#261 - Enigma Night Fever Race Report

Marathon #261 Enigma Night Fever done! A very late decision to do this one (thanks Foxy!) as finally, finally, finally decided against Lakeland 100 this weekend (for once sticking to my "take it easy for three months plan"). Was something of an experiment on "can you do a marathon very calorie depleted on no calories..." and the answer I discovered after about 5 miles was no, not really! I got round OK (in a 30 minute course PB too!) but after 5 miles of feeling decent, all my energy went somewhere else, felt lightheaded, sick and got a splitting headache! Oh well, you live and learn! Great to see some familiar faces and a special well done to Heather on her return to the scene after being out with injury for so long...


I'd never really intended to do the Night Fever Marathon this year, did it last year on a sweltering hot evening, three days after a PB run and it was a tough, sweaty but ice cream filled affair! But I finally, finally, finally decided not to do Lakeland 100 (which had been my plan for months... but eventually decided to stick to it!) and Foxy said a day or two before if I fancied a place it was mine as someone had pulled out... and well, here I was again! My legs weren't feeling the greatest after Shotley 50 the previous weekend and still on this low calorie cut so not ideal preparation, but hey ho!


This Enigma race was held at Furzton rather than the Caldecotte Lake and its rather smaller, so 17 laps rather than 7 and also rather more twisty and turny... and has a little bit of a hill too. My fourth time here and the previous three runs had all been pretty bad, mainly as just on damaged legs. So no change there then!

As I am still trying to lose a few pounds I thought I'd see how far I could get basically eating nothing and fuelling myself very little, if at all if I could get away with it. Pre-race that day I'd had maybe 800 calories, and was firmly determined not to help myself to the aid station goodies! My other plan was to have a quick start and run at tempo for a while, for no reason whatsoever I went for 5 miles @ 8:30 pace and then see what happens.

We went off at 16:00 and it really was pretty warm, a little bit of a breeze which was nice on some parts of the course and off I shot basically, being somewhat surprised for the first few miles to be sitting in 3rd place. May have been that 7:58 first mile perhaps, but stuck with the "speed" plan and in fact hit it pretty much exactly, but was already slowing quite alarmingly. By mile 9 I was really rather struggling to get under 10:00 minute miles and feeling rather light headed so had a bottle of protein recovery shake and started on the Clif Shots I had in my running belt.

So that basically was that experiment done! The rest of the run was really rather uneventful! It did eventually cool off somewhat which was nicer and I then took every opportunity to run with others and had a bit of a chat with the likes of Rik Vercoe (walking because of an injury), Hazel Kurtz (just coming back from injury), Rachel (who wasn't doing the marathon but just doing 8-10 miles for training), Helen James, Dave Lewis and finished up completing the last couple of laps with Heather Mac (another injury returner...)

All in all was a very pleasant evening of socialising, a bit of running, had a nice cold bottle of cider as a reward, a couple of packets of crisps as was starving. But otherwise incredibly well disciplined on the eating, the running was probably how I might have expected it to go, even if I had hoped for maybe a few more miles at a better pace before crashing but all in all well worth doing! I did at least manage to best my previous time at the course! So that was something to aim for next time I am there and somehow suspect that there will indeed be a next time... but must remember mosquito repellant! Had half a dozen bites around my ankles which itched like crazy for days afterwards...


Things I Learnt

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