lot more in preparation for next years attempt.  I am also doing the Wall which is Carlisle to Newcastle in 1 day which is 69 miles, so yikes I had better start doing some training soon :)

Monday 28 October 2013


Running seems to have taken over a lot of my spare time lately.

But I now have a quiet month or two a lull before the storm. Three or so gentle runs a week until the new year, when I give myself a serious telling off and then start up my plans for marathons and ultras, which will keep me going until October, and then until the new year I can cut down a lot again and recharge the batteries.

So i'm hoping to do a lot more reading through the next couple of months as i've been sadly lacking in reading this year.  I've only read about 25 books, which is a ridiculously low amount for me.

Tuesday 8 January 2013

Quiet day


Sometimes in life you have very quiet days, if you are trying to post a bit each day then you have to find something creative to say, well the truth is that I've had a dead quiet day.

I got up, went to work, came home for lunch (soup), back to work. Now home again!!

I've had a nice soak in the bath, taken some boob pics for a forum I'm on, dried my hair n waiting for dinner to cook.

Not had a chance to read, tweet etc... Just siting here now writing this post.

What am I doing tonight, well going to watch an episode of Haven, or Twin Peaks. Try to get into a book at some point.

Oh, diet well I've had a few good days this week first week back on the diet after a xmas and the odd bad day. Only used 6WW ProPoints for lunch, and that's it. Homemade fish n chips will be 13/14 points so only 19/20 used for the day, so think I can cheat and have a pudding as well. But, hey we shall see.

So this is my not very exciting life!! I would love to come up with something more exciting, but hey that's life!!

Monday 7 January 2013


I'm having a bit of a nightmare with my reading at the moment.

I just cannot get through a book, very frustrating and I just cannot get a book completed. I reckon I need to go back to basics and pick out an old favourite and bury myself in that.

The book I am currently loving, but it's actually a factual book that is awesome.

The book is:- Tales from the Coop: The joy of ex-battery hens. I have ex-battery hens and they are the most adorable things in the world each with their own personalities. This is a lovely book full of fun and cute stories about hens and their owners... If you have hens, but this book it's fantastic.

Books that I'm reading and stuck on.

Fantasy: Wards of Faerie by Terry Brooks
Sci-Fi: The Hydrogen Sonata
Crime: between novels. Enjoyed my last couple of novels which were by David Hewson and Maria Hannah

If nyone has any ideas how to get through a bit of a book reading slump I'd love to hear your ideas.

Sunday 6 January 2013

Boobs!! n stuff


Six and a bit weeks since I had my breast augmentation ("boob job"). To be precise I had 340cc CUI Implants put in under the first layer of chest muscles.

I was in a bit more pain / discomfort then I wanted for the first 18-21 days, but after that I have been fine.

So I'm very happy with the results, when I said about it most people were assuming they would look huge, but that wasn't what I wanted. I just wanted to look 'average' rather then being very self conscious about feeling flat.

I know people say why have it done, but it's simple I just feel so much more feminine. Yes, it's stupid that having boobs make any difference to me, but it does. I just have bags more confidence, I can go in a changing room and not feel embarrassed in front of everyone else. It has nothing to do with wanting to look good for a partner or any rubbish like that it's all about me.

What do they look like :-) ahh the million dollar question, the answer is bloody brilliant ;) I've gone from 36AA/A and living permanently in very padded bras To a comfortable 36D. Not to large so they don't really get in the way when running. I have spent a fortune on lots of bras which is a bit daft as they do still to seem to be changing size slightly but we will just have to wait and see what they look like. It's funny when you have them done you want them to look perfect from day 1, but that doesn't happen and frankly it can take six months or longer for them to settle down. Especially if you have the implants below the muscle, as you are waiting for the muscles to fully relax so that the implants move around a bit , relax and settle into their final position. Like most people i have one (my left) which has relaxed and dropped more into it's final position compared to my right boob which is still a bit sticky out and proud.

The first of the two pictures below shows my left scar at six weeks and the second is as you can see me in a bra, yes I am completely over the moon with excitement at the results and I think they will only get better when they settle down.

I forgot to mention where I had it done. It was done privately but to save costs it was done as a day patient in a NHS Hospital, so not the luxury some patients have, and I have a shorter aftercare program, but as at least one company accidentally made themselves bankrupt rather than having to pay for aftercare I just decided to go for it this way, everything went perfectly. The company I went through were and my surgeon was Mr Walid Samra who was fantastic.

Saturday 5 January 2013


Well I am really struggling to read The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M Banks. I love all his other culture novels, but I cannot get into this I keep stopping and starting again, as a result my reading has ground to a halt a bit. I might have to do something drastic by just giving up on this book for a few months.

So.. What am I watching on TV. Well at the moment I'm doing a watch through if Criminal Minds on DVD. I've got the first six series to watch and I'm part way through series 2.

I also managed to fit in a little run today. Ok saying a little run is slightly cheating it was a decent length run ;) 11.27km so 7 miles in 78 minutes.

I'm sitting on the sofa yawning now, and watching Criminal Minds ;)

Friday 4 January 2013


This year is the year I try to get in control of my finances.

I am completely hopeless with money after Xmas I had to tax / not the car so I have £89 to survive 16 days till Payday.

Fun and games.

But once I get to this payday then I can start sorting things out, basically I have to just not buy myself any treats next month and go from there!!

