On 2 April 2023, I completed my 2nd marathon in 2 days. As part of the Ten in Ten (TiT) challenge, the 2nd day can feel like the hardest. I didn’t feel great yesterday towards the end of the marathon (see review for day 1 here), so today I wanted to take the pressure off and concentrate on the wider challenge of 10 marathons. I recovered well last night, so I arrived feeling pretty good.
Today’s race was the gauntlet. To go through an intimidating experience in order to reach a goal. That’s what day 2 of 10 in 10 is all about. It’s the toughest mental challenge. You have just done a marathon. You should be resting, and then you start trying to do another. Even my Garmin told me it recommends rest… too late for that.
I arrived early but delayed my start so I could try and go to the toilet first. I love an early start, but it does mess with my digestive system. Usually, by the time it gets to the race start, I have had plenty of time to go to the toilet. Often, with these races, I’m just not ready. Since covid, Phoenix Running events have operated a flexible start, so you can literally turn up and start any time you want. You miss the buzz of the mass start, but it provides so much more flexibility. I remember back at an earlier Phoenix Running event, my time was 10 minutes slower because I was late.
Today, I made an active effort to slow down and keep it enjoyable. The last lap yesterday was not enjoyable. Even my first lap I ran 30 seconds a mile slower than I usually would. I spent time running with others, and although I took it a little slower, I still completed the first 10 miles at sub 4 pace. Whilst it was still comfortable, I slowed down slightly to keep it steady. This started with a few pictures, but then my pace naturally found a new, slower pace.
We ran in the opposite direction today. There was no bridge, but the route was very muddy, which slowed me down. I had in mind that I would finish in sub 4:30, but it would be close. Then Liz, who was doing a half marathon, caught up with me and encouraged me to run with her for our last lap. It is funny how your mind works, as soon as you lose concentration it is so easy to slower down, but running with Liz I was able to pick up the pace again, even if it was a struggle.
My family was walking our dog near the finish, and I ran the last 250 metres with my dog and boy. What a lovely way to finish.
The last little boost of the final lap took a few minutes off my finish time, and I finished in 4:26:47, a few minutes faster than planned. Best of all, I don’t feel too bad now, so I am hoping that with my recovery routine tonight, tomorrow will be OK. I have a really sore chest, and it reminds me of 2 important lessons: don’t try anything new on race day, and it doesn’t matter how experienced you are. We all make mistakes. I have found that wearing duoderm plasters really protects my nipples. But if it is wet, it can still fall off as I have a hairy chest. Before day 1, I trimmed around my nipples and it looked ridiculous, so I shaved my chest. It rubbed yesterday, so I used a wet razor hoping that would help… it didn’t, and today, when I finished, my daughter pointed out that my nipples were bleeding, impossible I thought. Turns out it was my chest… ouch.
That’s 2 medals now, with another 8 to go. Obviously I love a challenge and enjoy running marathons, but the main reason for signing up, rather than running Brighton Marathon today, was to raise money for Cancer Research, so if you can help support please follow the link on the button below.
I had a lovely meal at the end with family and friends, ribs and a few pints was a great way to refuel. Now I just have to get ready for tomorrow.
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