The thing about ultra marathons, is that you can’t go out and do another one a week or two later. Well, you could, but unless you are Mike Wardian, you are unlikely to run well. They are different to 10k or even half marathons, where one bad race could be rectified by a good race the following week or two, restoring lost confidence and pride!! I am not going to be able to do that for some months, it is one of the things that comes with this sport.
Since the race all I have done is eat and drink!! I have been shoveling it away like I am saving up for a famine! I gain weight very easily so I will need to be very careful over the next couple of weeks to keep the weight down for London marathon. Once we leave Reay tomorrow (Wed 8th April) I will get back on track with food and I will be off booze again. I flew up to Wick on Sunday afternoon. It was a really good flight with Flybe. Check in on-line, hand luggage only. Took the train and tram to the airport and went straight through security and onto my plane. Pretty easy really. Mrs Boab and the tiny Boabs had headed north the previous Friday and as I was racing I got the later flight.
Anyway, time for reflection. There have been a few days now to think over what actually happened in the race, and also a couple of comments I’ve received have got me thinking a little deeper than I initially thought. My initial thoughts were, injury struck at 36 miles, it had been building for 20 miles and came to a head with severe pain at 36 miles, slowing me to a walk. But was it an injury? This has been the question I have asked myself since Ian Beattie commented to me that he knows other ultra runners ‘who took time to get it right’. This actually had not crossed my mind. The pace was right, it was what I had been doing in training. In training I had the extra advantage of heart rate numbers, which I don’t use in races. So I was positive that the pace was well within me. This was confounded by how good my legs were feeling (minus the hip pain of course). My feet felt fresh, quads, hammies and calfs all behaving themselves. There was the chest pain, but breathing was good, I wasn’t pushing cardio wise, well you don’t in an ultra do you, unless there is a head to head for the finish line :). However, another runner has pointed out to me that fatigue can come in many guises, including severe pain that could be thought of as injury. The hip flexor pain isn’t unknown to me, I’ve had it a few times in the past, usually after a long run. It would never be really painful, more a grumble, certainly nowhere near enough pain to make me stop running and not a concern that I would need to get help for. There was also another runner who has mentioned that illness can bring on pain, even though you may feel fine, the illness, be it flu, cold, or whatever, could manifest itself as pain. The runner who told me that also had hip flexor issues.
So this has got me questioning what really happened and I not so sure now. I’ve had two very easy jogs since Saturday and a very sedate pace and while I can feel the hip pain, it isn’t enough to make me want to stop. So has it been fatigue?
I’ve got as series of tests to carry out, that will uproot any issues in the hip/glute/groin area. Once there is no pain there, I will get on with the tests and then take it from there.