Some distance firsts and pbs this weekend. Drove an automatic car for the furthest ever. (Only previous was a mile down the road in America) This weekend Richard put me on his insurance and we shared the driving down to Draycote water marathon and 35 mile race. It was the furthest into England I'd ever driven, driving beyond Birmingham. Also first time on the M6 toll road (I like it!). Richard had to stop me sticking the V's up at people turning off onto the scuzzy M6 normale. Silky tarmac, excellent lighting, tons of room. It was the biz. Then, first time I'd had my tea in a little chef, first time in a Travelodge.
Found it hard entertaining myself, having a bath in the tiny bath just because it was there, and sorting out my kit for the next day. I was kind of hungry when I went to bed so I was looking forwards to breakfast and muesli, but it was a long night as I couldn't really sleep so instead just thought about work (back tomorrow) all night and some things I want to try and sort out. A few spoonfulls into my muesli I realised it was just a bit too crunchy and discovered I'd broken one of my teeth in half. Yeah! It was a cold grey morning and I had 35 miles to run. Luckily the tooth hadn't left any nerves exposed so I was not in pain, just a bit horrified at the new gap in my teeth.
Down at the course there was a strong cold north-westerly blowing off the choppy grey water. I had to rethink what to wear in a hurry so ended up wearing quite a thick sports wool Montane top under my vest the whole way and never got too hot. Set off at between 8min30 and 9 min pace, sustained this to 16 miles when 9+min miles became the new pace de jour (probably not really French), up until the marathon distance (3hrs55mins) when 10+min miles replaced 9min miles (as in fashion where brown can become the new black). Went through 50K in a new best of 4hrs 44mins (though the last one was on trail). Truly struggled to set off on the last 2 4.71 mile laps but now that I've stopped I'm glad I did. Brought it home with an outstanding 9min 53sec mile.
Richard did a good marathon PB of 3hrs 14 mins and given the headwind has a better one waiting in the wings. I finished in 5hrs 26mins - 9.19 average pace. A lot of leg pain on the way home but we were pleased with ourselves and the time passed quickly. Arrived home last night about 11pm to some fizzy wine and tales of the National XC. Here's to a quick recovery.