Tuesday, June 21, 2016

VARTRY 100 MILE ULTRA MY REDEMPTION

Redemption is something you have to fight for in a very personal, down-dirty way. Some of our characters lose that, some stray from that, and some regain it.
A man walks down the street He says why am I soft in the middle now Why am I soft in the middle The rest of my life is so hard I need a photo opportunity I want a shot at redemption 













This story started back almost 1 year ago in April 2015 when I contacted Don to enquire about the Vartry 100 mile ultra.I trained as hard as i have for any other race and went into it full of hope and confidence.But that all changed after taking a wrong turn going 5 miles in the wrong direction
and also not fuelling and drinking right I just could not stop vomiting and I just let the demons in my head win and that was that my ONLY DNF of the year 2015 .
Now alot of people who are close to me know how hard I took this failure.Even to the stage were I was done with any kind of running or races for the rest of the year.I looked back at some of my posts on twitter and facebook this week from last year  and I was in a bad place for agood few weeks after that Failure.But little was I to know I would go on to having one of the best years to date in this hobby I call running since I took it up 8 years ago.Now alot of this goes down to my wife Rose and some amazing help and training tips from Pat and Tina 2 good friends and running legends who I look up to massively.You will see alot of the marathon and ultra race reports I ran after that faihful day from 2015 but the Kerry way adventure stands out as one of my most memorable.
So that leads me to this year and for me MY REDEMPTION.So this 100 mile attemp was a full a year in the making for myself and my wife,she turned herself into the most amazing crew chief and also learend  not to be to soft and let my demons in my head take control,and as for myself i went back to the drawing board and changed up pretty much everything.The most impotant was to sort out the vomiting which had been and issue since the stone mad ultra in 2014 which i went into as sick as i have felt before and during any race iv run  and to be honest should not have run it at all.It took a big toll on my body and pretty much every race i did after that i had very bad time vomiting.But That all changed in 2015 after my DNF ,got alot of advice from Pat and Tina and changed up my training runs to eat and drink early and often and not give the vomiting a chance to take hold,and to my amazment i slowly started to get better and havent vomitied in any races since.
So the 100 mile ultra  arrived and I wont lie on the outside i had look of confidence but under it all i was shitting it big time.We parked up and straight away i saw some familiar faces from the year before and other ultras i have taken part in over the years.Don and his crew where very busy getting everything organised it was a very windy and stormy day which would continue into the night and make for some interesting running.I didnt have much time to get ready as we got there an hour before the race woud start.So 6 o clock came and we where off.  
The course seemed to have no hills on the first loop , some gentle ones on the second loop and some mount Everests on the final loop.So the first 65 miles went to plan nice and steady i was 12 hours in at this stage and here is where it went a bit off the rails again i twisted my ankle in a small pot hole which reinjury an old injury so the next 35 miles would test everything myself and my wife who was crewing me have  learned and trained for over the last year  from Pat and Tina.
A good crew is critical to the success of an ultra runner's race, particularly in 100 mile and 24H events. Crew members,  provide the athlete's food, drink, salt tablets and other supplies, as well as information on race position and time gaps. But for me the most important point They provide encouragement and motivation and here is where wife was my inspiration today she never let me give up and helped me push to the end and get my redemption for last year.
If you’re a non-runner you might be wondering how someone can run 100 miles for me, it's the risk of failure for me . There's very little risk for me to DNF in a 50k or 50 miler, even when I feel like crap or haven't really trained. With a hundred, especially the big and hard hundreds that really attract me, there is a very real risk of failure every time. I love being out there and having that little bit of anxiety, or uncertainty, or whatever you call it, and it brings a great feeling of accomplishment when I realize I'm going to make it to the finish.Gives me the  opportunity to see yourself at your strongest and at your weakest, if one is interested in knowing themselves that way

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