Should I be talking about this on my blog.... I've no idea, I'm not very good at organising myself or money so what the heck I'm completely open and that's what I'm like.

So..... Get through this month then be good. I've already paid two instalments of my 1 year loan for part of my boob job so I only have 10 more payments until that is paid off ;)

Wish me luck, with sorting out my finances this year! It doesn't help that my oh hasn't worked for just under 10 years, and so I'm paying for two of us to live on my single salary.

Thursday 3 January 2013



I am rather tired it is hard work going running after work. Well it's running to me, to lots of others it's just jogging. I'm just not quick.

I've had 5 weeks without running after my boob job :-) which was only a month after my Marathon so I haven't done that much running since then. Yes, ok I've been lazy.

Anyway it's the 3rd of January and I've managed 8.34km, 1.73km and 5.01km do just over 15km in the first 3 days of the year.

Will I keep running, yes I hope so. I am going too do Leicester Marathon again around October time. I should do some other shorter events before then to push myself and get quicker.

What else have I done today? Bathed, worked and that's it. I'm going to have homemade pizza for tea which should be tasty.

Tea tonight... Here you go one pizza with leftover meat. Sausage, bacon, and salami

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Diet, Life, etc...


Before Xmas I had just managed to squeeze down to below 10 stone. Now i'm back up at just below 10st 6lbs. Which is my target weight for when i joined WeightWatchers on 21st March. So i'm still below my target weight, ideally I do want to be 9st x, as opposed to 10st x, but hey i've had a rather indulgent Xmas and i'm still hovering just below my original target weight.

It is weird because so many people have said going by your BMI is not very accurate but it is a good general figure to aim for and at 10st 1lb. I hit the top of my correct BMI Range, now people at work are telling me today I don't need to loose any weight, but technically i'm 4.5lbs overweight, and ideally you should be half way down your healthy range so that would be around 9 stone, which is daft. I don't know how I can be so heavy and yet bordering on people saying i've lost to much weight!! It's daft. I cannot decide if there is such a thing as big boned, or if it's just what you get used to from a person / expect them to look, I was 15st 8lbs in March and I looked large and yet talking about it people said they didn't think I was anywhere near that heavy. So... the conclusion to this rambling, errr umm errr, there isn't any real conclusion. Just to say I think I need to loose a bit and at least get down to within my healthy BMI Range. i might have a dream target of about 9st 7 but who knows that might be a bit to skinny.

Did I start reading my first book of the year last night? No I failed I stayed up watching the last of Series 1 of Criminal Minds, and the first episode from the 2nd Series as it was a cliff hanger.

I have loads of TV Series that I still want to watch on DVD. My OH loves Haven and we are part way through series 2 and have series 3 recording on Sky HD I think there are only two episodes to go so we have over 1 and a half series of them to watch. At Christmas I found buy one get one half price on boxsets at HMV so I purchased the complete Husstle Box Set, and the complete Twin Peaks.  So I have those to watch through at some point as well. Along with 3 more Doctor Who Stories that were going cheapish on Amazon at £7 each. The Doctor Who stories are all 3rd Doctor Adventures, including one that was aired over the time period that includes when I was born.

So plans, sometime this week start reading a book!! Jog a bit more this week. Possibly stick in a sneaky little 5k tonight after work, except my trainers might still be soaked from yesterday. So they might need another day to dry out. This is another reason I got myself a second pair, this way I can use one pair whilst the others are drying out. I'm a fan of Asics 2170 trainers as i've run a few hundred miles on them now around 300 if not more and the only issue i have is black toe nails, and that is a bit daft as I wear two sizes bigger than in other shoes, and I have tons of room at the end in fact I occasionally fall over because i've got so much room in them!! I am a big fan of lots of padding in my trainers, if we were meant to run in a barefoot style with no padding we would be doing it on soft grass fields, not tarmac roads, that destroy your joints if you aren't careful.

I have my weigh in online for Weight Watchers every Wednesday morning. So, if I do manage to keep up blogging on each day, then I'm thinking that Wednesday will be a very short and probably rather vain sounding post about my diet over the previous week.

It might be fun to try to do some themes for other days, but I know that Wednesday is the day I think about diet etc... so that makes sense.

Tuesday 1 January 2013



It's the 1st of January 2013.

So last year I read a few less books then I wanted only around 70. Reviewed hardly any!! ;( which was a bit of a failure, and barely wrote a creative word.

But, I did loose 5.5 stone and run a marathon. Oh and yes I got a boob job in November!! Hurrah I has boobs!!

This year; loose a bit more weight maybe down to between 9st 7lbs and 9st 11lbs. Run at least one more marathon. Read at least 52 books (would like 76), write some reviews, Study IT more and get at least one certificate showing I've learnt something in the year. Start to do some creative writing. Yes, it's a lot. The creative writing is the thing that will be sacrificed first I know ;(

Well I have started with the running 8.34 km in exactly 1 hour. So that pace would be a few seconds under 5h for a marathon if I could keep it going. The first half was through a mud bath, which at times was deeper then my trainers, so I was quite content to get that far in 1 hour.

I hope to start my first book in bed tonight. We shall see might just sleep as back to work tomorrow.

Anyway I'm busy watching the proper Star Wars trilogy on Blu-ray, ohhh they put it right... Han shot first!!

So try to see you tomorrow. Lets see i how long I can keep up with daily posts no matter how short some of them are.