Annales Volusi, Cacata Carta

Friday, 27 May 2011

There's this fella that lives down the road from me called Robert McCaffrey. He's better known in running circles as Dr Rob and you may know him from the Runner's World forum where he's particularly active. He's also the director of the Trionium group of races which includes The Picnic, which was voted 'the hardest marathon in Britain' by Runner's World.

I'd dearly like to call Rob a friend, indeed he once was, but when I separated from ex-wife/partner (no.3) Rob was one of those fellas that picked a side. As his missus is great mates with ex-wife/partner (no.3) the side he picked wasn't mine. So now if I see him we exchange pleasantries and a bit of running chat, but that's about it.

Anyway, I saw Rob this week as I dropped my wee Maddie off at school (due to my enforced idleness I've been doing the school run, catching up on my ironing and considering what coffee mornings I might attend).

I stopped and chatted to Rob and he asked me if I had any races in the offing.

'As usual I've got the West Highland Way Race in a few weeks,' I told him.

'Do you know I read an article by a woman that runs ultras and she does them on normal mileage. None of this thirty or forty mile training run rubbish. Just normal mileage. She says it's all in the mind,' Rob replied.

Now this is something that Rob shouldn't have told a chancer like me. As I walked away I thought about it. Normal mileage? I'm doing normal mileage now! (Normal mileage is fifteen miles a week, right?). I've cracked it. I've found the secret. Richie Cunningham doesn't stand a chance.

Anyway, despite being the absolute king of chancers, I decided that a hard twenty mile training run today would allow me to see the effect that 'normal mileage' has on the build up of lactic acid and muscle fatigue after over three hours of hard, off-road running.

The route I chose really is twenty miles. It's not like, 18.5 miles rounded up. It's bang on twenty. I know this because my mate and fellow West Highland Way Race finisher, Jon Vann measured it. Jon dots the 'i' and crosses the 't'. Unlike me.

The route starts with a solid two mile incline to reach a ridge on the North Downs. In the past this climb has kicked my arse and to be honest I was a little intimidated by it today. But I had Mason (dog) with me, so anyone seeing me rigged in full ultra running gear but walking would be too afraid of my canine pocket battleship to take the piss (forget the fact that he's as soppy as soaped up Katie Price).

But what's this? The climb was an absolute piece of piss! There might be something in this 'normal mileage' claim after all. Indeed as I trotted along the route, stopping occasionally to call Mason (dog) back, who was having the time of his life hunting squirrels, I remarked at how strong I felt.

I hit the turn around point and started to head back and felt that familiar burn of lactic acid and muscle fatigue. I have to say that the last two miles were somewhat painful, particularly that I had a pain in my back that felt muscular/cramping. I've never felt it before but I wondered if it was what Mrs Pacepusher felt recently in her fantastic slaying of the Cateran Trail Race.

Not too sure about the 'normal mileage' claim now.

Anyway, despite the revelation that 'normal mileage' is entirely dependant upon the person, and 'normal milegae' for Yours Truly might be fuck all, I'm very happy to report that I am now to accompany the legend that is Ray McCurdy on the West Highland Way Race this year. Ray has had a few issues securing a support crew so we'll run together and my crew will take care of him.

Ray's version of 'normal mileage' is an ultra race every week so I guess I'll get my sorry arse kicked. *Sighs*

Now, let me say one more thing. What you've read here (assuming you made it this far) is shit. I know it's shit and I was told it would be shit. But I'm prevented from writing about ghosts, fox's piss, pregnant women in lifts and sharks attacking men in public phone boxes. So you've had to make do with running. Which, in it's written form, is shit.

A couple of good things that came out of today that are not shit:

1. Mason (dog) likes my home made onion bhajis.

2. Mason (dog) now knows how to drink water from a Platypus (other bladders are available).



Anonymous said...

Hey! I'm looking for a running guide! Neil is running it on his own this year and I am concerned about getting lost. I'm slow...but have finished the last 2 years.

Carolyn (from Vancouver, Canada)

Subversive Runner said...

Hey Carolyn,

Thanks for the comment. Why don't you hook up with Ray and I and we can chum each other to the finish.

Davie said...

Hope you enjoy responsible dog ownership this morning after feeding Mason (dog) a bhaji!

An appropriate acronomical word verification for this reply is seatsht*

* see that sh*t

Subversive Runner said...

BDTP, I've lierally just practised that activity that marks us out as responsible dog owners. I have to report that the movement was firm. Remember, Mason (dog) is a rescue hound and is a former resident of New Cross in South East London. He's probably been raised on a diet of kebabs and curry (and other dogs, of course).

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